Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Pen Holder For The Silhouette Cameo (or Portrait) Machine

I want to share a great video tutorial on how you can recycle a Silhouette sketch pen into a pen holder for different kinds of pens like gel pens, Uniball pens, etc. The video was posted on our Silhouette Brazil group on Facebook. The very ingenious tip was shared by Ana Carine Wedderhoff on her video tutorial, Recycle Silhouette Sketch Pen.

I never really cared for the sketch pens but this video got me so interested as I have a lot of gel pens. I shared the video on my other Facebook group, the PCA (Philippine Crafters Association) and a team member, Aj Fernandez, very kindly shared one of her Silhouette sketch pens with me and shipped it to me the very same day from the South. I was so elated with her sweet gesture. She even sent me a sticky note pad along with the sketch pen. I told Aj to retain the ink cartridge and to just send me the case. I just received the pen case this afternoon and I excitedly immediately worked on it. I used a small pair of scissors in making the hole bigger to slide the end of the gel pen ink cartridge through. The scissors is more manageable for me than heating a nail/screw as shown on Ana's video. Make sure to make the size of the hole just enough to slide the end of the cartridge through, the fit should be tight. You will need to make another sketch pen for a pen with thicker or thinner ink cartridge, so one sketch pen for every size of ink cartridge that you will be using. It only took me a few seconds to widen the hole, it was effortless so make sure to do this tad by tad, constantly fitting the cartridge until you get the right fit.

I created various samples for you to see how impressive the results are. Even if I have not tried any of the pen holders being sold out there, I think I can safely say that this recycled pen holder is at par with the best ones.

Most of the fonts are 'double-lined' which are not really good for sketching text. You need to choose the ones which are very thin and with a smaller size of text, the sketch will look like the font is 'single-lined'. I wonder if there is a technique in filling the text. If anyone knows how, kindly post a comment and share :).

My sincerest thanks to Ana Carine Wedderhoff and Aj Fernandez.

Happy crafting!


Silhouette sketch pen, courtesy of my PCA buddy, Aj Fernandez

The gel pen I used here has an embossed effect.

My black gel pen is old and its ink is skipping a bit.

The rose flower is a sketch design from the Silhouette store.

My gold gel pen sketches wonderfully. It has a beautiful sheen not captured on the photo.

I created an offset close to the outline of the frame for the cut line.

Finally, I can put these gel pens to good use.


  1. I understand that you can use the offset to fill a font. I haven't tried it but I did read it on another Cameo list. Great tip for when the sketch pens get empty. I am fortunate to have a talented son who made me a couple of aluminum pen holders. One for smaller pens and one for markers. I am truly blessed...

  2. wow! i love your post ms. Gayle! i want to try this too! i just wish i have a sketch pen.. thanks for sharing! =)

  3. That's so cool =) But I have to wait until all my silhouette sketch pens are used till the last drop =)

    1. Hi Jewels. No need to wait for your pens to dry out. The gel pens make so much better sketch than the Silhouette pens. Try making one now and you'll see how much nicer your sketches will turn out :).

  4. another reason added in of "why i need to buy a cameo" LOL

  5. Wow, that is a great tip!I have a few sets of sketch pens but the quality was lacking so I stopped using them. So glad that I didn't throw them out. Thanks Gayle!

  6. Thank you for sharing your findings, you are wright about the gel pens there are so much more colors and they are more vibrant for example the yellow!

  7. Gayle
    Now, more than ever, I want that Silhouette machine !! :)
    I have several pens for the Cricut Expression so probably all I would need (when I get my machine) would be a pen so I can make the holder.
    Great tutorial by the way.

  8. WOW, THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING your tutorial!!!!!

  9. thanks for the post- I'll give it a try!

  10. Thank you for this wonderful tip!!!

  11. woooowwww great idea!!!!! Thankssssss for share!!!!!! I try this!!!!!!!! thankssssssssss

  12. Great tip thanks! I discovered 2 tips for filling fonts using sketch pens -

  13. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing your tips on how to make our own pen holders. I have a package of the sketch pens, but I haven't tried them yet. I have tons of gel pens and it's great to see how to use them with my Silhouette! Thanks again.

    Peace, Love and Joy,

  14. This is a great post.
    I tried a few other idea posted online, this one is the easiest to achieve. Thank you for sharing.