Vendor Spotlight: Sharpie

Reported by Suzy Haghighi

Since 1964 Sharpie Markers by Sanford Corp have been a staple in homes and offices around the world. Moms use them to label children’s clothing and backpacks, students scribble with them on countless CDs, even celebs use them to sign autographs. President Bush used Sharpies personalized with his signature exclusively in the White House.

Sharpies now come in 39 colors and seven varieties, ranging in tip size from Ultra Fine to Magnum. Rather than messing with the success of what goes into their flagship product, the Permanent Marker, Sharpie has designed a sleek, modern and ultra cool casing for their utilitarian fine tip marker. The Stainless Steel Sharpie has it’s name and logo engraved onto the body, has a great comfortable grip despite the larger size, and is so pretty you won’t want to hide it in the tool drawer. It retails for about $7 US as opposed to the $1.79 for the regular Sharpie. I took this pretty pen on a craft spin to see how I would like it.

Cards made with Magnolia Stamps using Sharpie Permanent and Water Based Markers

I discovered that my favorite ways to use the Permanent markers are for outlining or coloring on acetate. Sharpie Permanent Markers adhere to most surfaces and contains pigments and dyes that are almost impossible to remove (depending upon the surface written on). Glossy surfaces are notorious for not allowing ink to stick to it – it either beads or wipes away. Not with these babies.

The permanent nature of the pen and the wonderful way it bonds to surfaces makes it hard to shade and blend in coloring. Sharpie knows and capitalizes on this in their advertising: The strong, bold ink serves as muse for the company’s slogan Write Out Loud.

While I use Copic Alcohol Markers to color, I love using Sharpies on my cards when I want a really strong, bold ink for accenting. I used the Ultra Fine Tip to create faux stitching on one card, and the Stainless Steel Sharpie with its traditional fine tip to create polka dots on an acetate card, red pencils, and a painted wooden ladybug. The marker was also used over my Copics to color in the polka dots. The ink looks great on all of my projects; the ultra fine did not bleed into my paper or slip on the paint or pencils. It dried quickly on the acetate and the pencil coating; it did however pool a bit on the acetate (see pic below).

Please note a fine tip is rather wide for card making purposes. It could not be used for journaling or writing small letters, however, the Ultra Fine could. The solvent in Sharpie Permanent Markers does contain Propanol so they are not considered acid-free. While I would not use these for archival craft work such as scrapbooking, I have no problem using them on cards.

The Sharpie Water Based Extra Fine Paint Pens in White is also great for accenting over my Copic Marker work and is archival quality and acid-free. I used it here to highlight hair and the ladybug’s face. White is an almost impossible color to formulate without using pigment (as opposed to dye-based inks). These skip less than my white gel pens while remaining about 50% opaque (see picture above). The white is bright which makes them great for accent work or dotting snow on cards, but you do have to be careful of the valve-action tip. While the point is extra fine, the ink is rather watery and seeps out of the valve-action tip when pressed. To avoid problems I press and release the valve over copy paper then do my accenting.

I am not sure if Sharpie Oil Based Paint Pens are acid-free, but they do state that they are xylene-free. They are more opaque than the Water Based Paint Pens, write better, and can be used on any surface. The ink was not watery at all and the color seemed bolder to me.

Besides being useful, Sharpies are also economical and long lasting: someone did a rather scientific measurement to see how long a Sharpie lasts and estimated the total writing distance to be 1800 feet, which is quite impressive. That person is much more organized than I am — I can honestly say I have never run out of ink on my own before I lose them. They need to make a Sharpie with GPS.


