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Fun projects

I'm looking for some fun projects to spend my time on for a low price. I would like it to have to do with metal or wood carving. Any ideas? Let me know.
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Posted 2012-03-21T14:16:28+0000  by Kellyjm011 Kellyjm011

Hello Kellyjm011,


Welcome to the community.


When I read your post my mind started running with all of the fun things that you could make.


I’m one of those people that every chance I get I spend time in my shop just playing. So needless to say I’ve came up with a lot of cool things just by resourcing what I have laying around. I’ve used glass, plexiglass, wood, leather and aluminum.


One of the easiest metal projects that I like to make is a metal punch design on either sheet metal or an aluminum can that has been cut open and laid flat.


First you will need a scrap piece of wood that is a little larger that the metal piece you want to make. Then cut your metal to the size. I normally cut it a little bit bigger than what I actual need that way I can nail it to the board so it doesn’t move while I’m making the design.


Either draw your design onto the metal or print your design to the actual size that you want it to be and then align it to the metal and nail it to the board. Make sure you don’t hammer the nail in all the way since you are going to need to remove them later.


Now all you have to do is create holes thru the metal in the shape of your design. I normally use a 10d 3” nail so that it’s easier to hold onto when you hit it with the hammer. It doesn’t really matter what size nail you use I just prefer using a little bigger one so that I don’t hit my fingers. On the light weight stuff like aluminum cans I use a scratch awl instead of a nail.


Hold the nail firmly and hit it with a hammer just hard enough so that only the point of the nail barely goes thru to the other side. It looks the best if you do this every ¼” till you have completed the entire design.


**Be careful when you take it off the board. The back will be very sharp where the nail poked thru.**


Take the nails out that were holding it in place and there you have a handmade metal punch design.


You can make it into many different things. Like a framed piece of art, candle holder, or a Christmas tree ornament. Let your imagination run wild and be creative.


The other favorite metal project of mine is making personalized washer key chains and necklaces. For this project you will need a set of letter punches. You can pick a set up for as little as $10.


This project is perfect for special occasions and/or just because. It is very inexpensive to make and people love then because they’re personalized.


I start out with 2 different size washers so that they overlap when you put them on a ribbon or key chain.


Choose the letters that you’re going to need and then place the washer on a scrap piece of wood. Place the stamp on the washer and hit it with a hammer. Make sure and hit it pretty hard the first time since it’s almost impossible to line it back up again. I speak from experience. Use a permanent marker and go over the letters then quickly wipe off the excess with a damp towel. This will make the letters more visible.


**I wanted to add a little trick that I figured out last night while I was making some of these. In order to get all of the permanent marker off all you have to do is go over it with a dry erase marker and then you can easily wipe it off. It works great. Even if the ink is dry.** 


Don’t worry you will mess up a few time before you get the hang of it. I’ve been making them for a long time and I still mess up and not hit it hard enough or not straight on so the letter is only half.:smileymad: So make sure and purchase a box of washers instead of the loose pieces.


Once you've completed stamping it’s time to assemble them.:smileyvery-happy:


They look really good if you just string a ribbon thru them and then take both ends of the ribbon thread them thru a bead and then tie the ends together to make it into a necklace. Or to make them into a key chain all you have to do is put them on a large split ring or jump ring and then add another split ring to that for your keys.


You will have a blast coming up with supportive words or even inside jokes with your friends.


I will take pictures of some of my projects and post them so that you can see them. I’m a believer that a picture is worth a thousand words.

  Washer Necklace.jpgWasher Necklace 2.jpgWasher Keychains.jpg

Now as far as wood goes I would have to say that the sky is the limit. I use a Dremel a lot. Here is a link to a picture frame that I etched with a Dremel and another one to a pumpkin carving project. This is just a couple of examples that you can do with a Dremel.


Be creative and just about anything you can dream up you can make out of wood if you just try.


I’m sure other community members will post their ideas and I will keep adding projects to this thread as I think of them so keep checking back to see what other exciting project the community has for you.


Let me know if you have any other questions. I would love to help.

