Back in the ’90s, there was the Get Set Air Spray kit from Waddingtons. It was great fun: you slotted a felt-tip pen into the holder and furiously worked a foot pump to drive air out of the nozzle, dispersing ink from the pens into an oh-so-satisfying inky spray. And when used with stencils, these inky sprays became masterpieces. But it was hard work. Knackering, actually.
Thankfully kids (and big kids) of today have an easier option: Blo Pens! Read on for our low-down of all things Blow Pens, what they are, how to use Blo Pens and where to buy Blo Pens, as well as all the best airbrush stencils to buy.
What are Blo Pens?
So what are Blo Pens? If you’ve not seen any of the viral TikTok videos, Blo Pens are the latest way to create beautiful airbrush effects, just by blowing through the pen!
Blo Pens are the brand name, and they are made by a British-based toy and game company, John Adams.
How to use Blo Pens
Blo Pens are really easy to use! If you’re using a stencil, first secure the stencil onto your paper by using a low-tac tape, like washi tape or masking tape.
Each Blo Pen is made of a top (cap), a cartridge (the ink) and a mouthpiece (resembling a clear, long lid). Take the mouthpiece off the Blo Pen cartridge, and pull the Blo Pen cartridge out of the top to reveal the pen nib.
Put the top onto the opposite end, over the pen nib, and push the cartridge all the way down so it sits snugly. Put the long, clear part – the mouthpiece – on the opposite end. As the name suggests, this is the part you blow through.
Now, with the Blo Pen around 10cm away from the paper, blow through the end of the pen to create airbrush effects! Use stencils, or create abstract works of art by laying down strips of washi tape to create geometric patterns.
Another great use for Blo Pens is to create airbrushed backgrounds that you can then paint or draw over. Painting silhouettes on top of the airbrushed backgrounds is particularly effective!
If you’ve drawn your own picture and you want to use Blo Pens to colour it in – work with one colour at a time, and mask off areas you don’t want to spray. Use a low tac, easy-peel mask – something like washi tape or post-it notes (cut to shape), is ideal as it won’t leave a residue when you peel them off.
Switch the caps back once you’ve finished, to stop the Blo Pen from drying out. What do you like to create using Blo Pens? Let us know in the comments below!
Buy Blo Pens
You can buy packs of Blo Pens, but they also come in kits with all sorts of fun goodies inside. Here are our favourite Blo Pens here at Gathered:
Blo Pens Animal Set
The Blo Pen Animal Set is one of the most popular sets out there at the moment – and it’s easy to see why. The set comes complete with six re-usable, roar-some stencils to help you create animal airbrush images. Alongside the stencils, the set includes eight Blo Pens in a range of colours. The Blo Pens are ideal for creating beautiful ombre effects in your artwork. Simply blow in lines and circles, harder or softer to explore all the different effects possible to help create delightful animal art.
Blo Pens Glitter Set
Add a bit of sparkle to your airbrush art with this Glitter Blo Pen Set. We love glitter – and this kit includes glitter to add to your designs! The set includes 8 stencils to guide your designs as well as a selection of sparkly decorations to enhance them after. Use the Blo Pen and stencil to create your art then apply glue and glitter for a super sparkly finish! Make a pretty butterfly mobile, and keep your pens tidy at the same – the box turns into a handy workspace and easel with compartments for your pens and glitter.
Blo Pens Fashion Designer
If you dream of being a fashion stylist then Blo Pens Fashion Designer Studio is the set for you! Use the kit to create your very own looks with over a 1,000 combinations of fashion styles. Style your outfit by choosing from the array of different hairstyles, tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories stencils. Then use the included Blo Pens to colour them in how you wish. Blow the pen hard or soft to create different effects for your garments. The set even includes sparkly stickers and gems to customise your creations.
Blo Pens Stencil Magic
This is another Blo Pen kit where the box turns into a workspace – so be sure not to rip the box when you open it. This kit contains 12 Blo Pens, six of which are magic colour changing Blo Pens, 10 stencils, 45 mini shapes and a storage box – so this is a good value-for-money kit if you’re buying Blo Pens as a gift! The impressive number of stencils and mini stencils included mean the possibilities of your airbrush art are endless! The ideal beginner’s set to get creative and make lots of designs.
Neon Blo Pens
If you’re looking to add neon Blo Pens to your collection – this is the one for you. It includes five neon Blo Pens in yellow, orange, pink, green and blue as well as five funky, reusable stencils to use them with. Choose from a parrot, hot air balloon, boat, peace design or, our personal favourite, the outer space stencil! Create luminous airbrush artwork by blowing the pens in either lines or circles to create different effects. You can then detach the pen to add further detail to your artwork.
Blo Pens: My Creative Egg
These Blo Pen eggs are great for stocking filler gifts, alternative Easter eggs or even as pass-the-parcel presents! The small design of the egg makes it extremely portable so you can create airbrush artwork on the go. Open the 12cm tall egg to find miniature versions of Blo Pens in yellow, blue, red and green. The set also contains a collection of six stencils to help create the artwork, including fun owl and dolphin designs. You’ll also find a set of design paper to create the mini works-of-art on.
Best airbrush stencils for craft
If you wanted to buy stencils separately, there are lots of fantastic options on the market. Stencils are widely used in craft for all sorts of things – from papercraft to using them on fabric and furniture – so there are lots of great options to choose from. Here are some of our favourite airbrush stencils for craft:
These airbrush stencils made from PET (a type of plastic) are long-lasting, durable and includes eight, beautiful bird-themed designs Each stencil is designed in different natural themed elements so expect to find birds, tree branches, a birdcage and leaves in different shapes. These would be lovely stencils to use as silhouettes created over Blo Pen ombre backgrounds. The stencils feature rounded corners meaning they are safe for children to use without harming themselves. Choose from a range of sizes to find the most suitable for your art.
If you have teenagers that are really into Blo Pens – you might want to consider something like these mandala effect stencils. They can be combined to create beautiful tile designs, and there are a whopping 16 plastic airbrush stencils for a very reasonable price. In the set you can find a range of mandalas and patterns ideal to be coloured in with airbrush designs. Each stencil is 15cm by 15cm in size making them easy to carry out and about or keep in storage. This set is great value for money.
Animal airbrush stencils
These animal airbrush stencils are fab! They include a wolf, eagle, owl, butterfly, tiger, lion, elephant, deer, bear and giraffe – we love the magical designs of these animals! These airbrush stencils are A4-size, so they are ideal if you’re looking to make bigger pictures, or want to use them in an A4 sketchbook.
These airbrush stencils are beautiful! Like the others in this list, the intricate designs are also made from PET, so you needn’t worry about them ripping so you can create stunning airbrush effects with your Blo Pens over and over again. They’re also wipe-clean making them incredibly easy to clean after a Blo Pen session. Use this stencil kit to create delightful, floral themes airbrush artwork. Choose from a range of pretty flower designs including our personal favourite – the beautiful rose piece!