Pen Guy to Collect a Million Used Pens to Make Art



The Pen Guy has a goal to collect a million used pens of all kinds, to create giant art murals called “Pen-tingsä.” He hopes to redirect the flow of some of the millions of used pens that end up in landfills every year into a reusable art medium.
Santa Rosa, CA – July 26, 2009
Every year millions of discarded, used pens end up in landfills. So far no one has come up with a possible eco-friendly solution to this problem until now. Costas Schuler, a.k.a. the “Pen Guy”, from Forestville, CA, is asking for used pen donations to create art- namely giant murals called “Pen-tingsä.” A few years ago Costas started gluing pens to his 1981 Mercedes Benz, creating an art car he dubs the “Mercedes Pens”, which now has approximately 10,000 pens on it and is a regular feature at community events around the Bay Area. Costas is now embarking on a more ambitious project to collect and reuse a million pens for his “Pen-tings”: The plan is to partner with individuals, businesses, organizations and schools to establish regular collection sites, or to help by hosting a donation drive, where Costas would appear with the Mercedes Pens to talk about the project. Contact Costas at [email protected] or join his Facebook group RecyclePens.
The Pen Guy and the Mercedes Pens are regular attendees of events such as the Maker Faire, Art Car Fest, Harmony Festival, City Kids Festival, as well as local grade schools and senior centers, where he encourages people to pursue their talents and dreams in life. He goes about his normal day asking for used pen donations, and there are several schools and businesses which participate regularly in collecting pens for his cause: the Forestville Water District, O’Reilly Media, Sutter Hospice Thrift in Sebastopol, Pick of the Litter in Santa Rosa, and Goodwill Industries in Santa Rosa.

The Mercedes Pens Art Car is a globally recognized art car, with features on TV, print and the internet: NBC, ABC, the Science Channel, Smithsonian Channel, Wealth TV, and Mag Rack, The Press Democrat, Sonoma West Times, Today’s Vintage,, PC Magazine, Neatorama, Green Living Tips and countless blogs from around the world.

“Thank you for bringing your pen car and being part of this years’ Maker Faire again. Both kids and adults went nuts over your car.” –Sherry Huss, Director of Maker Faire

“Pen Guy, we loved your car! Your presentation was fantastic, engaging, funny, and personable. We can’t decide who liked the experience more – the kids or us! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing project with us. We want you to come to our class EVERY year for Earth Day!” –Mariah M. (1st Grade Teacher)

Costas Schuler was born in Athens, Greece to a Greek mother and English father who met in Australia. He lived in Greece and England and in 1985 emigrated to California. He met his wife Sandy in San Jose 13 years ago and now lives in Forestville, CA with their three daughters Emma, Sophia and Giovanna. Costas has been a professional graphic designer for over 15 years, but hopes to make this “Pen thing” a full-time gig: collecting pens, creating works of art, speaking, making videos, appearing at events, maybe writing a book about his adventures and saving a few million pens from the dump. He wants to see an entire industry that further explores other pen possibilities.