Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Corded Tray and Bowl.

I have a habit of buying project supplies without the time to actually complete a project.  This became abundantly clear after moving into the house, and my inability to fully unpack my craft room. I have spools of twine, packs of straws, oddball tubes of paint, and so many miscellaneous, but earmarked for something specific, supplies. It's hard to face and even harder to organize. 

I bought a pack of rope, specifically the Wellington Cordage 28768 3/8-Inch x 50-Ft. Natural Fiber Twisted Manila Rope - Quantity 12 (note: that's an affiliate link, included  because that's what I used and I like to know specifics when I'm reading). I don't know how to change the quantity on that link, but I assure you it is sold individually. It sat around for six months before I finally got a chance to craft.

Originally, I had bought it because a friend sent a link of West Elm DIY hacks. I was enthralled, bought rope and embroidery hoops, had already tried and failed at the painted shower curtain (it's embarrassing, but I am not daunted), and am hoping to make a daybed. I love everything on the list, and may work my way down it. But the rope - the rope was for the rope bowl.

When I finally decided that the pack of rope didn't have a spot in craft room storage and needed to be addressed, I considered where I would need a bowl. I have a fruit stand, a basket for keys, and trays for almost everything. Almost being the key word. 

The whale blended right into the toilet, wall, and shower curtain. There was no variety between the smooth ceramic, glass, white-on-white.  It was even worse before I walked around throwing swatches of paint up.

I knew what I needed to do. I grabbed the rope, glue gun, wax paper, and a heavy-duty chip clip. The piece of paper is my template; it happened to be the exact size of a piece torn from my notebook.

To start, I lined one and a half, maybe two inches, of rope with glue and pinched it right back to the longer strand of rope. The beginning sets the tone, so I used the clip to help me pinch it really tight and strongly bond the glue.

I continued to wrap the rope around the base, stringing a line of glue on the outer edge and pressing the rope tightly into the coil while pushing down to make sure it was forming flat. As it continued, it involved a bit of hand contortion.

I kept the glue lines toward the bottom so extra would squeeze out below. That's where the wax paper comes in - the glue peels off more easily. I continued around until I filled the template, then cut the rope with scissors. I would have thought a utility knife was needed for this thick of rope, but it was not nearly as neat as the scissors.

I used a generous amount of glue to secure the end and the twisted strands. I did this on the bottom to hide the messiness.

In fifteen minutes, it was done. 

This rope is pretty heavy duty, so I was slightly concerned about it scratching the top of the toilet. I have no idea why I thought this. I also enjoy hot glue, so the more the merrier. I flipped it over and dropped down four blobs. When those were dry, I integrated the mat into his new home.

It's one of those moments that finally made some of the decor click. It added texture, it gave the whale an individual presence, tied in the color of the birch vase (which is from my friend's bridal shower), and works really well with the proposed color.

I wasn't out of rope at that time, and I knew someone else that needed a tray. I'm trying to train Zach on the art of tray organization and its magical properties. It can make rings and chapstick look like a collection. It corrals the loose ends and makes even a contained mess look tidy. I'm really into trays. Also, we need end tables with drawers. Also also, we need to just figure out where things go in this house.

But. The poor guy. I was training him on a brightly painted star tray that I made in England.

That was quickly remedied by another corded tray. We're back in the training saddle, gathering tie clips, credit cards, wallets, and weird hand-squeezing workout things.

I know this post is getting long, but I still wasn't out of rope after the two trays. So it was time for a bowl. Specifically, a bowl to hold the four remotes it takes to do things with the TV. I spent a half hour trying to make the DVR work last week. Near tears. I worked with a larger base because it needed to straddle the pallet boards. That, and I burnt myself when I tried to pinch the rope in a smaller section than the one and a half-inch. So there are few pictures, as I was nursing my first actual burn from a glue gun, as well as a hurt ego.

The idea is the same. I made the base the same way as the trays, then when I was happy with that (it involved a lot of running downstairs to measure in real-time), I started dragging the glue across the top outer edge of the underlying rope rather than on the side outer edge.

Zach took these detailed after shots. He might've just signed up for a job he didn't know he wanted.

And for scale, with the remotes.

I'm proud of these. I don't know why I'm so proud, because they're not exceptionally difficult or unique. It must be that my devotion to trays means that I'm willing to spend $20 without blinking because I know I'll use them, but here, I made two trays and a bowl for $12. I had everything else, but if you need a glue gun, that's only an extra $10. As I re-read this, I feel like the message here is that I should be questioning those trays, and think about DIY alternatives, but no. Still feeling victorious and like I secretly won the lottery.

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