“They walk among us, silently waiting for an opportunity to strike. People you would never suspect in a hundred years, capable of inflicting deep harm and intense personal suffering. Every 38 seconds in the United States, they claim a new victim. At this very moment, they could be targeting your significant other, or your best friend, or maybe even you.” –J. Mark Powell
The most treacherous criminal in existence is the dreaded Pen Thief. Unfortunately, in my house, there’s a young criminal in the making. No pen, pencil or marker is safe from The Daughter™.
Pen thievery is no laughing matter. Pen theft costs the U.S. economy $300 million yearly in lost productivity to employers–not to mention the emotional trauma suffered by its victims. The Daughter™ is clearly headed for a life of crime.
I am not asking for much. When I am in the kitchen ready to jot a note, mark a freezer bag or sign a permission slip, I just want to be able to quickly access a #2 pencil, Sharpie or roller ball pen when I need it without going on a half hour search in couch cushions, under beds, through every winter jacket and under the dog dish.
It doesn’t seem to matter that I have provided The Daughter™ with an entire freaking cart of pens, mechanical pencils, highlighers, colored pencils, and fruity smelling markers–she always has to steal my pens. No matter how many times I have begged, pleaded, cajoled and threatened her to return my writing utensils, my callous flesh and blood refuses bestow this tiny act of goodwill.
Since the law would frown on me for taking a hand-for-a-hand type of biblical punishment, I decided upon another tact. I would prevail through crafts! So after years of frustration, I finally made the perfect solution. I have saved The Daughter™ from the Slammer and made some cute-as-can-be-kitchen-decor.
I made my pen/pencil holder shortly before the start of the school year, and I assure you, it works. For example, on Sunday The Husband™ and I did some bulk freezer meal cooking. I told him to write the baking directions for the empanadas on the outside of the plastic freezer bag. “Where’s a Sharpie?” he asked, certain it would so difficult to find a pen that he would escape the chore. Ha! Not so fast buckaroo! I proudly reminded him that he could always find a Sharpie in the pen holder I lovingly crafted.
Tutorial for Pen Thief Prevention
Step 1 Using a wire cutter, snip off the pen clip from the Sharpie and roller ball pens.
Step 2 Melt off the remaining nub with a wood burner or lighter. Caution! Do this at your own risk! Use lots of ventilation and probably a respirator as I have no idea if this will cause all sorts of terrible illnesses and cancers..
Step 3 Widen spool holes with drill to accommodate pencil and pen caps.
Step 4 Trim open end and one side of three different Bitty Bags from Whisker Graphics to create three coordinating sheets of paper.
Step 5 Cut these papers to fit the width of your wooden spools.
Step 6 Use Vintage Photo Distress Ink to stain edges and ends of spools.
Step 7 Wrap paper around spools and glue in place.
Step 8 Glue spools to wooden ruler, spacing them evenly along ruler. Align over holes in ruler. My ruler came with pre-drilled holes, but you may have to drill them yourselves.
Step 9 Thread the Divine Twine through each spool hole and ruler and tie on the bottom of the ruler.
Step 10 Lightly ink three Petite Stickys with Vintage Photo Distress Ink using felt and ink blending tool
Step 12 Place Petite Sticky atop end of pen. Cut four small notches in Sticky. Fold sticky down against pen, covering where the Divine Twine is tied to the pen.
Step 13 Repeat steps 11 and 12 for Sharpie. For the pencil, do the same, except punch a hole in center of the Petite Sticky and place the glue dot, Divine Twine and Petite Sticky below the eraser.
Stuff I used
- Middy Bitty Bags
- Divine Twine
- Petite Stickys
- Wooden spools
- Wooden Ruler
- Vintage Photo Distress Ink by Tim Holtz
- 3-D glue dots