Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First Woodworking Endeavor: A Bead Tree!

Until yesterday, the Dremel Trio I wanted for so long had sadly been sitting in the basement since Christmas, waiting for me to buy lumber, then waiting for me to figure out why I was struggling so much with cutting. I've been anxious to get to work, but wondered if I was a woodworking failure. When I saw one of my handy and incredibly nice neighbors outside the other day, I talked with him about my struggles and he agreed to stop by and help me out. Thankfully he found that the issue wasn't with me, but a bit that needed adjusting. As soon as he left, I got right to work and refused to sleep until it was completed last night. I'm am amateur for sure, but I am really excited to share this first project with all of you!

Ta-da! I should mention that I was inspired to make this toy after seeing a photo of one on a post from Desert Shadows Montessori Toddler's blog many months ago.

I didn't take many photos, but here's bit of a run-down on the process. After a little practice on some scrap wood, I excitedly got to work.

This was the main frame of the bead tree before sanding, drilling holes and painting. I didn't think that I was going to paint the tree until I already had all six dowels glued in place and realized how many flaws I wanted to cover. This made painting interesting! I only wish that I had taken a photo of my husband I and painting it last night. He painted the dowels white, I did the base in blue and we were constantly getting paint on each other's pieces. It was quite an interesting time! I then glued it to an unfinished tray that I bought at a craft store for stability and to store the wooden beads. I like how it turned out functionally. Aesthetically it isn't exactly perfect, but I'm okay with that. I learned so much from this first project and will be able to carry that knowledge into the next!

Tyler was interested in this immediately. It took him a little bit to learn to turn the beads to find the holes at first, but he's catching on fast and seems to really enjoy this activity. 

As he gets a little older I may color each dowel to match the beads or perhaps paint patterns for him to copy or he can make his own. I think this will be a good toy for him to practice fine motor control as well as color and pattern recognition for years to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment