Archive for March, 2011

Using Dowel to Make Garden Crafts

There are many uses for crafting with dowels. Using dowels, much can be accomplished in a home and rather inexpensively, too. The uses of crafting with dowels don’t stop inside the confines of the home, however. There are many ways that dowels can be incorporated for crafts outside of the home as well. And now that spring gardening is upon us, it’s time to get creative with the uses of dowels for the outdoors. An idea for doing just this is to use dowels for garden crafts. There are a couple of simple ways to accomplish this.

One way is through the use of baking clay. Following the instructions on the baking clay, make shapes or figures that you would like to add to your garden by using cutters. Since gardening season occurs during the spring and summer months, consider patterns that are most reflective of these seasons, perhaps using wind wisps, sunshine, rainbows, bunnies, birds, or butterflies, just to name a few. Other crafting materials can be used to make the clay cuts as ornate or as simple as desired.

Determine the appropriate size of the wood dowel necessary for the craft based on the desired overall height, as well as the thickness of the clay cuts. This will allow for the permanent insertion of the dowel following the drying and baking of the clay. Once the clay cuts are completed, insert the wood dowel into the pre-made hole and stake in strategic spots of the garden for aesthetic appeal. Secure the dowel by using wood glue.

Another similar way dowels can be used in gardens is to use small blocks of wood. The wood can be base painted, then painted with seasonal patterns similar to those listed above. If wood section sizes permit, consider using the wood to creatively label the plant or plant rows. For example, paint the word carrot, a picture of a carrot, or a combination of both on a section of wood that can be staked by any carrots that will be planted and grown in your garden. For the skilled woodworker, this can be taken a step further. Using other woodworking supplies and equipment, perhaps a more experienced woodworker would enjoy the challenge of actually etching the words or pictures into the wood sections.

Drill an appropriately sized hole at the bottom of the wood sections, and insert a hardwood dowel to use as the stake. Depending upon the size of the wood section used and its overall weight, more than one hole may need to be drilled into the wood for additional support. Again, use wood glue to for additional support, but especially if more than one dowel is needed.

Besides being a creative and inexpensive way to organize and decorate your garden, this is also a great way to get children involved in gardening. In addition to the planting and care of the garden, the children can put their own creative touches on labeling the garden, hopefully inspiring a love of both nature and creativity, as well as leaving mementos of their childhood, which can be treasured for years to come.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.

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Crafting Wind Chimes Using Dowel

With the onset of spring, many are ready to tackle their spring cleaning projects. Most have grand ambitions for the insides of their homes. However, spring cleaning doesn’t have to include only the inside of a home. There are improvements that can be made to the outside as well. Spring is a time when many begin preparing to plant their gardens, planting shrubs and flowers, and cleaning up landscapes from the listlessness and harsh effects of winter. Outside improvements can also include additions to one’s lawn, such as bird baths, statues, and rock or water gardens.

Another frequently underrated outdoor improvement to consider is the addition of wind chimes. Gentle spring winds make this a most pleasant and soothing sound. And it doesn’t have to cost greatly to have them! In fact, by using some basic materials, wind chimes can be crafted rather easily. By creating them oneself, wind chimes can be made according to the designer’s personal preferences, including the materials, colors, and textures used. Follow the steps below to craft your very own wind chimes quickly and inexpensively.

Start with a small terra cotta plant holder. Depending on any color preferences, paint or stencil the plant holder, and depending on any materials or texture preferences, add other materials, such as buttons, faux jewels, or ribbons to the plant holder.

Using a three-quarter inch thick wood dowel, cut a piece that will fit horizontally one-half inch from the outer rim of the plant holder. The lengths of the dowel may vary if a larger plant holder is used. Then, cut several pieces of dowel of varying lengths. Generally, dowel lengths should be between three and six inches. These cuts of dowel will be used as the chimes.

