It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 4 of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Day Four is another recycled craft. I call it the Jingle Chime and it's made from a recycled 2 or 2 1/2 litre soda bottle. Mine is a 2 1/2 litre because that's what I can get at the dollar store. If you get a green bottle, you already have a head start on Christmas colors. Cut the bottle in half and you're going to use the bottom half. Set the bottle bottom on what I call its feet. There are five of them with an arch in between them. Stand a ruler up next to it and make a mark at 3" up at every "foot" of the bottle and at 4" up at every arch. Draw scallops using those marks. Cut the scallops with scissors. (I used my kitchen shears.)

Now you either need to punch holes or drill them, one in each foot and one in the center. I used my Silent Setter for the holes in the feet, but the one in the center is harder, because it doesn't sit flat on the table, so I had to drill that one.

Sorry the pic is so blurry. I circled the holes so you could see them. There's one more
at the top that's out of the photo. I forgot to circle the middle one, but you can see it pretty plainly.
Now you need your supplies. Hot glue gun and glue sticks, jute, twine, or cord, bells, ribbon and decorations. I also used a round coaster for the clapper.

Start by making your hanger. Cut five pieces of just 10" long. String the jute through the holes, making knots on the inside that are big enough that they won't pull through the holes Put all the pieces together, make a loop and tie them in an overhand knot. Trim your ends even with the knot. Now is the easiest time to put the jute through the middle hole, too, so you're going to make the clapper next. Cover both sides of the coaster with Christmas cards, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, whatever you like. I used two antique Christmas cards. Punch a hole in the top and bottom edges of the coaster. (I used my Crop-a-Dial because it punches easily through thick stuff.) Cut a piece of jute about 16-18" long and put it through the hole in the top of the coaster. Put both ends up through the hole in the middle of the bottle and tie them in a large knot. Now you can decorate it.

I decorated the top with greenery and a poinsettia, Then I decided it needed something on the inside to make it look more finished, so I glued some pine cones and a little greenery up in there, and I think it looks much better. Now it's time to string the bells. Use a paper punch to punch a hole in each scallop. Measure from the holes to the bottom of the clapper and double that measurement. Cut six pieces of jute this length. String a bell onto a piece of jute, put the jute through a hole, and tie the two ends together. Do this for all five holes. Your sixth bell and piece of jute get tied to the bottom of the clapper. Tie ribbon bows at the knots to make them look cute and add a little color. You now have an easy and cute Jingle Chime, and you will be able to hear jingle bells any time. I hung mine on the front porch so the wind will catch the clapper. It looks nice there.

The finished product hanging on my porch.

Close-up of the other side of the clapper.
 That's it for Day 4. Make some of these with your kids. They might need a little help, but they will love making them. You can use regular jingle bells, and I suppose you could use 1 litre bottles, too. These would make cute teacher gifts and you wouldn't have to spend an arm and a leg! I don't know about you, but things are really tight for us this year, so I am having to be very cost-conscious. Oprah said, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." I am truly grateful for what I DO have. See you tomorrow,

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