This is a super-duper project for all levels of craft-ability, and easily adaptable for all sorts of occasions and themes. I made these ones for a Manitoba Canola Growers event and gave them a “global” theme, but you could do whatever strikes your fancy or suits your decor. How about a set of festive holders to display Christmas cards? Or tiny ones for place cards, buffet signs or price tags?
Supplies and Tools Needed:
wooden blocks (available at your local craft store OR make your own)
wood stain or paint
gluestick, thick marker or dowel (to wrap your wire around)
E-6000 glue (optional)
small round- or needle-nose pliers
drill with 1/16 bit
Step 1: Sand, then paint or stain your wooden blocks. I used a water-based, brush-on/wipe-off pickling stain in a neutral shade called “mushroom.”
Step 2: Cut or punch squares just slightly smaller than your blocks. Make sure to cut 5 per block, plus several extras to account for duds (squares with awkward designs or flaws.)
Step 3: Working with one side at a time, brush on a coat of Mod Podge. Position a square of paper over the Mod Podge and press down lightly. (You have a few seconds to wiggle your paper into position.) Once the glue starts to set up, press the edges down firmly and smooth the surface of the paper. Repeat for all 4 sides. Using a small hand-punch, punch a hole in the center of the fifth square before applying it to the top of the block. Let dry.
Step 4: Brush each side with a light coat of Mod Podge. Optional: sand block lightly with fine sandpaper to distress edges of paper before coating with Mod Podge. Once first coat is dry, sand lightly, then apply a second coat of Mod Podge. Let dry.
Step 5: Cut wire to length. (I found that 10″ was just about right to allow for the coil at the top, but you may want to go a little shorter. If you’re making a few to group together, it’s nice to vary the heights.)
Straighten out the wire. Using pliers, form a small loop at one end. Holding the looped end, wrap the wire around a gluestick or marker THREE times to form a tight coil, without crossing.
Using your pliers, give the wire a little twist at the looped end so it lays flat/follows the direction of the coil. Holding the coiled end, use your pliers to bend the tail of the wire to a 90° angle (where it meets the coil.)
Step 6: Using a very fine drill bit (1/16), drill a hole in the top of the block. Do not drill all the way to the bottom. If it wiggles too much or falls out easily, add a small dab of E-6000 glue before inserting.)
Step 7: Place a photo or card in the coil and enjoy your fabulous new desk or shelf accessory.