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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / wedding arch/garden arbor on: May 04, 2004 08:03:30 PM
Hello again. Last year, 2 of the coolest people I have ever met decided to form Voltron and get married, and they asked me to build a wedding arbor for them. Everything was going great until I remembered that arches are, you know, roundish. After some experimentation, I figured out how to create a wooden arch without having to boil or steam anything or even know what you're doing!

If you don't want to scroll all the way down to see how it looked when it was done, here it is:
http://superpants.com/craftster/arch/arch_01.jpg

I am not a carpenter and I managed to pull this off, but it would help to have one handy for this project. I'll be focusing on the arch portion because that was the only real difficult portion of this project. If you'd like more details about the body of the arbor, drop me a line. To do this you will need the following tools: table saw, miter saw, circular saw (preferrably with a plastic-cutting blade), hand sander, hammer, screwdriver (electric) and lots and lots of c-clamps.

The arbor itself is built in 3 pieces. The 2 side panels and the arch on top. The side panels were made from 2x4s, and assembled measured 6'x4' (I think). I used white plastic lattice for inside the panels held in place by a 1/2" deep groove cut along the inside of the 2x4 frame.

For the top portion, I created the 2 arches which are secured at the bottom by a 1x4 panel (you can see it overhanging the side panels). This allowed me to move the arbor in pieces, a bonus since the wedding was held in a park at the lakefront.

To create this arch, I started with 1/4" pine lattice from Home Depot. It's about 2" wide (IIRC), and sold in 12' lengths. Cheap, too! I bought 5 of these and cut them all in half.

I made a form by screwing blocks of 2x4 to a piece of plywood in the shape I wanted. I then took 5 of my 6' strips of lattice, glued them together with a non-water based wood glue, wrapped them in waxed paper and clamped them to the blocks, like so:
http://superpants.com/craftster/arch/arch_02.jpg
http://superpants.com/craftster/arch/arch_03.jpg

After everything dried I peeled off the waxed paper, sanded the arch smooth and trimmed the ends. Both arches were screwed onto a 1x4 and additional strips of lattice were attached between the two. The red line shows where the arch ends and the side panel begins:
http://superpants.com/craftster/arch/arch_04.jpg

And that's pretty much it. By far the most difficult part was painting it. To install it for the wedding, I just hammered a few strips of metal into the ground, and bolted the bottom of the arbor to them. The little picket fences were freestyled. Throw in some frilly stuff, some flowers and a a happy couple, and here it is:
http://superpants.com/craftster/arch/arch_05.jpg
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / first post- beaded votives! on: April 24, 2004 04:06:15 AM
Hi there! This past Christmas, my family instituted a mandatory "one handmade present" rule. After deciding that nobody really wants a website for Christmas, I came up with this little project. I mean, everybody likes beaded votive holders, right? Since this is my first time posting a project here, I might have gone a little bit overboard...

Supplies: 10mm beads, a spool of 28 guage wire, tape, high-temp hot glue gun and probably the votives themselves. A round nose pliers are a great help, but not needed.

Alright, let's get started. First, cut yourself some wire! Through trial and error I figured my votives needed about 2.5 fathoms (15 feet). Wire a bead solidly onto one end and start filling the wire with more. A few hours later, you'll be ready to cap off your strand of beads.

Loop the wire through the bead and pull it tight- but be careful not to crack the bead!

Next, wrap the strand around the votive. Cut a small piece of tape and secure the end:

Wrap it around once and tape it again:

Keep wrapping it around, making sure it's nice and tight. Once you get to the top, tape it again:


Cut yourself about a foot and a half of wire. Holding one end to the bottom of the votive, run it horizontally up the side, and loop it around the top of the bead strand:

Pull it tight, then loop it down under the next row. Thread the wire through the rows of beads, bringing it across the hoizontal wire:

Pull it tight, then bring it back across, down under the next row, through the beads and back again:

Repeat this process all the way down to the bottom:

Freestyle yourslef some kinda knot, then twist the excess together and trim it. Leave enough left over so you can fold it over to secure the sharp ends under the glue. It should now look something like this:


Repeat this process 2 or 3 more times around the votive. I usually do 3 total, but 4 holds it together tighter.

Back at the top of the votive, trim the excess down, leaving enough slack in the wire to secure the beads. I like to loop the wire through one of the horizontal strands, and then through one or two final beads:

Pull it tight, trim it, but leave a half inch or so of extra wire. Tuck this down between the beads and the votive to avoid leaving an exposed pointy wire.

Remove the tape! You should be able to slide the whole shebang off the votive to get at the tape underneath. Your beaded wire should fit snugly around the top. If there's still some slack, you can wire the first couple of rows together wherever it's loose.

Now turn it over, push it as tightly on to the votive as possible. If you haven't yet, trim the bottoms of the horizontal wires and fold them over:


Fire up the hot glue gun, and run a bead around the bottom of the votive. Make sure any wire ends down there are covered!


And you're done! If my instructions made any sense, you should now have something like this:


Caveat: You probably don't want to put metal cupped tea lights in these. It seems that these conduct more heat to the glass than votive candles or plastic cup tea lights do, and this can cause the glue to soften.
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