How can I reuse or recycle (or rescue) … dried up pens?

pens_in_a_pot180.jpgIn a completely un-me moment of organised and forward planning, I was looking for a pen the other day to write something on shopping list. I turned to the pot of random pens that I put together in another completely un-me moment of organised and forward planning. Unfortunately given the long time-lapse between those two periods, all the ink in all those pens had completely dried up. I ended up scratching letter-shaped holes in the shopping list instead. Useful.

So what can I do with all those old pens? Can I rescue them? Can I reuse their skins? Most of them are cheap (usually promotional) biros but there are also some felt tip types. Any suggestions?

(Photo by nazreth)

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78 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle (or rescue) … dried up pens?”

  1. Gulia says:

    Create mosaic by gluing different color pens on a base.

  2. Here is my new address:
    The Pen Guy
    6484 Mirabel Road
    Forestville, CA 95436

  3. cool post! i am cleaning out my desks and looking for a good way to reuse/recycle these old pens!

  4. Xandra says:

    You can make it into a lamp. Check out the picture here,

  5. Rebecca says:

    Anyone still collecting dead pens? I have some to give away (in the UK).

  6. Olia says:

    If they are transparent or semitransparent, hang them in front of window as sun catchers.

  7. Christina says:

    Ok what if you aren’t one to make lamps and suncatchers, not saying I’m not – I’m checking out those comments (and saving this thread heheh), but, If you put a pen in your recycle bin mixed in with plastics and the recyclers pick it up if they have that job because they truly care would they not figure something out?

    • Sherrie says:

      I don’t mean to sound contrary because I do commend anyone who is interested enough to look up a recycling site. Very much indeed. But I have to say that we don’t need to be making extra work for the workers at the recycling plant. They have that job because it’s a job and they need it, not because they are creative artists or techno innovators. They might very well be in their spare time (and hopefully with something more interesting than dried up pen cases) but while in their day job they are workers like anyone else and they do not need challenges that make their job more difficult, or complications that might put the recycling operation at risk. We should be mindful of how we can help to make the recycling process more efficient. When ever we put mixed (or contaminated) materials in the recycling, we make the job of the recycling workers more difficult and the process less efficient. I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but in Australia, it only takes a small amount of contaminant to destroy the recycling operation for a whole load of otherwise recyclable material.

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