Sunday, June 7, 2009

crafty/creative family: make a terra cotta bell

My son came home from his playgroup this week with a nifty wind chime made from terra cotta pots. I immediately wanted to make more to hang from our tree branches to fill our garden with more beautiful music. And so we are making more.

You will need:
  • terra cotta pots
  • 4 nuts (not the kind you eat) for each bell, larger than the drainage holes on the bottom of your pots
  • twine or strong ribbon, rope, string
  • water resistant paint (I used acrylic) or colored pencil (this is what my son used), crayon, marker
  • and, of course, the usual added decor: beads, ribbons, bits, scraps, etc.

There are several ways these bells can be made. We followed our playgroup's lovely design (thank you Elizabeth!).

  • Decorate 2 pots of different sizes, remember they will hang upside-down.
  • When the paint is dry, tie the nuts to the twine about an inch from the bottom of the twine and then again at the top of the length you would need to allow the first nut to act as a clapper.
  • Then string the twine through the drainage hole of the smaller pot first so that the pot rests on the nut.
  • Tie another nut at the place on the twine that will create the desired distance between the two pots.
  • String the twine through the drainage hole of the larger pot so that this pot rests on the nut.
  • Tie another nut on the other side of the drainage hole (top of the bell) and create a loop with the twine for hanging.
  • Further embellish as desired

My son made his bells with tiny pots and I used 3.5" and slightly larger pots for mine. The larger the pot, the deeper the pitch of the ring. I like the larger pots for the ease of embellishing, but the tiny pots have such a magical, pleasing tinkle; I think they are my favorite.

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