Thursday, August 5, 2010

Terra Cotta Garden Bells

I'm not sure where this Garden Bell craft came from. I vaguely remember seeing a similar craft somewhere, though I'm not sure it was even a bell craft, but this is an adaptation of that project, whatever it was. How's that for being vague and uncertain? This was a great success with the patients at work and there were several staff looking over our shoulders taking notes. So let's get busy.

You need:

2 clay garden pots- the two smallest sizes
Garden twine- about 24 inches
Jingle Bell
2 macrame beads
The clay pots measure 1.5 and 2.5 inches across the top. I had to go to Michaels to get them as the Garden Center at Lowe's did not have them this small. Of course you can make them whatever size you would like but these look so dainty.

Check your macrame beads to make sure they are larger than the hole in the bottom of the clay pots.

You also need:
Craft paint in whatever colors you would like. This will get you started. Scissors and paint brush

The hardest part of the craft for my patients was deciding how to decorate them. We stayed with paint but you can add embellishments or decorate any way that you can imagine. Of note- these will not stand up to high wind or high moisture environments so I would suggest hanging them under the porch roof, inside a sunroom, by an open window- any place that is protected but still gets a breeze.

Paint you clay pots first. You can paint them solid, like the pot on the left in the photo, or just the rim, as on the right. You can do just the rim on both or only one. You may need a couple of coats if you want a good solid, opaque surface. This is also the stage where you decorate the surface however you choose.

Cut your twine to 24 inches, fold it in half, and slide the loop end through the hanger loop on the jingle bell.

Thread the cut ends through the loop that has already been strung through the bell and ...

... pull the twine up nice and tight.

Measure your pot. These are 1.5 inches tall so I made my set of knots at about 1.25 inches. This allows the bell to hang down just below the rim of the pot and be seen as well as to catch any breeze.

When you make your knots, you may need to double knot to keep the bead from sliding down. Make sure you make the second knot right on top of the first ...

...not above or below. Slide your first bead down onto the knots.

Thread the ends of the twine up through the smallest pot.

Measure 1 to 1.5 inches up on the twine and repeat your knot and bead.

Make a nice hanging loop above the top pot. (Hey "top pot" is a palindrome. Surprise!)

And there you have it- an inexpensive, easy decoration for your garden or porch.

You can actually make these somewhat weather proof by finishing off with a coat or two of Polycrylic but you have to plan around any embellishments you might want to add. Flat embellishments like stickers, pictures, cut-outs, etc can be covered with the Polycrylic but 3D elements like rhinestone, glitter, polymer clay, etc might be trickier to coat. Those will need to go on after thge Polycrylic. You'll figure it out.

Just some others.

This one was decorated with Sharpie pens. How easy is that?

These were done by a couple of my patients.

Look how cute she made this little Ladybug bell, with silver pipe cleaner legs and antenna.

I came up with these for a friend whose daughter got married a couple weeks ago. The white rimmed ones were for the bridal shower earlier this summer. The silver rimmed ones were for the evening "garden formal" receptional under a canopy tent after the wedding. The ones we made for these events (I lost count of the final number- we made alot) actually had regular windchime tubing instead of the bells. Super nice sound. But when I went back to get cheap mini-windchimes at the Dollar Tree for this tute, they were all out. Hmmm, bet I know where they went.

Both have glitter on the rim.

These looked really nice and the rim very sparkly under the candle light at the reception. Tons of candles.

One of these days I'm going to see how they turn out using three pots in successively smaller sizes.

So there it is-- fun fun fun. And cheap cheap cheap. Yeah!!

Late post today because when I was ready to photograph the bells yesterday, a huge thunderstorm roared into the area and it all had to wait until this afternoon when I got home from work. It just wouldn't be a normal week if we didn't have a big storm to knock out the power.

Thanks for looking in on me today- stop back soon.

1 comment:

  1. I love this project..thanks for posting it.