  • Economical
  • Long lasting
  • Strong, bold ink color
  • Writes on many surfaces
  • Multipurpose types for all craft needs
  • Great for use with acetate or other smooth surfaces


  • Limited color variety
  • Bold, strong ink is not good for blending, line marks
  • The lids do not really match the inks so it is best to make a color chart
  • Tips tend to dry quickly
  • Permanent marker bleeds through thin and fibrous papers, fabrics and cloth
  • Paint Marker ink clogs a bit or leaks from valve, can also “spit” ink onto your work

Where to Buy:
Wal-Mart (Sharpie Permanent Marker in assorted colors for $14.88 US)
Office Supply Stores such as Office Depot (12 pack of Permanent Fine Point Black for $7.79) (Stainless Steel Sharpie Permanent Marker for $5.99)
Wallack’s (Sharpie Paint Extra Fine Oil Based Marker in White for $3.47)

In conclusion I give the Sharpie Permanent Markers a 9/10 and Sharpie Paint Markers a 7/10 overall. As a card maker, Sharpies will not replace my beloved (and much more expensive) Copics, but they are fantastic for certain uses on my cards that make them an indispensable tool that belongs in everyone’s craft room. They are fantastic on acetate or plastic products – the color stays bright and bold, and does not budge once put on a surface. On paper they are bad for blending, but great for pops of permanent color. How do YOU use Sharpies in the craft room?

Follow up: There was a comment in one of our articles about the Sharpie Water Based pens no longer being available. I am happy to announce from our contact with Sharpie that they are continuing to be made, there was only a packaging change. So go get some today!!

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69 Responses to Vendor Spotlight: Sharpie

  1. Avatar
    Jingle June 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    This is super cute! Great work!

  2. Avatar
    Gretchyn June 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    Better leave a comment on this post, too — I’d love to win this one!

  3. Avatar
    Scrap Jaci June 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    Well, I never knew these existed! Thanks for sharing and the chance to win.

  4. Avatar
    jessgos1313 June 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    I love my sharpies!!! From crafting to making signs for work, they are the best!!! 🙂

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    Cheryl Lynn Hirzel June 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    I love Sharpies! I think I have been collecting them in all the color sets since they started coming out with them, but have never seen these in my neck of the woods! Sure would like to give them a try – so thanks for drawing my name, please?

  6. Avatar
    jen June 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I love sharpie!!!

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    SueB June 17, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    I use ’em to label my punches – don’t you find it strange when manufacturers don’t leave the name of the punch somewhere on the punch?!

  8. Avatar
    Elaine A June 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    I love my Sharpies. I’ve lost count of how many I have. I use sharpies, along with Prismacolor Markers for coloring my domino books and pendants. I use them on acetate, label all kinds of items, and invariably have to hunt down my husband to find one he has taken to mark tools – LOL! I would never be without Sharpies in my house – I love the different colors and I have them in the various tip sizes.

    Elaine Allen

  9. Avatar
    .................... June 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Sharpies are so awesome! I love the Stainless Steel Sharpie – beautiful!

  10. Avatar
    Melissa of {craftgasm} June 17, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    I use other Sharpies for work events all the time, but prefer to use them for fun to color over cardboard cereal boxes to make postcards. Eco-friendly and gets you thinking of how to alter the pictures that are on the front!

    Thanks so much!

    craftgasm [at!] gmail [dot]com

  11. Avatar
    Anonymous June 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Oohhh… shiny! I am just like a squirell! I woul autograph that million dollar lottery ticket I hope I have in my purse!
    Diane Cooper

  12. Avatar
    Bonnie B June 17, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    I’d autograph the back of my cards. I have other Sharpies but not this one.

  13. Avatar
    2Make1Thing June 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    The bigger question would be who would ask me for an autograph? Well, at least I would be chic and ready with my stainless steel Sharpie…

  14. Avatar
    ~Michelle~ June 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    this is so pretty I’d just look at the swanky case!! LOL! My hubby had better not touch that one…..he steals mine all of the time too! LOL! 🙂

  15. Avatar
    Tracy June 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    I love sharpies….use them a lot to color my images. I have not seen the stainless steel one though.

  16. Avatar
    Donna June 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Sharpies are the best. I made a silk scarf with some color ones. Just doodle, spritz with rubbing alcohol and water and instant dye job.