With twine or another hefty string, determine the lengths necessary to make the chimes functional, as well as the number of lengths needed as determined by the number of dowel chimes that will be used, and then cut them accordingly. Tie the twine to one end of each chime, and secure the twine by hot gluing it to the chime at the knot. Tie the other end of each chime to the smaller cut of dowel, which will fit horizontally inside the terra cotta plant holder. Also secure these knots to the dowel cut with hot glue.

Determine the length of twine that will be needed to support the completed wind chime project based upon its overall weight and the length appropriate to the site from which it will be hung. Generally, 24 inches is a good starting point, and adjustments can be made accordingly. Once the appropriate length is determined, tie either end of the twine to either end of the horizontal dowel cut. As with the other tied twine pieces, reinforce its security by hot gluing it at the knots. Then, pull this piece of twine through the hole on the bottom of the terra cotta plant holder. The completed project inverts the plant holder, making the bottom side with the hole the top of the wind chime. The twine may be knotted just above the hole or not depending upon personal preference.

Once pulled through the hole, the horizontal piece of hardwood dowel becomes fitted within the plant holder and provides the lift that secures the chimes into place. For additional security and stability, however, hot glue either end of the horizontally-fitted piece to its respective spot against the inner rim of the plant holder.

Allow ample time for all applied hot glue to dry, and when it has done so, hang the wind chimes in the desired spot.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.

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Incorporating Dowel In Bathroom Decor

Of all the available woodworking supplies, dowel is perhaps one of the most remarkable. In addition to being quite versatile, it is also equally economical. With this unique and beneficial combination comes the opportunity to craft home decorum or woodwork home improvements. The uses of dowel can be implemented in all areas within the home, even the bathroom. Here are some ideas for using dowel to improve your bathrooms.

Use a sturdy wooden dowel to hang a shower drape. Often the fabrics used for shower drapes are quite bulky and enhance the aesthetics of perhaps one of the typically more mundane rooms of a house. A shower drape adds beauty to a shower and the overall decor of a bathroom, while also providing additional privacy. The same concept is applicable to curtains or valances in the bathroom. Depending upon the weight of the fabric, a dowel can be used to add both beauty and privacy within the bathroom. With little more than the purchase of the necessary fabric, a dowel, and some mounting supplies, an improvement can be made quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Consider using wood dowels for storage as well. In a similar fashion, a free-standing towel storage rack can be made much like a quilt rack. If doing laundry is off by several days or is delayed, this nifty contraption provides a great way to allow wet, freshly used towels to dry, thereby avoiding a mildew mess.

Avoid the clutter that comes from using the back of a toilet as a means of storage. Use wood dowel to craft a small magazine, book, or newspaper rack. For bathrooms with limited space, consider adding the rack to the bottom of the towel storage rack. Such a contraption serves a dual function, saves already limited space, and allows the craftsman to explore many creative options that result in the finished item.

Again for bathrooms with limited space or for those whose storage or linen closets may be housed outside of the bathroom itself, consider a novice craft for storage by creating a toilet paper dispenser. A dowel can be used as a free-standing towel paper dispenser. Mount the dowel to a wooden base and place extra rolls of toilet paper one on top of the other on a nine to 12 inch piece of dowel. The crafter is able to determine the size best suited to his or her family’s needs and bathroom decor. Consider woodworking a back that is attached to the wooden base and runs vertically parallel to the dowel itself. The back can be ornate or simply carved, painted or stained.

Another simple means by which to provide some storage is by crafting an over- the-door hanger. Use wood dowel as pegs on which to hang bathrobes, pajamas, or a change of clothes. A pegged over-the-door hanger can also be made and used as an alternative for, or in addition to, a free-standing towel rack for hanging towels.

These are just a few simple ideas for using hardwood dowel to improve one’s bathroom decor or storage. However, so many more creative possibilities exist. Using dowel, your imagination, and your woodworking skills, great things can happen!

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.

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