Professional-grade colored pencils can run more than $2.50 each when bought singly from an art-supply store, and although they’re cheaper online, you’re stuck paying for shipping, which more than offsets the savings unless you’re placing a big order. So, you really want to wring as much life as you can out of each pencil! But they start getting difficult to hold and use once they’re down to a certain length. What to do?
There are two solutions:
- Glue a new pencil of the same color to the end
- Use a pencil extender
I’ve never tried #1, I’m simply reporting here that it’s possible because I’ve read about it. It involves taking a new, still-unsharpened pencil of the same color/grade and using a small amount of wood glue or super glue to secure its business end to the top of the worn pencil. Then as you continue to sharpen over time, you eventually pass through the glue seam and on into the new pencil. The con is that you have an extra-long pencil for awhile.
Personally, the idea of an extra-long pencil sounds as unwieldy to work with as a too-short one, so I went with #2: pencil extenders. Any art supply store should have them. They’re simply a tube with a split on one end that makes it just wide enough to receive a standard-size pencil, and a metal ring to pull into place to secure it. The cons are that they cost money and you still don’t get to use all of the pencil. But you can get darn close!
A pencil wearing an extender
A pencil all used up