Spirograph and Gel Pens Are a Match Made in Arty Heaven


Spirograph drawings - these are the best pens for Spirograph

I bought PaperMate InkJoy gel pens and my life was forever changed. And no, this isn’t a sponsored post, I just LOVE the things.

I’ve posted about them on my Instagram feed, and when I put up my latest photo of them, my buddy Alison mentioned that you could use these with the Spirograph.

I’ve been eyeing the old Spirograph lately, willing myself to muster up the energy to lift it off the shelf, and boy did this do the trick. Thank you, Alison.

These are such great pens for Spirograph

Hello, Spirograph.

Some more about Spirograph:

  • I hate using the non-circles to try to draw with, because they slip and make me cry.
  • I hate the circles that only make one single closed shape and then stop.
  • I hate the pen colors that come with it because they are boring and hateful.

Spirograph problems

So, I proceeded to Spirograph my little heart out yesterday, and Fen joined me. Beckett couldn’t deal after his first failed attempt and he went back to naked stuffed animal wars.

These pens are awesome with Spirograph

It was so fun and these are awesome pens for Spirograph. I had so much more patience than when I was a kid when I rushed through making designs. Remember when you’d get through almost the entire Spirograph pattern and then suddenly your hand would slip? There’s no greater frustration.

I don’t remember the original Spirograph coming with tacky goo to hold down the outer circles, either, but this is a life saver if you don’t want your hands to cramp up like gnarled tree branches.

These pens are awesome with Spirograph

Spirograph Tips:

Please, for the love of your sanity, use card stock and not flimsy printer paper. The ink will rip through almost immediately.

Throw out the box and store your pieces in a gallon ziplock bag or plastic box with the pamphlet and paper.

Check out the pamphlet- it’s full of Spirograph tricks

Experiment with warm colors together, cool colors together, and ALL THE COLORS

Make a card for someone

Make a small Spirograph design on your math homework and see if you get extra points

Color in some Spiro-designs

Make temporary tattoos from your scanned Spirograph designs with this tattoo paper

Oh, about the pens. I almost bought some more today and couldn’t believe the price had gone down $5. Then I realized I was looking at the roller ball pens, which look deceptively like the gel pens. I haven’t tried the roller ball pens, and can only imagine the sad sadness one might feel if one expects to be buying the gel pens but gets confused and buys stupid roller ball pens instead.

Resources Mentioned in This Post


Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pens

White Card Stock

Temporary Tattoo Paper

These pens are awesome with Spirograph

What do you think?

Written by The CraftWhack Team

I'm Jeanette Nyberg: artist, author, introvert, creativity-pusher, color-lover.


Leave a Reply
  1. You are correct. The original Spirograph did not come with tacky goo; it came with straight pins and you had a cardboard base to pin your paper onto. I like the tacky goo so much better! It still works best for me with a board of some kind under the paper. I bought about the least expensive Papermate Inkjoy pens… they are wonderful.

    For the circles that make a single enclosed shape and then stop, leave the outer ring in place and try moving your start position to the left or right of your original start position. Remember to use the same hole you started with so you’ll get another copy of the same shape in a slightly different position. You can get a progressive shape, but it requires patience and moving your start position after every completed shape. Yeah, a bit tedious, but still better than the single shape.

    You might find this site interesting:

  2. Hi…some people will think I’m mad but I just bought a Super Spirograph kit (complete) from eBay. I guess most people of my age are doing matchstick models and wicker baskets etc haha but the kid in me is still there. I bought some Pilot V5 Hightechpoint pens which are great…not tried the gel pens yet. My only real problem is what to draw the designs on. You’re right about plain inkjet paper…3 times round the wheel and the pen goes right through it…grrrr. What do you recommend…I have heavy buff coloured card somewhere that I’ll try later. Also, the pins get on my nerves…they work ok but I hate seeing pin holes in the finished job.

    Anyway…thanks for a really informative page…it’s nice to go back to a world where I never wanted to grow up 🙂

    Have a great day 🙂

  3. I am going to go buy a Spirograph set as soon as I can afford one. After I get that home I will remove all the pieces to put in a bag, and then display the box on a shelf. I haven’t had a set for a long time.

  4. Hi Jeannette
    do you have a favourite pen for dark paper? I find all the ones I’ve used so far will smear.
    None of the Inkjoy colours would show up on dark or black paper or card.
    Thanks in advance

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