I recently had to scramble to find something to give my sister for her birthday. I didn’t want to spend a lot, but I wanted something neat. I made her a bouquet of pens with a flower attached, an idea I got from my veterinarian’s office.

They’re fun and easy to make, no talent required.

This arrangement cost me $9.20 plus tax, but I “splurged” on the $4.99 vase because I liked the tall, sleek, metallic look.

To make them you need:

• 4 to 8 generic, round ballpoint pens, often you can buy a package for $1.

• Floral tape, at Wal-Mart for 89 cents.

• A bunch of silk flowers. I bought these on clearance at a craft store for $1.19. Be fussy about the flowers you pick; go for the better looking bunches.

• A vase and decorative glass stones to hold the pen flowers. I bought the vase on sale at a craft store, the glass stones from Dollar Tree.

Cut each silk flower so the stem isn’t much longer than the pen. Vary the size so they’ll sit pretty in a bouquet. With floral tape, wrap each pen to a flower, leaving only the writing tip exposed. Make four to eight, depending on how many you want in your bouquet. Arrange in a vase with the stones.

That’s it! They make nice gifts or pretty arrangements for your household. And the hunt for a pen becomes easier.

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