Probably one of the hardest parts of building my stocking holders is finished.
I had to figure out a way to cut “sides” into wood spheres to give the balls flat sides for the top and bottom. Let me tell you, that required some major creativity and patience. And I wasn’t entirely precise, because that is hard to do!
Then, I had to drill holes into those new flat sections so I could put a small dowel piece in between the balls so that when I go to glue all of this together, it has some stability and something to hold on to. Again, this wasn’t all that easy, especially that top ball that is still rounded on the top.
I have to carefully position a couple of these, or my little snowman is going to look like it is about to topple over (I did mention it wasn’t precise). Hubby said that no snowman is ever perfectly straight, so I’m being true to reality. I’m just going to go with it because it all still works.
The next part of this is to build the bottom box. I got some steel jeweler’s bench blocks to give the base of these some significant weight. Between that and the weight of the wood (all of those balls are solid wood), it should be heavy enough to hold full stockings. Hopefully. I’ll be building a wood box that fits around the bench block and the snowman will be bolted to the top of that box.
Box building is on my to do list for today. Hopefully I can get that part done because I have a whole lot of painting to do on these. Each one is going to be painted similarly, but with subtle differences that personalize them for each of us. They are also going to have their own color hats.
This was the prototype that I made to develop the pattern I’d need. I’ve made a few tweaks, but the hats will mostly look like this. This is the long tail version, but the guys both chose a shorter, traditional hat with a ball on top for theirs, so there are 2 different styles.
I’m using embroidery floss to crochet these, which is a joy, let me tell you. I adore splitting threads on every other stitch! But, again, it works and looks amazing!
I chose embroidery floss because of the color options that I couldn’t find in anything else in that small of a thread or yarn. And of course, because I’m such a pain to myself, even just using that floss as purchased wasn’t enough for a couple of these because I couldn’t get the exact color I wanted (no, I’m not picky, why do you ask?) I got the brilliant idea to “blend” two colors. That meant unraveling and splitting two different spools of floss and combining them into a new thread.
Talk about a massive headache! The first one I tested took forever and I kept having to stop and deal with tangles. I did finally figure out a process that works relatively well and doesn’t take that long. Thankfully each string of floss has 6 threads in it and I was able to get two spools of the new color by combining the 2 different colors and they had the same balance of color between them.
So far, I have 2 and a half of these crocheted. I need to put the white trim on the third and all need their little puff balls attached (that I don’t have yet). I’ll also be making matching scarves to go with the hats, but I didn’t want to test that out until I had a full snowman to fit it to.
When I first got the materials for these, I goofed and ordered a ball that was WAY too big for the base. They obviously wouldn’t work for this project, but it didn’t take me long to plan out 2 potential projects using them. One I may not do this year, but the other, I want to make at least one.
That will be a large ornament with the hanger top and all. I’d planned on doing that as a test for the whole process to build these snowmen, but I ended up not having the right size drill bit to work with the dowel I bought to be the top. As soon as these stocking holders are done and I have time to look, I’ll get that bit and work on the ornaments.
The other idea requires me getting a lot more materials and I really am trying not to shock the bank account too much. I thought it would be fun to try and build a bigger snowman with that larger ball being the center and the base being a glass bowl that I can make look like a snow globe. But, that is for a much future project.
I’d really, REALLY like it if my brain would just shut up for a while. I absolutely do NOT need any more creative ideas right now.