Once I got started making himmeli-inspired shapes, I couldn’t stop. The only thing that stopped me from making brass versions of the other straw prototypes I came up with was that my hands were sore from cutting too many brass tubes. But this morning it occurred to me that a cutting wheel on a Dremel might do that job just fine, so now I’m curious to try that out. Anyone done it? If it works, I’ll probably have to make some more shapes. But in the meantime, between this post and last week’s gem shape, I’ve put together tutorials for three unique shapes. Use them as well decor, plant cages, mobiles, or just tabletop sculptures.
As with the previous tutorial, I used the straw versions for the tutorials but photographed the ones made with brass tubing for the fancy shots. If you don’t want to use the brass tubing but want a similar look, metallic spray paint might be your best bet.
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.
For the straw version:
1. Measure, mark, and cut the straws or brass tubing. A gold sharpie works 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, 7 cm, and 5 cm.
2. String a 14 cm piece, two 7 cm pieces, and then another 14 cm piece onto a length of wire about 2 feet long. Repeat, until you’ve strung all of the 14 cm and all of the 7 cm pieces of straw or tubing. (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.)
3. Bend the wire so that you have three diamond shapes made up of the 14 cm and 7 cm pieces. Twist the wire together at the top point of the diamonds.
4. Grab the 5 cm pieces and another length of wire, and string the 5 cm pieces between the side points of the diamond, twisting the wire around the points to secure it. When you’ve finished, thread the wire down through one of the 7 cm pieces to the bottom point of the shape, and secure the straws/tubes together by looping and twisting the wire.
5. Secure and hide any loose ends of wire by threading it back into the tubes.
Hang with fishing wire or picture hooks.
For the last shape, the one on the bottom in the photo above, I’m not going to do a full stringing diagram because it’s pretty easy to figure out. But I will share the measurements I used: I cut 12 pieces 10 cm each, and 6 that are 6 cm each.