how to make a pencil!

how to by

do you ever wake up suddenly in the mood to make something? well, that’s what happened to me today and i thought i’d document the progress so you could have a go too. this would be suitable for both children and adults, but the adults will have to do the cutting part.

if you would like to know how to make a pencil like the one below, ..the blue one, not the real one obviously, keep reading and in a short time you will have one of your own! it’s really quick and easy, the longest part will be waiting for the paint to dry.

also, i have made a free desktop (and iphone) wallpaper for you! how lovely of me. you’ll have to keep reading for those though.

cardboard pencil how to by laura redburn

so, here goes! you will need…

cardboard pencil how to by laura redburn
  • a piece of cardboard to make your pencil out of. this was enough for two, but you could make as many as you’d like in one go. (you could also use wood or plastic if you want something more durable.)
  • a black pen to do the outlining.
  • some paint of your chosen colour. also, i used white paint for what would be the wooden part of a normal pencil but forgot to include it in the photo.
  • a stanley knife or similar for cutting the cardboard. cutting mat recommended too.
  • a ruler so you can make everything nice and straight.
cardboard pencil how to by laura redburn

cut your cardboard to size using the ruler to get everything nice and straight, then cut off the top corners so that you have something that looks like this.

cardboard pencil how to by laura redburn

paint the whole thing white. or, if you’re doing the pointed area another colour, paint that bit your chosen colour too. wait for everything to dry in between otherwise things will smudge and blend together!

cardboard pencil how to by laura redburn

now paint over the white with your chosen colour. i wanted it to have a textured look so i painted it with quite a small brush so the brushmarks can be seen. a sponge or scrunched up paper would make a nice textured look too. if you want it to be neat and perfect you’ll have to do a couple layers of paint and use a reasonably wide brush.

when you’re painting with the colour at the top area of the pencil, paint triangles in so you can have the look of a freshly sharpened pencil. remember to wait for everything to dry! after that start the outlining. draw in the tip of the pencil and outline over the triangles.

cardboard pencil how to by laura redburn

nearly done! all you need to do now is outline around the edges and use a ruler to help draw a straight line from the points at the top. if you want you could personalise them too by adding names.

if you’ve read this far, that means you’ve made this (well done you!) or you just want the free wallpaper. if you have made this following my tutorial i’d love to see what you’ve done!

you can download the desktop wallpaper image here and the iphone one here. please help save my bandwidth by right clicking on the links and selecting ‘save link as’.

cardboard pencil free desktop wallpaper to by laura redburn

hope you enjoy!


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cardboardcities crush – lizzy stewart

totally crushing on by

todays crush is lizzy stewart. i’ve admired her work for a good few years now. i really like love her style, it’s sweet and kind of quaint, but often has a touch of melancholy. something about it really touches my heart. i have one of her zines, ‘nomads’ and it’s definitely one of my favourites. i’m totally drawn into the world of her girls and she writes in such a poetic manner.

if you would like a piece of her beautiful work to lovingly stare at, (in a nice way, not in a creepy way, mind you) you can buy from her shop.

here’s some of my favourite pieces:

illustrations by lizzy stewart


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cardboardcities colour love: yellow

colour love by

todays colour is yellow! check out red and orange.

i have to admit, this one was a little harder than the other two as i’m not a huge fan of yellow. it’s one of those colours i only like in specific shades. more on the warmer side, rather than, say, pastely yellow. even that is fine in small doses though! i do love most yellow flowers though. particularly buttercups. always makes me happy to see them. i think yellow is often a colour that works well in graphic imagery too though, i wonder why that is.

what yellow things do you like?

colour love - yellow

1// anthony zinonos 2// yellow duck notebook 3// l’atelier des garcons 4// marimekko

» i’ve been a fan of anthonys collages for a long time now. i love his simple and minimal style. also, his wife is gemma correll!
» how cute is this yellow duck notebook from the magic notebook? i have far too many notebooks but i’d happily add this to my collection.
» oh my, i love these vases/vessels. if it’s got a polka dot on it, i want it! the other ones on the site are great too. i think they’d look great with a single flower in, or just as they are.
» marimekko! who doesn’t love a bit of marimekko in their life? no one, i hope! i have a sample of this piece and it looks wonderful in real life, the colours are so vibrant. one day i’d love to have a wallhanging made out of some marimekko fabric in my house somewhere.

colour love - yellow

1// moonrise kingdom 2// fleet collection 3// karen mabon wasp brooch 4// swedish hasbeens

» moonrise kingdom! what a sweet film. very wes. lots of yellow details! love the color scheming. did you know jessica hische did the titles?
» i adore this dress. and it has pockets too, bonus! would be perfect for sping. really like the coral version too.
» i love brooches, pins and jewellery with bugs and insects on (i have an ant brooch, spider necklace..something else too). i’d love to add this one to my collection one day!
» these look so comfy. i like all the colour variations, but i’ve always liked tan colour sandles over black. would look super cute with the dress too, i think. with the wasp brooch too!


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