DIY Personalized Pencil Sharpener (for teacher appreciation)


Ever since high school, I have always carried a blank notebook with me almost everywhere I go, for recording bits of inspiration as they strike. I also like carrying a black pen and a pencil. And only recently did it occur to me to have a pencil sharpener to carry around too. It’s the simplest but greatest thing. To have a sharpened pencil anytime I need it is such a joy. So we recently started giving pencil sharpeners to other people too (you may have noticed it in this post). We found it to be the perfect teacher gift, and with teacher appreciation day fast approaching (it’s May 4), I thought you might like the how-to.

I simply decided to buy wooden pencil sharpeners and follow the directions for making a scrabble tile pendant. Here’s what you’ll need:
—A wooden pencil sharpener
(I was turned on to KUM pencil sharpeners after reading this hearty endorsement)
—Modge podge
Diamond glaze
(can be hard to find, so shop around in advance, you can also use epoxy resin, which is more permanent and is water resistant, but you won’t want to use it around kids)
—A piece of artwork to add to the pencil sharpener

It’s true, KUM sharpeners are the best.

We’ve used a couple different kinds of artwork to apply to the pencil sharpener. I printed an initial for one, and my son drew a picture for his teacher for another sharpener. I took a photo of it and reduced its size.

I sanded off the paint from the sharpener.

I painted the surface of the sharpener with Modge Podge, then added my artwork and painted again with Modge Podge. I decided to give the sharpener a little extra time to dry.

I flipped over the sharpener and used a craft knife to trim the overhanging edges of the artwork.

Then I added the diamond glaze. This part can be a little tricky. I added a bead of glaze the size of a dime to the center, then tilted the sharpener until the glaze covered most of the surface. I used a straight pin to guide the glaze to the corners of the surface. And finally, I set up the sharpener on a bottle cap so the sharpener was perfectly level as the diamond glaze dried (which takes a few days, so be prepared to wait).

Once the glaze was dry, we had a personalized pencil sharpener ready to go.

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