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How to Make a Flat Pen

I've been crafting since I could hold a paintbrush. I love to repurpose random things. Most of my articles are about arts and crafts.

Flat Pens

A variety of flat pens made from paper, card, ribbon and fabric.

A variety of flat pens made from paper, card, ribbon and fabric.

Flat Pen Inspiration

I saw this craft online just recently and decided to try it for myself. It is super easy to make and a great way to personalize a gift. What’s also great about it is that it doesn’t cost much and you can use up a lot of your scrap crafting supplies. You can pretty much use whatever you have around the house. I made the flat pen in the tutorial from a tissue paper box because I liked the pattern on the box.

An Example: A Fabric Covered Flat Pen With a Matching Mini Journal


You Will Need:

Tacky Glue - Any glue that dries quickly

Pens - You’ll need a ball point type pen that allows you to remove the ink reservoir in the pen casing.


Craft Paper - See ideas for papers in tips at the end of this article.

Embellishments - Buttons, ribbon, feathers, glitter glue etc



Gather Your Materials


How to Remove the Ink Reservoir

A simple ballpoint pen works best for this craft because it’s easy to remove the ink reservoir from the casing. They are super inexpensive too. Take a pair of pliers and gently pull the ink reservoir out of the plastic tube casing. Be gentle so that you don’t damage the pen.

I did this step on plastic covering. If the ink did spill it would be on a protected surface.

Measure Out the Flat Pen Covering

With this step, you will decide how wide you would like the flat pen to be. Consider who you are making it for. Is it for a child’s hand or an adult? I default to a one-inch width but you could cut it narrower for a smaller hand.

Cut out two one inch wide strips of paper or card the length of the pen, plus 1/2 inch.

At this point, you might also like to cut a few strips of ribbon, lace or string. These will stick out the top of your flat pen.

Choose Ribbon For Your Flat Pen


Making the Flat Pen

Make sure that the rollerball tip extends past the bottom of the strip and that the paper extends past the top of the ink reservoir. This shouldn’t be an issue if you allowed that ½ an inch extra length.

Place one strip on a flat surface and run glue all around the edge. Run some glue down the middle of the strip and place the pen on the glue.

Scroll to Continue

You can glue some ribbon or string to the top of the strip at this point if you want. See the polka dot flat pen with yellow and green ribbon under tips. This part is optional because you could also glue something to the top of your pen after making it. See the written page pen with white flower and white feathers under tips.

Place the second paper strip on the first, which also covers the ink reservoir.

Squeeze the sides of the paper until it adheres well.

You just made a flat pen.

Decorating the Flat Pen

You can decorate your pen any way you like. You may already have the ribbon or feathers glued to the top. Now you can consider adding a decoupage accent, lace, beads or buttons. Stickers are great too. There are a host of ideas. Go crazy.

I often cut a wedge off each side of the bottom of the pen to make it look like the paper slants toward the nib.




When you decorate the pen just remember to leave the bottom end somewhat free or at least flat. If you put too many ‘bulky’ embellishments down there it could hinder your grip when you use the pen. I made that mistake with my polka dot example pen. There is a little button at the bottom near the roller ball tip.

You can easily layer with these pens. In the example below. I used a page from a novel then pasted a piece of an old scarf over the one side. I sealed it with Mod Podge.

If you are using a thinner paper you’ll have to reinforce it. So for example, if you use a page from a magazine, paste the page on some printer paper to stiffen it slightly. It will give the pen a bit more structure.

Paper Ideas to Personalize the Flat Pen:

Consider who you are giving the flat pen to. If it's for a writer you might want to tear a page out of an old novel. If it’s for a foodie then you might want to tear out a recipe from a magazine. These are all subtle ways that you can personalize the pen.


Material covering for a quilter.

A page out of a novel for a writer.

Coffee stained paper for a coffee lover.

Teabags glued to paper for a tea lover.

Math equations on paper for your math teacher.

Music sheet for a music lover.

Flat Pen Gift Ideas:

The flat pen is a great add-on gift. I love adding it when I give someone a journal as a gift.

It’s a great stocking stuffer.

Personalize the pen by embroidering someone’s name onto a piece of ribbon and gluing the ribbon down the center of the pen.

It’s a thoughtful homemade gift for a teacher.

Add it to a writer’s survival kit. Place a flat pen with a mini journal and some single serve coffee packets into a coffee cup. This is also great for a busy mom to write her to do list in.

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