Happy Little Pen-Toppers

Recently, we were scheduled for a new puppy appointment at our vet’s office, and the thought occurred to me: the office had been so sweet and helpful with the passing of my hairy baby, Adie.  They had helped me in a rush when I brought her in, seizing, and helped make her comfortable in her last moments.  Along with the regular sympathy cards they send out, they sent a Christmas card at the holidays, recognizing how difficult it must be without her.  I wanted to show my appreciation somehow.

This is when art skills come in handy.  But what could I do?  I talked to my mother.  A sign?  I suggested.  Some sort of drawing?  The old stand-by of cupcakes?  She said she had always wanted to give an office a gift of a decorative pen set, like the ones you see that have giant silk flowers that customers can use and not be able to walk away with.

I decided it was the perfect idea, and got to work straight away.

I wanted to do the design on the pen cap, so that once the pen runs out of ink, they could still use it and just replace the pen.  I rolled a ball of aluminum foil around the pen cap, and sculpted a base color in Super Sculpey around it.  This not only helps the clay cook thoroughly, but gives it a strong base, and makes it so you don’t have to use as much clay.

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Since I was doing this in honor of my sweet hairy baby, Adie, I sculpted one of the pen toppers with her little face, using beads for eyes.

I made a few others…some cats, a dachsund….

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And even our other dog, our boxer Scout.  Once they were cooked, I glued the heads onto the pen caps with E6000, and glued little strips of ribbon around the base to hide the seam leading from the clay to the pen cap.  I then glued little paper flower from the scrapbooking section of the craft store to hide the ribbon seam.

pen topper

All in all, they turned out pretty cute!

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Since I figured they’d be getting a lot of wear & tear, I tried sealing them in clear resin, but honestly, it might have been better not to.  Even painting on a thin layer, it dripped down and kept rolling down the pen as it dried.  It sealed over the ribbon as well as the flowers.  It wasn’t TERRIBLE, it was just difficult to manage.

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I found a mason jar and filled it with tiny rock sand from the gnome-garden section of the craft store, and wrapped a ribbon around the whole thing.

I brought it to the vet’s office when we had our new puppy appointment–it was my first time back since I had rushed in there with Adie a couple of months earlier.  They unknowingly gave me the same room, but it was okay.  I couldn’t remember who exactly was there the day I brought Adie, so I described the attending vet (who I only remembered was male) to the vet at this new appointment, and told her why I had brought them; that it was a thank you for their kindness with Adie.

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The vet seemed very surprised, happy, and touched.  In my disarray, I had forgotten to put a card with it, but she said she would tell the staff and what it meant to me.

It was a fairly easy craft that I already had most of the supplies on hand for, and the things I had to buy weren’t very much at all.  Silk flower pens are wonderful too (I’ve seen some beautiful ones), but I loved how these turned out.  I bet they’d be cute with some little felt heads, or needle-felted faces!

Have you ever used your creative skills to show your appreciation to an office?  What kinds of things have you done?

3 responses

  1. What a lovely gesture. Best thank-you gift they’ll ever get, and it doesn’t go away like cookies or flowers. Hope you’re enjoying the new pup!

  2. That’s such a lovely idea. What a personal way to say thank you. I bought bars of chocolate and wrote a card for my drs receptionist to say that they have a tough job and how much I’d appreciated them fitting me in for an appointment. It wasn’t crafty and it wasn’t imaginative but they were super surprised and the next time I rang up to book an appointment and gave my name they asked if I was the lady who had given them chocolate. It obviously had an impact on them. I think it’s really important and very much appreciated when you say thank you to people with a small gift, even for ‘just doing their job’. Yes people are paid to work but I think they really like to know they’ve have a positive impact on someone and it’s really nice to feel noticed and appreciated

  3. I had a really rough year several years ago fighting to get through my asthma and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and saw my doctor 5 or 6 times that year. At the end of the year, I gave him a framed print of a picture I had taken and used filters to make it look like a watercolor. He still remembers that.

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