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Duncan Shotton
Duncan Shotton

12 Amazing Pencils for Jotting Down Your Really Good Ideas

Duncan Shotton
Duncan Shotton

The Yellow No. 2 pencil might be a classic schoolroom staple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix things up.

1. ARROWS; $7

This colorful set of four pencils is a nostalgic callback to trying to figure out the bow and arrow at summer camp. Each pencil has fletching at the end and looks like a real arrow when sharpened.

Find it: Amazon

2. KING KONG; $3

Fans of King Kong can use this skyscraper-like pencil and its accompanying eraser to reenact the giant ape's climb right at their desks.

Find it: Amazon

3. SAFARI ANIMALS; $7

Animal lovers who'd rather be on safari can get a little taste of the wild with this pencil set, which features a tiger, lion, elephant, and zebra. If woodland animals are more your scene, you can try this pack

Find it: Amazon

4. SPROUT; $15

These seemingly innocuous pencils have a secret: Inside each pencil stub is a pack of seeds. When the pencil gets too short to write with, the owner can plant the pencil in the ground and watch as a plant grows in its place. The #2 pencils are made with harvested cedar wood. The pack comes with eight different colored pencils: brown (cilantro), red (cherry tomato), purple (sage), black (sunflower), blue (forget me not), green (basil), and pink (thyme).

Find it: Amazon

5. TWIGS; $15

Made from real pine sticks, the pencils come in six colors: blue, green, orange, red, yellow, and pink. 

Find it: Amazon

6. RAINBOW SHAVINGS; £5

Duncan Shotton is known for his whimsical product designs. His fanciful pencils have colorful tips that transform into rainbows when sharpened. The pencil shafts come in white or black to make the rainbow interior pop.

Find it: Duncan Shotton

7. MATCHBOOK; $9

These tiny pencils, created as part of the Mexico Design Challenge 2011, have a simple purpose: to make their users think about deforestation. The tree-friendly pencils are made with recycled paper and come in a matchbook-like case; the sandpaper strip sharpens them.

Find it: Amazon

8. SCENTED; $14

Scented markers make frequent appearances in school supply boxes, but what about pencils? These colored pencils have food-inspired smells that promise to give off a sweet smell for two years. The flavors include strawberry cupcake, grape soda, cotton candy, root beer, and more.

Find it: Amazon

9. BENDY; $8

Ever get so frustrated that you wanted to bend your pencil in half? Then these might be the pencils for you: They bend enough to ease anger but won't leave wooden shards in your wake. (You can even tie them in knots!) The pencils, which come in a set of 30, are very fun, but tough to sharpen, according to reviews.

Find it: Amazon

10. DRUMSTICKS; $7

Drummers are known to turn almost anything into a pair of drumsticks, especially writing utensils—which makes these drumstick-shaped pencils the perfect gift for the drummer in your life.

Find it: Amazon

11. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT QUOTES; $14

Arrested Development is one of the most quotable sitcoms to ever grace television, so honor it with a collection of pencils with various quotes pressed into the sides. The pack comes with 12 pencils with six different quotes.

Find it: Etsy

12. BROOM; $9

We’re all familiar with the scourge of eraser pills left over from intense erasing. Luckily, these pencils are shaped like brooms, which are perfect for sweeping away all the unwanted eraser debris.

Find it: Amazon

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15 Umbrellas to Keep You Dry
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Make rainy days a little more exciting with a quirky umbrella.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. BANANA; $18.99

banana umbrella
Amazon

This ingenious umbrella comes with a special cover to make it look like you’re lugging around a real banana. The covers come in green and yellow, but the umbrella itself is always yellow.

Find it: Amazon

2. MAGICAL UNICORN; $36.49

Magical Unicorn Umbrella
Amazon

Rainy days don’t have to be dreary with this colorful, pastel umbrella. The handle is elegantly shaped like a unicorn and mane, with its gold horn sitting atop the umbrella.

Find it: Amazon

3. GAME OF THRONES; $37.89

Game of Thrones Longclaw Sword Umbrella
Amazon

If you’re looking for something a little tougher, a Game of Thrones-themed umbrella might be just the thing. The umbrella is adorned with the show's logo and has a special handle that looks like the hilt of Jon Snow’s sword, Longclaw.

Find it: Amazon

4. LETTUCE; $14.88

lettuce umbrella
Amazon

Salad lovers will want to get their hands on this special umbrella, which, when closed, mimics the look of a head of lettuce.

