Friday, May 30, 2014

Mid-Month Tutorial #5: Zakka Life's Miniature Colored Pencils

Sorry for the lack of posting this month, guys!
Life got super crazy, so I had to pause!

I figure I'll start back up next month with the Friday Favorites...
but I really love the Mid-Month Tutorials... and even though it's half a month late,
I still wanted to get it in before the month ended!!

Tutorial #5 is Zakka Life's Miniature Colored Pencil tutorial!
It's easy, cheap, not a huge investment of time and yields great results!

These pencils don't actually write, they're just for show.

Please see the original tutorial here:


1. Round Toothpicks
2. Scissors
3. Markers
4. Sandpaper
5. (Optional) Mod Podge

Let's begin!
Step 1:
Take a single toothpick from the box and decide how long you'll want your colored pencil to be.
Zakka Life's instructions say to cut the toothpick in half... but for me, that would have been too long, proportionally, so my toothpicks are about 1.125 inches long.
A little less than half a toothpick.


Step 2:
Sand the end of your pencil so that it's nice and rounded.
I used 220 Very Fine 3M sandpaper.
 I didn't even have to take it out of the package to use it XD

Step 3:
Now it's time for coloring!
Do NOT handle your dolls while you're coloring these... you *will* get marker on your fingers,
unless you wear gloves... and it could be unintentionally transferred to your dolls, or their clothes.
I color the pencil tip first... and to color it, I just dab the marker against the toothpick tip... because toothpicks are made from a soft wood, they absorb the ink, and it spreads a little... so don't get overzealous right away with the ink application.

Then again... if you do... it's just a toothpick... there are plenty more to try again on!

Next I color the body of the pencil:
Step 4:
Let the markers dry for 24 hours.
(This is not a step in Zakka Life's instructions... but I'd rather be safe than sorry!)
Step 5:
Let's take a minute to discuss dolls and markers.

Bottom line?
They don't mix.

I've seen many a doll ruined with Sharpie markers... some intentionally, some, not so much so.

After I made these colored pencils, I let them dry for 24 hours,
then I took the darkest one and rubbed it against my doll's skin.

Light rubbing was fine, no color transfer,
but harder rubbing (like if you were going to shove it into the doll's hand between fingers)
yielded color transfer.

I wiped it off right away, and it all came off... but it still worries me that if you left a pencil in a doll's hand, color transfer would happen over time.

My solution?
Coat the pencils in Mod Podge to seal the color in.
Glossy or Matte, your choice.

I LOVE this tutorial... there is something so satisfying about coloring these pencils and seeing them come to life.


  1. I will definitely be making a few sets of these! I'm glad you had time to slow down and do this tutorial too.

  2. So cool! I will be remembering this.

  3. Very detailed walk through. Thanks will be back for more ideas.