silver christmas tree from paper clips
December 6, 2011 § 7 Comments
Push pins. Rubber bands. And now for my final installment of Christmas décor out of office supplies. A $4 box of 1,000 paper clips made up this avant-garde tree.
I was most looking forward to creating this out of all four trees I made, assuming all four would be equally simple. I was wrong about this one. The concept is simple, but, admittedly, fussy to achieve.
First you have to create a garland of paper clips by stringing them through a thin, light gauge wire. I calculated about 2,000 consecutive seconds (33 minutes, at 2 seconds per paper clip) to finish this first and important step. However, I was also intent on having each paper clip face the exact same way and discovered it was best to string the paper clip through the end that has a smaller loop. The smaller loop acts as a lock to prevent the paper clip from shifting as much as it would had it been strung through the larger loop. And I didn’t account for several spills. Oh, also, 1,000 paper clips weren’t quite sufficient. Luckily, I had some extras stashed from when I designed my paper clip necklace last December. I used about 1,100 paper clips all in all, and the garland took much longer than the time allocated.
Then attaching the garland to a 6″ Styrofoam cone is presumably simple, too. But not. I inserted one end (at least 1-1/2″) of the wire into the side of the cone and started wrapping the garland around the cone (it really is important to use thin wire and not string, as the purpose of the wire is to be stuck into the cone). This was when I ran into the problem of paper clips bunching together. After several ineffective attempts, I managed to keep the paper clips aligned and flat on the table as I slowly wrapped the garland upwards. I made sure I formed the wire along the cone to minimize the garland from sliding down (the weight of 1,100 paper clips will slide down). Again, another important reason to use wire: so that the shape can be maintained. When that is done, then the rest is simple. I just secured the wire (at least 1-1/2″) into the top of the cone.
Despite it all, I’m glad I did this and the other trees! If you’re just tuning in now, over the past three posts I made crystal Christmas trees from push pins, a shag Christmas tree from rubber bands, and rubber-band wrapped trees. Enjoy!
rubber band-wrapped Christmas trees
December 5, 2011 § 11 Comments
I had enough rubber bands to spare from my one-pound bag to make these rubber band-wrapped Christmas trees as the third installment of my Christmas décor from office supplies.
If you’ve missed the previous two, you can find crystal Christmas trees from push pins here and a shag Christmas tree from rubber bands here. And if you’re not into shaggy trees made of rubber bands, these here are chic and just as easy.
Cover Styrofoam cone with rubber bands horizontally. Then vertically. Done! Now wasn’t that quicker than wrapping and gluing cones with sisal?
crystal christmas trees from clear push pins
December 4, 2011 § 16 Comments
So this is what my container of push pins got me. Crystal Christmas trees! Ok, not to rival Swarovski. However, an acceptable substitute for those on a dime.
These plastic push pins really shine, far better than I imagined.
One container of 500 push pins (which I picked up at Staples for $6; likely cheaper for lucky Americans with better pricing south of the border!) is enough, with few to spare, to cover one 9″ Styrofoam cone.
Up next (tomorrow), two variations of Christmas trees out of rubber bands…
advent calendar: lego-inspired stackable treat boxes
November 19, 2010 § 49 Comments
Did I ever say how much I lovvvvve designing and making boxes? I hope that it shows in the harvest candy corn and itsy bitsy spider treat boxes that I’ve done previously. For my advent calendar, I summoned my inner child (as I do for most things) and was subjected to the most amusing time I’ve ever had making treat boxes (thus far, anyway). I can’t wait to start counting down to Christmas!
I admit, I sat on this idea for two weeks before lifting a finger in attempts at creating it. All I had was a very vague, incalculable vision: Lego + treat boxes = nifty advent calendar. But how? I knew if I were to make Lego-like boxes, they’d have to be pretty darn functional — it would be an affront to Lego if these imitative boxes couldn’t work as carefully as their real Lego counterparts. And it would also be a dirty waste to make them without any aim or purpose. It became imperative to plan them in such a way that, by Christmas day, there would be a built project to appreciate (not that anyone wouldn’t appreciate a treat box daily for the duration of nearly one month, but I know it would be more rewarding if the boxes were constructed to create something joyful and in the spirit of Christmas.
So, for the first time, I was overwhelmed with the thought of boxes. Many boxes. To be exact, twenty-five boxes. Boxes that have little nibs that fit through little nib-size holes with unforgiving mathematic precision. I sketched it out, scratched it over, and sketched it out again. It turns out twenty-five of these cute little things can make for a pretty festive Christmas tree wall, with the last and only yellow piece appropriately placed as the star on Christmas day. So my adventure proceeded.
To recreate this harder-than-it-looks project (don’t say I didn’t warn you!), you will need: card stock in red, green, white, and yellow, foam sheets in red, green, white, and yellow, 1/4″ hole punch, white glue, double-sided tape, and of course templates for the boxes which I am happy to provide here. Print the boxes in the following quantities: three 3″ red, three 2″ red, three 1″ red, four 3″ green, two 2″ green, three 1″ green, two 3″ white, two 2″ white, two 1″ white, and one 1″ yellow.
1. Using a 1/4″ hole punch, punch the foam sheets to make pieces in the following quantities: 216 red, 228 green, 144 white, and 12 yellow. That sums up to an even 600 punches. Yipee!
2. Glue together 3 punched foam circles of the same color to form a stack. These will be the nibs. In the end you will have stacks in the following quantities: 72 red, 76 green, 48 white, and 4 yellow. Set aside.
3. Using a 1/4″ hole punch, accurately punch the holes on the bottom of the boxes.
4. Slowly insert a pencil through each hole to expand it. This will allow the nibs to fit through with ease. There’s a total of 200 holes in this project, believe it or not!
5. Adhere double-sided tape on the tab of each box.
6. Fold each box. There are only 25, so it doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?
7. Dip the nibs in glue one by one and accurately place in the faintly outlined circles on the top of each box, in corresponding color. 200 nibs to go and you’re done!
You have some long eleven days to complete this project by December 1st! Happy box-making!