Before I started this project I thought the hardest part would be figuring out how to put the shapes together, so I started by practicing with some cocktail straws. I worked out all the kinks with the straw prototypes, and then I moved on to the brass tubing versions. It turns out that cutting the brass tubing takes a lot longer than just snipping straws with scissors. Set aside a serious chunk of time to watch your favorite shows while you measure and cut tubing. Or, take the faster route and make your gem out of straws, then hit it with a couple coats of metallic spray paint.
Either way you make it, when you’re all done cutting straws or tubing and stringing everything together, you’ll have a cool diamond shape. And I know that in my inspiration post I mentioned that I was the most drawn to the hanging mobile version of these shapes, but when I finished this one I realized it would be a perfect plant cage.
We all know you can’t let your plants run around willy-nilly. What if they attack your wooden owl, like the one on the right is threatening to do? Keep your plants contained!
For both versions:
Wire – I used both 26 and 28 gauge wire, but found the thicker (26) gauge wire was better for the brass tube version. You could probably use either, though.
Needlenose pliers (optional)
For the straw version:
1. Measure, mark, and cut the straws or brass tubing. A gold sharpie worked for marking the black cocktail straws, and I used a black sharpie for marking the brass tubing. Use the scissors to cut the straws, and the tube cutter to cut the tubing. I found that holding the brass tubing with a pair of pliers (but be careful not to scratch or dent the brass!) while rotating the tubing cutter made things easier. Cut 6 pieces each of 14 cm, 6 cm, 4.5 cm, and 3.5 cm.
2. This is how I assembled my ornament, but the order in which you put the wires together isn’t super important. You could probably freestyle it, but I did find that looking at how other people did it helped me visualize how to create the shapes.
If the wire isn’t where you need to add another piece, loop it around a joint and run it back through the tubing to where you need it. If you run out of wire, add more by twisting two pieces together for a couple of cm and hiding the join inside the straws/tubing. Just be careful not to create kinks in the wire.
Cut a piece of wire about 18 inches long with the wirecutters. Create a triangle by stringing on two 14 cm pieces and then a 6 cm piece. Add another 6 cm piece, then another 14 cm piece to create another triangle. Loop the wire around the wire already at the top of the triangle, and add another 14 cm piece, then another 6 cm piece, and loop the wire around one previous point, then back through that 6 cm piece of wire. Keep adding 14 cm and 6 cm pieces until you’ve created the top diamond portion of the shape.
3. Add a 3.5 cm piece, a 4.5 cm piece, and another 3.5 cm piece. Loop the wire around the wire at the nearest joint, then down back through the 3.5 cm piece. Add another 4.5 cm piece, then a 3.5 cm piece, and repeat the process until you’ve created the bottom portion of the diamond. Wind the wire tightly around the nearest joint to secure it, then snip the wire and tuck the end inside of the nearest tube.
4. If you made this out of the brass tubing and you’re using it as a plant cover/table ornament as opposed to a wall hanging, you might want to reinforce the two bottom hexagons to make sure the gem keeps its shape. (Since the straws are lighter weight, this step probably isn’t necessary if you made the straw version.) Run a length of wire through the tubes that make up the circumference of each hexagon. Tuck the ends in as you did above.
Of course I couldn’t stop there. I’m working on some more projects with these shapes.
Check back soon to see what else I’ve got in store for these shapes!