ice cream charms

July 8, 2011 § 25 Comments

I realize the crafts I’ve most enjoyed making on this blog are ones inspired by my musings at hardware stores.  In hindsight, the four years I toiled running a hardware store customer service desk during my late teens have paid off in dividends in the form of knowledge of unlikely crafty materials.  I hope you enjoyed this week’s no-carve stamps made of caulking because I am not done with caulking yet!

These teeny tiny ice cream charms are made of caulking.  And wooden dowels.  And screw eyes.  Yes, all hardware store materials.  And to make them, you will need hardware store equipment.  Don’t be alarmed, these cute charms are amazingly simple to make!

a. 1/4″ wooden dowel.

b. 13/16″ screw eyes.

c. Tube of white caulking/sealant.

d. Pencil sharpener.  A regular sharpener will do, however, I used my electric sharpener.

e. Hack saw.

f. Drill with the smallest bit you can find.  Drilling is optional, but I promise it makes things a lot easier.

With under $5 worth of materials, you can make dozens of ice cream charms to give away this summer!

1. Sharpen the dowel.

2. Using a hack saw, cut the sharpened point of the dowel into a cone.  I literally did a hack job.  The cut edge does not have to be perfect because it will be covered with caulking.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have as many cones as you need.

4. Using a drill, create a very shallow pilot hole on the flat end of the cone.  This will help ease the screw eye through.

5. Screw one screw eye into each cone, only deep enough to secure the screw eye, ensuring most of the length remains exposed.

6. Cut the tip of the caulking tube to create a hole no more than 1/8″ in diameter.  Squeeze the caulking out onto the flat end of the cone, covering the edge. Continue squeezing the caulking while twirling the cone until you reach the eye of the screw.

7. Press each charm upright into a Styrofoam block to dry.  Let cure for 24 hours.

I must say, this is a project I contemplated long and hard since my first caulking project, candy heart coasters, back in January.  It was almost natural to arrive at the visual idea of soft-serve ice cream from caulking, however, I spent an absurd amount of time considering the material of the “cone”.  At first, only considering the shape and size of what is available in stores, I thought: wall anchor.  But the color selection and the disproportionate ridges left me with little interest to undertake the craft.  I eventually considered cutting the shafts off of wooden golf tees and keeping the top wider portion of the tee to create flat-bottomed ice-cream cones, as most soft-serve typically come.  But I wasn’t happy, I wanted a cone — pointy, as it should be, in the truest meaning of the word.  Then yesterday, with a conscious glance at my pencil (the very one I use everyday to log my ideas on paper) it occurred to me that my pencil sharpener could go on a dowel-sharpening mission  It’s almost miraculous that we can alter our perspectives when are minds are willing to do so!

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