Posted 2012-03-21T21:30:59+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

"A picture is worth a thousand words..."


California State University, Fullerton:

The quotation is actually phony. The "Chinese" quotation was fabricated by an advertising executive representing a baking soda company. The executive assumed that consumers would be compelled to buy a product that had the weight of Chinese philosphy behind it. A young boy's smile is equal to many words explaining the benefits of the product. The ad was most often seen as a streetcar card in which customers did not have much time to read ad copy.



The advertisement showed the quotation in Chinese. Over the years it has been mistranslated. The correct translation, "A picture's meaning can express ten thousand words."


Just thought I'd toss in an added tidbit that comes with the price of the course...

Posted 2012-03-21T22:44:31+0000  by Paul
Thank you so much shecandoit22! I am really interested in the key chain/ necklace project. Please when you can post the photo you were talking about. And if there is anymore ideas it would be great if you could post them. I will head to my HomeDepot by me ASAP to get on that project! Thanks again and keep the ideas coming!
Posted 2012-03-22T00:35:58+0000  by Kellyjm011
I just have 2 questions about the necklace project: 1. Why would you use washers if they have a hole in the middle
2. Can you explain the perminate marker part a little more! Thanks you have been such a help shecandoit22!!!!
Posted 2012-03-22T01:15:14+0000  by Kellyjm011
1. The hole allows the ribbon or cord to be threaded through or knotted. Without the hole in the middle, you'd be trying to drill a hole in a piece of metal to allow a ribbon or cord to the threaded or knotted. 2. By putting the marker on and then immediately wiping it off the top, flat surface, you're allowing the depressions from your stamping to be darkened by the ink from the pen. You could do the same thing with something like Rust-Oleum paint. The drying time would just be longer.
Posted 2012-03-22T01:24:05+0000  by Paul
No I understand that the hole is for the ribbon but if it is straight in the middle, where do u stamp?
Posted 2012-03-22T02:52:47+0000  by Kellyjm011
While at the store in the fasteners aisle, look at the various sizes of washer. Many have broad flat surfaces, such as a fender washer. Just have to size your stamps accordingly.
Posted 2012-03-22T16:17:12+0000  by Paul

Howdy Kellyjm011,


I thought'd add to the ideas you already recieved. I made this wood carving for my Mother. Yes, it's made to look like her cat.


The whiskers are just bent finishing nails...the rest is just acrylic paint on wood.


                  kat4Mom (300x225).jpg


Happy Hobbying,


Posted 2012-03-22T19:20:00+0000  by Dave_HD_OC

I can remember as a kid, using my father's band saw to cut out a shape of a teddy bear, its arms and its legs. I then bored two holes through the body and through each of the legs and arms and put it all together with dowels. I don't have any pictures of it as it was years ago and I think I gave it away to a girlfriend.


While not illustrated as such, I think I used 2x material for the body and 1x material for the legs. If you don't have a bandsaw, just use a jig saw.


Here's a very rough and quick drawing to illustrate what years of time forbid:


You can embellish it with carvings, paint, whatever your imagination dreams up.

Posted 2012-03-23T02:05:38+0000  by Paul

Hello again Kellyjm011,


I finally added a few pictures to the original post. Sorry it took a few days.


** I also wanted to mention a new trick that I used this time around. Once you have filled in all of the letters with permanent marker just go over it with a dry erase marker and then wipe it off. It will get all of the unwanted marker off very easily.**


Here are a couple of other pictures to show you.


     Washer with and without Black.jpg

 Washer Love Keychain.jpg Washer Necklace 2.jpg Washer Western.jpg


These are a couple of the things I made last week. It shows you a couple of different ways to make the key chains. One is with ribbon and the other is with leather. Obviously the leather would last longer but the ribbon looks pretty.


I hope this gives you all of the information that you need to make your your very own washer jeweler. Once you have made a few post some pictures so we can all admire your work. :smileysurprised:


Let me know if you have any other questions. I would love to help.

Posted 2012-03-30T16:02:19+0000  by Christine_HD_OC
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