Pet project: Student's pencil cases made from dead animals sell as far as US

A butcher turned student is partly funding his degree by selling pencil cases - made from dead animals.

Design student Jack Devaney, 22, fashions the holders using the bodies of rats, mice, moles, squirrels and even rabbits.

The finished pencil cases, a rather novel form of taxidermy, have generated enough interest that they sell as far away as Norway and the United States.

Notwithstanding the global recognition, however, Mr Devaney admits some people regard him as a bit of a "nut job".

Some of the pencil cases have sold as far as the US and Norway Credit: SWNS

Mr Devaney, a 3D design student at Plymouth University, first posted a picture of one of his designs - made from a dead rat - on image sharing site Imgur last week.

Since then the picture has clocked up more than 500,000 views.

Having worked part-time as a butcher for years, Mr Devaney turned his hand to "making daft stuff" after seeing a funny picture of some bad taxidermy online.

So far his pet projects have sold in places as far-flung as the US and Norway.

Mr Devaney explained: "I'd worked part-time as a butcher for nine years so I've been sort of desensitised to the process.

"It also meant that I knew how to pluck, skin and dress different animals."

Mr Devaney doesn't see the craze lasting Credit: SWNS

He added: "I used to have a snake when I was younger and I knew that you could buy frozen mice, rats and chicks from different pet stores.

"I get them from pest control and estate managers, I basically posted on Facebook asking for help and I had people getting back to me within 10 minutes.

"My last order cost about £25 for four moles and three squirrels."

Despite early success, Mr Devaney is not confident the project is viable in the long term.

"You'd have to be a nutter to think you could make a living out of this," he said.

"Some people have suggested my work is satirical or that they have a deeper meaning but they are just daft."

He said: "There's been a varied response. The average posts range from 'This guy is a nut job' to 'Where can I get one', but I'm always polite when I'm responding."