I hate lying. Lie, white lie, elaborate alternate realities or blinged out reality I dislike them all. And I should have added one more thing to the list: when an online store boasts a huge, exciting palette of products that show all in stock until you actually try to order it. “Sorry, we no longer have it in stock!”, yet the product still shows as available. My latest fiasco was trying to order a pencil extender.

I hear an orchestra of cricket noises coming from you, my dear readers. What on earth is a pencil extender, you ask. Well, it is a little contraption shaped like a pencil. You slide your tiny, incy wincy pencil into it and lo and behold you’ll be able to use them longer. Much longer!

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If you think about it, your average pencil is about 18 cm long. Once it gets down to about 9 cm it becomes inconvenient to hold and very hard to use. Any smaller than that and I can barely sharpen it. So we are talking about 40-50% of the pencil going unused. And to be frank, artist quality pencils are not cheap. Throwing 50% of that pencil, i.e. money out the window seems not just a waste, but a crime. And here is where a pencil extender comes in handy. Or it could have, if the shop would carry it in stock.

I decided not go give up. I did a little research and found that I could make something similar myself. I quickly found this video which looked rather promising. Unsure as I was about the outcome I decided to grab a paper shopping bag, some glue and started rolling.

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I am really satisfied with how these extenders turned out! They have this satisfying weight to them, which makes them really comfortable to use. Compared to the ghost extender I saw in the online shop this is made of a natural material (paper) not plastic, which feels really nice in my hand. But I also discovered something unexpected. They not only help prolong the use of a pencil, but also help while sharpening them, thus getting more (and more, and more…) use out of them.

Towards the end just a couple of useful tips if you decide to make your own:

  1. the thicker the paper, the harder it will be for you to roll it tight;
  2. to make the extender more stable add a bit of glue not just at the end, but at the beginning of the rolling process as well. Roll the paper about once or twice around the pencil, stop to apply the glue, then continue rolling;
  3. don’t pull out the pencil until you are ready to insert the second roll;
  4. not all pencils are created equal! Make extenders with different depths and widths for your different pencil needs;
  5. you can use colored paper or wrap the end product in some cute wrapping paper. If you decide to draw on it, do it at the very beginning. It is really tough to draw on a tiny round surface!

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