Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Pop Can Pen Nib


8/10/23 Maple Leaf neighborhood (sumi ink and pop can nib dip pen in Uglybook)

A rectangle of aluminum is folded, then cut into
this shape. Tape at the fold to a stick. 
Crimp the fold gently with pliers. Done!
DIY-ers and fude fans alike will enjoy the latest trend: dip pen nibs made from pop cans! Actually, I don’t know how current it is; quite a few years ago, I tried making one that gave me nothing but frustration, so I tossed it immediately. Just recently, though, I am seeing them show up more often on social media, so someone with a wide reach must be using them. In any case, I had a sketching play date with Roy at Macrina Bakery last week, where he taught me how to make my own pop can nib. (He learned from a YouTube – start searching!)

The nib puts out an amazingly wide range of lines and marks. Closer to a twig than to a nib, what it lacks in precision, it more than makes up for in fun. Roy let me use his bottled sumi ink for this sketch (I was uncertain how Uglybook paper would do with such a heavy ink application, but it held up like a champ – no bleed-through or ghosting at all). He used sepia fountain pen ink with a wash that resulted in beautiful effects.

Attached to a disposable chopstick, this nib is certainly among the least expensive I’ve ever used – and the biggest fun bang for the buck!

Thanks for the mini workshop and inspiration, Roy!

Of course we both required sustenance for our heavy labor. I chose a blueberry
 scone this time.... mmmm! Did I tell you that my goal is to try everything
at Macrina at least once before repeating any?


  1. I think Michele Cooper did a post on making one of these pens at one time. Sounds like they are fun. I don't remember if I tried making on then...but we never have soda/beer cans here. Might be interesting to try it. I like the variety of ink lines you have in the sketch.

    1. Yes, Michele has gotten really good at using hers! We never have aluminum cans, either... I guess I will have to go recycle bin diving. ;-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...