How to Make a Pencil

How to Make a Pencil Activity

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See more activities in: Fourth Grade, Construction & Sculpture

Get kids excited about gathering their school supplies by teaching them how to make their own writing supplies! Children will be surprised that they can actually make theis material that they use on a daily basis. Handmade pencils are heavier than store bought versions and will have a unique style that will make them a new favorite in the classroom.

What You Need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Wood file
  • Wood clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Paint stirring stick (for six pencils)
  • Pencil leads (find them at office supply stores or online here)
  • Paint and paintbrush (optional)


What You Do:

  1. Measure the pencil lead to about 5 inches, which is the standard length.
  2. An adult should use the utility knife to cut the paint stick to the same length as the lead. It is easiest to make one small cut, bend the wood, and then snap it on the line of the cut.
  3. Cut two narrow strips to form the top and bottom of the pencil as well as two thinner pieces. The strips should be 5 inches long and ½ inch wide. The other pieces should be 5 inches long and ¼ wide.
  4. The child can then lay one of the ½ inch strips down and spread wood glue on it.
  5. Place the lead on top of the glue and then lay two ¼ strips on either side of the lead.
  6. Add more glue and then help the child to situate the last ½ piece of wood on top. Clamp the entire concoction together tightly and let it sit overnight.
  7. Once the glue has dried, the child can file and sand the pencil so it is round and smooth. An adult should sharpen the pencil with a knife, and it will be ready to use!

The finished pencil has a natural look, but you can also decorate it with paint!  

Updated on May 2, 2013
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