Find it: Amazon

5. CARROT; $15.90

carrot-shaped umbrella
Amazon

For more food-themed umbrella fun, check out this carrot-shaped umbrella. Similarly to the banana version, it comes with a protective case that resembles a carrot. When you take off the top, it reveals an orange umbrella.

Find it: Amazon

6. THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR; $25.96

The Very Hungry Caterpillar umbrella
Amazon

For children who love Eric Carle’s creations: a Very Hungry Caterpillar umbrella. The transparent plastic allows the child to see the caterpillar design even when they’re using the umbrella.

Find it: Amazon

7. DOG UMBRELLA; $16.59

Dog Umbrella With Leash
Amazon

Don’t forget about your furry friends when it's raining cats and dogs. While dog rain jackets are adorable, you can also opt for a special umbrella made just for puppers. The handle is situated on top of the umbrella so you can easily hold it above your short companion. It’s also connected to a leash so you don’t have to carry two things at once.

Find it: Amazon

8. SKY; $43.95

umbrella with interior of blue sky dotted with fluffy, white clouds
Amazon

Opening this umbrella will have you seeing sunny skies, even in the rain. Designed by Tibor Kalman and Emanuela Frattini Magnusson, it looks like a plain black umbrella until it’s opened up, revealing its colorful underbelly.

Find it: Amazon

9. STARRY NIGHT; $43.70

umbrella with Vincent van Gogh’s "Starry Night" print
Amazon

If you want something a little more surreal than a boring blue sky, there’s an alternate version with Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night printed on it.

Find it: Amazon

10. CAT IN SPACE; $22.56

cat in space umbrella
Amazon

Strangely, the “cats in space” motif is pretty popular online. From sweaters to calendars, there’s no shortage of felines floating through the galaxy. You can also get an umbrella with the unusual design, because why not?

Find it: Amazon

11. LED UMBRELLA; $23.66

Blade Runner Style LED Umbrella
Amazon

There are a lot of futuristic gadgets in the movie Blade Runner, but some are more obtainable than others. You can actually buy the LED light umbrella seen in the movie. The battery-operated handle glows blue, which both looks cool and keeps you safe at night.

Find it: Amazon

12. BIRDCAGE; $22.99

Birdcage Transparent Clear Dome Umbrella
Amazon

Ever feel like a bird in a cage? Now you can really get that experience with this clear umbrella that looks like a birdcage. It even comes with a bird printed on the side.

Find it: Amazon

13. COLOR CHANGING UMBRELLA; $34

Black umbrella printed with color-changing rain drop design
Amazon

It’s hard to imagine actually getting excited about going out into the rain, but with this special umbrella, you might be watching for dark clouds. The special white ink changes colors when wet, so you can go from a monochrome umbrella to a rainbow one in seconds.

Find it: Amazon

14. RABBIT; €9.03

polka-dot umbrella with a bag that’s shaped like a bunny rabbit
Perletti

This simple red umbrella comes with a nice polka-dot design, but the real novelty is the carrying case. Instead of a regular sleeve, it comes with a zippered bag that’s shaped like a bunny rabbit.

Find it: Perletti

15. KATANA; $28.99

katana umbrella
Amazon

Carrying around an umbrella can be a bit of a pain, but at least you can look cool doing it. When wrapped up, this umbrella looks like a sword slung over your back. The hilt of the katana becomes your handle when you open the umbrella up.

Find it: Amazon

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22 Unusual Slippers To Keep Your Feet Warm
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Trade in your old house shoes for something with a little more flair. These unusual slippers will be sure to turn some heads at your next pajama party.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. LIGHT-UP UNICORN SLIPPERS; $39.95

unicorn slippers
Amazon

Remember those light-up sneakers you had as a kid? Relive the good ol' days with these mystical unicorn slippers. With each step you take, the one-size-fits-all plush slippers light up in a rainbow of different colors.

Find it: Amazon

2. HEATED NARWHAL SLIPPERS; $49.95

If unicorns are a little too magical for you, try narwhals—a real-life horned animal. They don’t light up, but they do offer a built-in heating feature to keep your toes warm during the cold season.

Find it: Amazon

3. YETI SLIPPERS; $13.99

Yeti slippers
Walmart

Throw on these blue-toed abominable snowman slippers and play pretend.

Find it: Walmart

4. LEGO SLIPPERS; $16.33

These LEGO slippers serve two functions: keeping your feet warm and protecting you from stepping on any stray LEGO bricks. The red slip-ons look just like LEGO bricks, helping you stay in character while you build your next project.

