Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Tree

The Tiny Funnel

The Holiday Tree became a tradition I started when my son was very little. I made several trees for work but they were never published so they floated around our home for a while until I settled on one and it slowly became the Holiday Tree.

At Christmas it gets little ornaments, at Thanksgiving-- thankfulness leaves, at Halloween- bats (obviously) and at Easter - little chicks.

You could put any number of different things on it year round: origami birds, fabric flowers, twinkle lights etc.


  • Branch(es) about 24" tall with lots of little twigs coming off of them
  •  A saw (I won mine in an Instructables contest)
  • Wood glue
  • A wood base: a wood plaque from the craft store works really well; they even have natural wood slice bases now
  • Drill and bits (size depends on branch bottom diameter)
  • Scrap wood surface to drill into (just in case)
  • Wax paper
  • Optional: Paint (spray or acrylic and a brush)

Determine the depth of the wood base - you will not need to drill through the bottom.

Gauge the diameter of the branch(es) being added to the base and select the corresponding sized drill bit.

Put a piece of painters tape around the drill bit to show how deep to drill (i.e. not all the way through the base).

In some cases, the wood bases already have a hole drilled into them for lamps but in general, it will not be the size needed to fit the bottom of the branch.

Hold the branches where they will sit and be aware that you might need to have the things balance later.
On a protected surface, such as a piece of scrap wood, drill all the holes.
Set the base on wax paper and add a dab of glue into the hole.
Add a dab of glue to the branch bottom and stick it into the hole.

Repeat with the other branches if more are being used.

When the glue is completely dry, spray paint the whole tree or set your children to painting it by hand with acrylic paint.

You can paint it
white (or a color) or leave it natural - both white or natural will work for all the holidays and seasons.

The Tiny Funnel

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Morse Code Beaded Wrap Bracelet

The Tiny Funnel
This simple Morse code necklace/bracelet is an easy gift to whip up for the holidays, Mother’s Day or a friend’s birthday.

The Tiny Funnel

  •  3 different kinds of beads: one for dashes, one for dots and one for spaces
  • Bead Thread (3 ply) I used about 40” for my necklace/bracelet
  • Super Glue or nail polish

If you’re creating a length that’s more than four lines of prose, you’ll need at least 50” of string but if you’re making a shorter saying, such as “I love you”, consider repeating it for the full 40”.

I chose a section from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets. Your message could say anything from “I love you” to “Hey, I made this cool thing for you!”
Regardless of what you decide to say, do a search on the internet for a Morse code translator-- there are several sites out there --then copy the code words into a word document and print it out.

Create a “needle” by covering one end of the string with super glue. It should dry quickly and stiff and the beads will slide onto the string easily.

Add a small bit of tape at the other end of the string so the beads don’t fall off then start  adding the beads to make the message.

I lost my place after about 10 characters; I recommend crossing the characters off in sections once they are on the string.
If the string is not full when the words are done - add the “space” beads at either end of the string before tying it off.

Leave about a .25” of extra space on the string when the knot is tied so that the beads are not under tension when the length is twisted into a bracelet later.
Tie the ends in a square knot - right over left, left over right and then add a dab of super glue to the knot to secure it and trim the ends.The Tiny Funnel
The beads can be worn as a necklace or wrapped around the wrist as a bracelet. If you have more advanced jewelry making skills, add clasps and crimps on the end fastenings.