Craft Projects

Key and Crystal Wind Chime

As promised — new craft project!!!

Remember how I altered my aunt’s beautiful wind chime to match her preexisting one? That project inspired me to think out of the box to create her a final wind chime to complete her set. Both of her chimes are copper with key and crystal accents, and I happened to have a ton of old keys and chandelier crystals in my craft room. What luck!

{A Smith of All Trades} Old wind chime

{A Smith of All Trades} New wind chime

I set out to make my own wind chime using  keys, crystals, wire, chain and an embroidery hoop.

{A Smith of All Trades} Hoop unpainted

First, I separated my hoop into two pieces. I went outside and hit each side with some copper spray paint to match my aunt’s existing chimes.

{A Smith of All Trades} Hoops painted

Once the hoop was dry, I brought it inside and drilled six holes around the inner of the two hoops. This is where I attached the actual chimes, using the outer ring as a safety measure against the wire getting too much wear and tear.

{A Smith of All Trades} Hoop

When the holes were drilled, I started making each strand of the chime. I didn’t want my strands to be even, so I didn’t bother measuring out the chain. For this step, I laid out my supplies: pliers, wire, chain, keys, crystals.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tools

I had two sizes of crystals from a leftover chandelier: Large drops and small faceted octagons. I used the large drops at the end of each chain to give them weight. For keys, I had a nice mixture to choose from. I opted to not be matchy-matchy. I spray painted a few copper, but left others natural.

To get the crystals onto the chain, I took a copper wire and looped it through the pre-drilled hole.

{A Smith of All Trades} Wire

Once the wire was in and trimmed to a good length, I started to twist it around itself, creating a loop at the other end and hooking in the chain. Once the chain was hooked onto the wire, I came back down the wire, wrapping it around itself until the wire ran out.

{A Smith of All Trades}Wire Wrap

After the anchor crystals were on, I continued this process up the chain. Crystal, key, crystal, key. I added more keys to some chains, and fewer to others.

{A Smith of All Trades} Crystal bead

Once the chains were created, I attached them to the embroidery hoop using the same method of twisting the wire. When all six chains were added, I added two chains at the top (using the existing holes) to hang the chime from.

{A Smith of All Trades} Crystals

Aren’t the crystals beautiful?!

{A Smith of All Trades} Key

And I just love the different keys that I added to the chime. They are all so unique.

{A Smith of All Trades}Wind Chime cg

The chime is so pretty, I almost don’t want to send it off to my aunt. But it will match so nicely.

{A Smith of All Trades} Wine Chime1

{A Smith of All Trades} Wind Chime

{A Smith of All Trades} Wind Chime 2

What do you think? Will you be grabbing your space embroidery hoops and old chain to make a chime? You could make on using beads instead of crystals! Anything would go 🙂

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Christmas Tree craft

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I got the best Christmas present ever when my dad called me on Dec. 23 to ask if I wanted to do a Christmas craft on Christmas Eve morning before all of our festivities began. I said yes (duh) and dad went out hunting for supplies. When he was younger, his mom made Christmas trees out of mixed nuts that she decorated and hung on a wall in their home. He wanted to make one just like it for his home and for mine.

For this project we used:

  • Thin sheets of wood
  • Hot glue
  • Nuts in their shells (three or four bags)
  • Pinecones
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Small ornaments
  • Fabric
  • Batting
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Wire
  • Felt

Step 1: Bake pinecones to kill any critters that may be living inside. Bake for 25 minutes at 200 degrees. That should do the trick. We gathered ours outside of our gym at 6:30 a.m. … in the dark. I’m sure we looked wayyy creepy.

Step 2: Sketch out a tree shape onto a piece of wood. We drew a triangle for the tree, a small rectangle for the stump and a trapezoid for the base.

Step 3: Cut out your tree using a jigsaw (or a hand saw if you prefer).

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Step 4: If you want to make more than one, use your cutout tree as a stencil and trace it onto the first sheet of wood.

Tree stencil

Step 5: Drill a hole in the top of the tree and string wire through to make it easy to hang later on.

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Step 6: Start gluing on your nuts and pinecones. I used a pine cone for the top of my tree. Dad used a prickly seed from a sweet gum tree as his topper.

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It is OK to have gaps in your nuts and pine cones because you’ll be filling it in with ornaments later on.

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Step 7: Spray paint the top of the tree using a metallic spray paint of your choice. Dad went with a bronze metallic.

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I chose a metallic silver for mine.

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Step 8: Once your tree is painted, it is time to create the trunk. I clipped edged of pinecones and glued them onto the trunk.

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Dad went with thin twigs. If you’d like your trunk to be the same color as your tree, do this step right after gluing on your nuts.

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Step 9: Glue your ornaments onto the tree.

Step 10: Cover the base of the tree in batting. Then, cover with fabric. Our wood wasn’t thick enough for staples, so we hot glued all of our fabric and batting directly to the wood.

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Step 11: If you see the need, which we did, glue felt to the back of your tree (small circles will do) to spots of the tree that might rub against the door or wall you will hang it on. You don’t want to scuff your walls, and small circles of felt in the corners and around the wire will help.

Step 12: You are done! Hang your tree up for the holiday season and admire.

This was definitely best part of my holiday break, which is saying a lot because I had an amazing holiday break. I loved doing such a fun and sentimental project with my dad. We have one more base for next year. Dad’s got grand plans for how to make our next trees even better.

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Thanks for the great idea, Dad 🙂 Love you.

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One last thing…. happy birthday to my awesome mother-in-law, Robin!