  17. Avatar
    Velvetstoys June 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    Love Sharpies. Can’t wait to try the new style.

  18. Avatar
    msfreida June 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    I can’t live without my Sharpies! If I were to win this jewel, I think I would draw me a fake tattoo and make my teenagers think I’d gone off the deep end! LOL 🙂

  19. Avatar
    Denise ~ Paper Ponderings June 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    I love the polkadot pencils…I think that is what I would make!

  20. Avatar
    Linda June 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Oh this is sure a great looking new Sharpie!! I use my Shapies all the time for making my cards….I love the bold colors and how it can be used on any surface.
    Gosh I think I would autograph the backs of my cards if I won this pen.

  21. Avatar
    scrappypug June 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    love sharpies.. i used them a lot for coloring… would love to have the new one for signing my cards!

  22. Avatar
    Brenda June 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm #

    Would love to use the new Sharpie to autograph the back of my decorated clipboards that I sell! Thanks for giving us the chance to win 🙂

  23. Avatar
    Regan Tomlin June 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    I would definitely autograph my copy of Somerset Studios the first time I get published!!!!! One can dream 🙂

  24. Avatar
    Diana D June 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    What would I get autographed?? hum, I would have my husband send me a love poem written with it!! I am a sharpie addict… he even took a picture of me with a super size pack at Sams club and used it as his wallpaper!!

  25. Avatar
    Btrflywmn June 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    Very cute card. Sharpies are great!

  26. Avatar
    jcscraphappy June 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    omg how awesome i would love to win this and sign anything and everything with it, well that is until my two sons get a hold of it they are sharpie addicts lol,.
    thanks for sharing.

  27. Avatar
    scrappyknees June 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    can’t wait to try one o these!

  28. Avatar
    Nicki June 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    I love Sharpies! They are the answer to so many writing needs. I think my cards would deserve to be autographed with this one!

  29. Avatar
    Heather June 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    I love the stainless steel Sharpie! I would love to use it any chance I got. Maybe to sign my tax forms? 😉

  30. Avatar
    chinamomxtwo June 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    I’d auto graph a scrap page I just did for my sister! 🙂

  31. Avatar
    Wendy Gibson June 17, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    LOVE Sharpies!! They really are our first go-to pens as well… thanks for the awesome and helpful reviews!!

  32. Avatar
    Anonymous June 17, 2009 at 8:36 pm #


    I’d sign my husbands behind with these:}
    Tee hee
    Cheaper than a tattoo…


  33. Avatar
    velmalikevelvet June 17, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Me? I’d autograph your boob if I thought it’d win me a stylin’ stainless Sharpie! 😉

  34. Avatar
    Gloria June 17, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Sharp looking sharpie. I would use it for journaling and some signing cards

  35. Avatar
    Rebecca June 17, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    I don’t think anyone wants my autograph, but I would love to win dh a stainless steel Sharpie. He uses them ALL the time especially to mark CD’s

  36. Avatar
    weebbt June 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm #


  37. Avatar
    FibreJunky June 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    Dang, those are some fancy, schmancy sharpies! I would use one for everything at work – and it would go in my chef coat pocket for school in place of my regular old plain sharpie marker – just to make everyone else want one. I know, I’m awful tonight!

  38. Avatar
    Erin Bassett June 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Stainless steal? Are you kidding me? I NEED that!!!!

  39. Avatar
    Peggy Houston, TX June 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    Love your blog. I would autograph love letters…

  40. Avatar
    The_List_Queen June 17, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

    I’d love to start autographing my tattoo designs with one of those sharpies… *Hint hint* *poke* Pick Me!!!!!

  41. Avatar
    Anonymous June 17, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    I would have my friends autograph the back of my front door when they were getting ready to leave my house! I love Sharpies 🙂 SAKG

  42. Avatar
    Chris R. June 17, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    I love Sharpies! The stainless steel ones are awesome!

