Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let's go "green" kids craft

Jenny over at Crazy About Cricut is celebrating Thankful Thursday. If you haven't heard about Thankful Thursday, it's all about family time, crafting with the kiddos and spending time together.

Our project is a Whirligig that is made out of your recyclables.

1 or 2 - 2 liter pop bottles Plastic beads, can be faceted, or pony beads, etc. 
12 inch piece of heavy wire (cross piece of a clothes hanger will work) 
An 8" piece of cord, ribbon or leather lacing for hanger
 Hole punch 
Needle nose pliers Scissors  or paper cutter.
Option: Lengths of ribbon can be tied in an overhand knot in the bottom
A parent to help (mostly with cutting and bending wires)
You can use clear bottles, colored bottles or decorate the strips with glass paint or Sharpie markers  if you wish. This should be done before you start adding your strips to the Whirly-Gig.
Cut 12 to 14 strips from the plastic bottles. Each strip should be 1/2" wide and 10 inches long. Use your hole punch to make a hole in the center of each strip 1/4" from the end. Repeat for the other end of each strip. We used my Crop-a-Dile but any hole puncher should work fine.
With the needle nose pliers make a loop at the bottom of the heavy wire. Thread the first of the beads onto the wire.
Place the first plastic strip over the wire and add the next bead. Alternate the beads with the strips of plastic until you have used all the strips. Use my whirligig model to help you or your child out. We build out whirligigs from the bottom up, but either way works fine.
Measure from the bottom loop to the top of the stack of beads and plastic strips. Now measure down from the top that same distance plus 1 1/2 inches for the top loop and mark the spot on the wire. Add beads to fill the wire to just below your mark with beads. Bring the other end of first strip you placed on the wire up (this will be the very bottom strip) and place the hole at the other end over the wire. This should make the strip bow out a little as in the drawing. Add a bead and then bring the other end of the second strip from the bottom and place it on the wire. Continue adding the beads and the strips until you have filled the wire. You will always use the bottom strip with the loose end as the next strip to add.
Place a final bead on the wire and with the needle nose pliers form a loop to hang your windspinner. Make sure you do not push the beads and strips together too tight or it will not spin. If you think it is too tight you can make the loop a little smaller or remove the top bead. Place a hanger cord in the top loop. Arrange the strips in a spiral around the wire and hang it where the wind will catch it.

Here is my 6-year-old's whirligig.  
As you can see he went for a "which ever bead I grab first" approach! :)

And my 8-year-old went with a green and white color scheme!

Please take some time to play with your family today! :)

If you haven't already, please enter Jenny's challenge at Crazy About Cricut!

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Libby Beach said...

what a neat project!! :)

Celeste B. said...

How adorable!!!! I think I may need to ask my little ones to drink some soda so that we can make this. :) Such a cute idea, TFS! :)

Jennifer said...


It looks like fun!!! :) I was thinking it looked a little too involved for my "little ones", but they are eight (like yours!) and about to be seven next month! Maybe we should give it a try...

Thanks for sharing!

Crafty hugs,

partridgelu at yahoo dot com

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