About four years ago I saw an article (in Paper Crafts magazine, maybe?) on how to cover pencils with paper and I was instantly an obsessed woman. I went on a factory run of about 250, then had my second child and moved across the country and there was no time for adorning pencils. Today seemed like a good day to revive the madness.
I'm sure there are plenty of tutorials out there on how to cover pencils, surely better than this one, but this should at least get you started. Magazines are perfect for this project because the pages are thin enough to wrap easily around pencils, plus the variation in the pictures makes the overlap hardly noticeable. I siphoned a few pages from my old stacks of Marie-Claire Idées and Cloth Paper Scissors for these. You can use just about any kind of paper, provided it is thin enough. Origami paper, scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, even patterned tape should all work, but lining up the patterns on the overlap requires extra effort that I'm personally not willing to invest.
Cut a piece of paper the length of the pencil and about 1.5" wide. Sharpen the pencil, run a glue stick on the strip of paper, then roll it around the pencil - it should wrap several times - and fix the paper in place. Then slap on a coat of Mod Podge and you're done! To let it dry, stick the tip in a foam block. Once it is thoroughly dry, you can sharpen it as you would any regular pencil. Thicker papers might require a wider pencil sharpener.
And then there's the matter of ornamentation. For a clean, minimalist look, you can leave the ends bare, as above.
Or you can go over the top, and sully the eraser with feathers and floral tape as I did. This way, the next time you go to your local craft store and they hand you one of those grubby flower-topped pens to sign your credit card slip, you can whip out your plume and say, "No, thank you! I have my own."