  43. Avatar
    Tara Sroka June 18, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    I love Sharpies! Love to use them and just to collect them since there are so many colors out there now. Love the new stainless steel one!! I’d autograph the back of my cards of course and use them just about on anything!! =)

  44. Avatar
    Lori Roberts June 18, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    I love sharpies! I would use them to sign my art work! What better tool is there for that!

  45. Avatar
    Mariessa June 18, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    super fancy sharpies…
    I would use it to sign my artwork!

  46. Avatar
    isabel June 18, 2009 at 3:00 am #

    love how these stamps are “colored”… beautiful job

  47. Avatar
    alexandra June 18, 2009 at 3:01 am #

    I already use sharpies for my journaling, but I never had enough 😉

  48. Avatar
    Elaine June 18, 2009 at 3:03 am #

    I’d autography anything that stood still long enough for me to write on! LOL LOVE these reviews! If I don’t win, I’m going to look for that stainless sharpie!!

  49. Avatar
    la zaz June 18, 2009 at 3:07 am #

    Thanks for the chance, I use sharpies and love to have more

  50. Avatar
    vitoria June 18, 2009 at 3:07 am #

    thanks for sharing this information, love to know these pens !!!

  51. Avatar
    isa dona June 18, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    I use them for all of my projects (layouts, mini albums) and now i’m addicted to them

  52. Avatar
    guillauma June 18, 2009 at 3:09 am #

    theses cards are so cute, love the coloring

  53. Avatar
    Paul Fresty June 18, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    My wife is a Sharpie addict. She would LOVE one of these markers!

  54. Avatar
    Katarina June 18, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    I think I’d like to try them on shrink plastic – it’s been a while since I played with that.
    Thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  55. Avatar
    Gail C June 18, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Your work is awesome! Thanks for all the tips!

  56. Avatar
    d'Dragon June 18, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Avatar
    d'Dragon June 18, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    I love Sharpies, have a huge box full of a variety of sizes & colors, can never have too many – would love to win the sleek new stainless steel one! I could autograph anything presented to me by someone envious of my awesome writing instrument!

  58. Avatar
    Elaine Ung June 18, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    I would like to autograph my violin with the stainless steel sharpie. Hope to win one!

  59. Avatar
    Donna June 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    I lvoe the Tilda’s you did. The Sharpies did a good job. Such a cute color combo too. I’ll have to look into these Sharpies. The color chart is a great idea!

  60. Avatar
    Monika/Buzsy June 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Love this one! I have a set of sharpies but never tried coloring an image with them. I’d sign my one-of-a-kind cards. :o) TFS!

  61. Avatar
    Renee June 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    Great info!!!!

  62. Avatar
    Anna June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    Adorable!!! I’d love to win 🙂

  63. Avatar
    Jennifer June 19, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    I’d love to decorate some container/organizers with the new Sharpies. I’m going to have to go looking for them tomorrow.
    Thanks for the great review.

  64. Avatar
    DeeAnn June 19, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    Oooh, I am drooling over that stainless steel Sharpie. I should buy stocks in Sharpie. I own all the sizes. What would I autograph with my stainless steel Sharpie? I am writing several books so I would autograph my latest best seller (I wish) & I would use them for journaling.

  65. Avatar
    the mustik June 19, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    these pens are the best 😉

  66. Avatar
    Femy June 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    I use sharpie fine white marker for highlights (crafting). I like sharpie markers for labeling files (work)

  67. Avatar
    tanya June 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    I suppose I would hand the stainless steel sharpie off to my husband so he can mark his belongings at work. He needs a heavy duty writing implement to put his name on EVERYTHING he owns.

  68. Avatar
    PBrown9624 June 19, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    I LOVE Sharpies! Love the sleek new design…looks expensive. My daughter would drool over this if she saw it. She has a sharpie addiction. Thanks for the chance to win one!

  69. Avatar
    Redwife June 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    Oooohhhh, that is one gorgeous Sharpie! It would make me want to autograph my stainless steel refrigerator Ö