Find it: Amazon

5. ZOMBIE SLIPPERS; $19.88

These oversized slippers are perfect for aspiring zombie hunters. Wearing the plush footwear is like bravely slipping your feet into two zombie heads.

Find it: Amazon

6. HOMER SIMPSON SLIPPERS; $44.99

Homer Simpson slippers
Top Toy

Are zombie heads a little too gory for you? Shove your feet into the Simpson patriarch’s mouth instead. These slippers will keep you comfortable while lounging around the house. Homer would be so proud of your lethargy!

Find it: Top Toy

7. MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO SLIPPERS; $19.99

Totoro slippers
Amazon

While these slippers probably won’t take you on a ride in a cat bus, they will keep your feet warm. Each tiny Totoro wears the same leaf hat that the character wore in the movie.

Find it: Amazon

8. S’MORES SLIPPERS; $39.99

These smiling s’mores are heated just like a real cooked marshmallow. Warm up the cotton footwear by plugging in the detachable USB cable to a Mac, PC, or any other USB port. With a cord that's 57 inches long, you can walk around even while charging the slippers.

Find it: Amazon

9. BATMOBILE SLIPPERS; $12.94

Pretend your feet have wheels with these officially licensed Batmobile slippers. They’re fleece-lined and slip resistant, to keep your warm and upright while you take on the bad guys.

Find it: Amazon

10. PIKACHU SLIPPERS; $14.58

These adorable plush slippers feature everyone’s favorite yellow creature. They even come with tiny lightning bolt tails at the heels.

Find it: Amazon

11. YOSHI SLIPPERS; $26.72

These one-size-fits-all Yoshi slippers are perfect for your next game of Mario Party.

Find it: Amazon

12. BLOBFISH SLIPPERS; $29.99

blobfish slippers
ThinkGeek

If you find yourself feeling like the blobfish—a sea creature that resembles a piece of melted bubblegum—in the morning, then these slippers are probably for you. The plush footwear will fit most feet.

Find it: ThinkGeek

13. TARDIS SLIPPERS; FROM $15.95

Travel through time (or at least through the living room) in these officially licensed Doctor Who slippers. They’ll look great with your matching TARDIS robe and pajama pants.

Find it: Amazon

14. MOP SLIPPERS; $8.88

Clean your house without even getting dressed. These slippers come with mop-like soles, so you can clean up just by shuffling around the house.

Find it: Amazon

15. FREUDIAN SLIP-PERS; $24.95

Pay homage to the great Sigmund Freud with these punny slip-pers, available in small, medium, and large sizes.

Find it: Amazon

16. GIANT ROBOT SLIPPERS; $34.99

These bootie-style slippers are sure to keep your ankles warm, but more importantly, they’ll help you live out your dreams of being a robot. With each step, the slippers will make noises simulating what it would sound like to be a robot clanging around the house. The slippers can fit feet as large as a U.S. men's size 12 or a women's size 14.

Find it: GameStop

17. FRANK SLIPPERS; $41.89

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one who can see these bunny slippers. The Donnie Darko-themed slippers are made with a plush material and fit most feet (they are available in sizes as large as a UK men’s size 10.5).

Find it: Firebox

18. CTHULHU SLIPPERS; $29.95

Cultists and fans of H.P. Lovecraft will enjoy these slippers inspired by the cosmic entity Cthulhu. The monster’s octopus tentacles will helpfully keep the tops of your feet warm.

Find it: Bunny Slippers

19. RUBBER DUCKIE SLIPPERS; $9.17

rubber duckie slippers
Fabshopper

Rubber duckie slipper, you’re the one. You make lounge-time lots of fun. This duck-themed pair are perfect for any occasion—just don’t wear them in the bath.

Find it: Fabshopper

20. SOCK MONKEY SLIPPERS; FROM $11.89

sock monkey slippers
Slippers.com

Sock monkeys are made out of, well, socks, so it only makes sense for you to put them on your feet. These cozy slippers come with non-skid soles and foam-cushioned insoles.

Find it: Slippers.com

21. POOP EMOJI SLIPPERS; $15.99

The beloved emoji has made an appearance on everything from shirts to bottle openers, so it’s no surprise that you can now adorn your feet with them as well. The slippers are stuffed with cotton and covered in a velvet-like material for extra comfort.

Find it: Amazon

22. SHARK SLIPPERS; $33.99

These mischievous slippers won't try to bite you. The plush shark slippers come with open toothy smiles that are equally cute and threatening. Hopefully, they will keep everyone away until you've had your morning coffee.

Find it: Amazon

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