Monday, 21 June 2010

Melting pens

I have been looking for some pens to cover with polymer clay and couldn't find the Bic stics that I know from people in the states are oven friendly. I tried out a few brands - without clay (having already learnt the hard way!) and they all deformed even at 115oC. I asked for help on the PCC forum and Tonja was able to suggest using some papermate pens - PaperMate Flexgrip Elite and PaperMate Flexigrip Ultra in capped rather than retractable models. I couldn't find either of those with caps either - only retractable.

I widened my trials and melted many a pen in the oven but I can conclude the following pens are safe for 115oC (Fimo curing).

  • Papermate Comfortmate - capped ball pen (this also comes in retractable but haven't tried those)
  • Papermate 2000 Stick
  • Papermate Flexigrip Elite (I had the retractable ones cause I couldn't find the capped ones and only tested the barrel)
  • Bic round stic ( I found some in a pound shop - hurrah!)
  • Bic soft feel retractable pen but you can take the retractable part out and it is only the very end cap
  • Staples own brand metal barrelled roller ball pen with cap - cost about £1.99

The following pens melt/distort in a 115oC oven

  • Staedtler Sticks
  • Reynolds by papermate
  • Staples own - Sonix ball point stick pens
  • Staples own cushiongrip ball point pens (retractable)
  • Papermate 2020 Stick

Hope that helps and I hope to be able to show you some covered pens soon


  1. I feel your pain!!! I have melted many a pen in the search for ones that work. I have not tried the retractable ones that you mentioned so I'll be looking for them. I had run into a problem with not being ale to find the BIC stick pens that I really liked and when I did find some, I bought 3 boxes of 100 so I've got enough to keep me busy for at least a little while! Thanks for sharing which retractables work for you.

  2. I should note that I haven't actually tried covering the retractable pens but you can heat them up and reassemble them and they still function!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this info! We had fun trying to track down the right type of pen for us to cover but your blog post helped quite a bit. Thought you might like to know I did a blog post on this:

  4. Some wonderful insights here. Great job and perhaps when I have more time, I will come back and read some more of your post.Thanks for sharing this information.
    Business Pens

  5. Also add to the list the Pilot EasyTouch. In the oven, bendy and destroyed! Bummer.

  6. Wish I had read this before I destroyed hours of hard work by my 7-year old daughter. Thanks for the insight so I can do it right instead of destroying another round of Christmas presents. Don't use Staples ballpoint stick pens.

  7. sorry to hear that! So frustrating when it happens. Hope you find some that work ok - and test first of course (I still forget sometime when I am in a rush and always pay the price!). Did you see my blog had moved over to by the way. Thanks Cara

  8. For what it's worth, there is another stick pen that works very well -- Papermate Flexgrip Ultra. Holds up well under the heat, and I do like the silver tip on the end, makes it look very 'finished'. Zebra had a PERFECT retractable pen, came apart beautifully, metal barrel was impervious to warping .... then they redesigned it so it no longer comes apart the way it used to. Sigh .... And the Papermates I mentioned, and the Bic Soft Feel, are getting harder to find now, so I am going to have to stock up ....