Pencils have a magical way of dwindling before your eyes and before you know it, you’re through your last box and only half way through a very complicated mandala. It seems as if you purchased a whole lot of gorgeous pencils only last week, and yet those blues and blacks are on their last legs. There’s got to be some way to ensure they last longer. Finding stubs in the pencil box is not a fun or calming way to start your coloring in session.
Many of us who indulge in our sometimes not-so secret -passion for coloring in find ourselves in a similar plight and there some things that you can do to make them last a little longer.
For starters, even if you haven’t had breakfast or lunch, don’t make your pencils ‘fodder’ by chewing on them. This is often a throwback from the good old days when we sat in school pretending to listen to the maths teacher. It commonly resurfaces when we’re feeling particularly stressed or agitated. Sometimes, only after you’ve chewed your way half-way through a pencil, do you actually realize that you’ve eaten through most of it and colored your tongue and lips in the process.
Choose images that you can use a variety of colors in. If you use all your colors fairly evenly, the whole set will last you longer, as opposed to running out of your entire range of blues before everything else when going for a whole lot of under water images. If your usage is fairly even across the board, you wont end up buying a whole new box of pencils for just one color.
Stop using the sharpener every time your pencil gets blunt. Clip on a piece of sandpaper to your board and if you want to bring back the point, just run it over the paper a few times. If you need to actually sharpen the pencil, use a good sharpener. The cheap blunt ones will chew your pencils as effectively as a nervous schoolgirl. The sharp good quality ones will create a fine point after only a couple of turns. Be careful not to go too far or all the colour will end up in the shavings. It’s best to use a knife and just get out as much of the pencil lead as you need.
Stash away your coloring pencils in a safe place that your kids wont be able to find. Kids have an uncanny knack of knowing where to find the most expensive and irreplaceable colors when they exhaust their own supplies and have no scruples about ‘borrowing’ them, just for a little bit. Get ready to lose the bright red and iridescent green to a Disney princess coloring in image. Just to be safe, keep a supply of not-so-special pencils ready for when they cant find just the right red or just the right green.
Store your pencils away properly. By keeping them in a container that keeps them still and separated, they are less likely to be damaged, have the leads break inside the pencil, or have the tips blunted down to nothing by the edges of a pencil case.
By taking care of your pencils, you can make them last longer, and justify getting a bigger, or better set.
What pencils (or other medium) do you prefer to use when coloring in?