rustic recycling

Memo to all my friends and cousins: that is enough babies for now, okay?  The number of births in my social circle has been steadily climbing this year.  I posted last week about flowers for a friend’s new little girl, and today I’ll show you what I made for another friend who welcomed a little boy.  (Fun fact: both friends had the same due date, but the babies were born five days apart.)

#silver bowl with twine pears & vase arrangement

The mommy of the boy collects pears, so with this as inspiration, I set about crafting a few weeks before Ben was scheduled to enter the world.  Here’s the way I gave them to her–in a silver dish with slightly scalloped edges.  But they didn’t always look so pretty….

#silver bowl with twine pears

They actually began as burned-out lightbulbs.  I happened to have five, which is the number of people in the family now that Ben has arrived. That just made this craft seem more “meant to be” than ever.  Other supplies needed for this project: hot glue gun, extra glue sticks (I think I used about one per pear), twine or jute, and some sort of stems.

twine pears project supplies

Here’s the twine I used.  When I saw that there were 147 feet on this roll, I thought there was no way I’d need more than one roll.  In fact, I thought I’d have to come up with other creative uses for it since there would obviously be so much left over.  But actually…it looks like I used upward of 25 feet of twine per pear.  Is that crazy or what?  When I guesstimated I thought I’d use maybe 5 feet.  Oh, well; at least I didn’t run out!

gardening twine

Back to the stems for a second: I took mine off of some apples we had in our fruit bowl.  Nicole, whose project inspired mine, used twigs snapped off of a wreath in her house.  Be resourceful!  There’s no wrong solution.

apple stems

I glued on my stems right away so I could wrap around them, and I built up a glue mound at the base of each one so it would be easier to “taper” the twine toward the top.  Hopefully the glue mounds also add durability, but that remains to be seen after the finished product spends some time in close proximity to young children.  (Yes, I warned their mother that inside the twine is glass.)

lightbulbs supported on sections of toilet paper roll

I cut a toilet paper tube into sections so I had resting places for my pears in various stages of glue-drying.  They were pretty handy for keeping the pears in place.  Before I thought of using the holders the pears were rolling all over my desk, which apparently isn’t level.  I completed one pear at a time, starting at the bottom and working my way to the top.

beginning to wrap twine from bottom of bulb

Here’s what the bottom looked like totally wrapped in twine.

bottom fully wrapped

I decided for looks and safety I wanted two layers of twine, so I tried going bottom-to-top then trailing one long piece to the bottom to go bottom-to-top again, but I abandoned that method after one pear.  The curvy middle of the bulb was the most difficult to wrap, so I quickly learned that it was the best place to start.  I wrapped one line at the point where the skinny end of the bulb just started to flare wider, and I dotted glue every half inch or so, wrapping very tightly and sort of slowly.  (I’m a bit on the impatient side for a crafter.)

meeting in the middle

When I reached the bottom I wrapped the tightest circle I could to hide the glass, then immediately built up another layer on top of it and wrapped up to the middle again.  So the bottom and middle had two layers while the top had none.  I passed the starting place and wrapped to the top, then went around the stem a few times before wrapping my way back down to the middle.  That’s probably why it took so much twine!  But all the glass was hidden and I thought the extra layer resulted in a more pear-like and less bulb-like shape.  Or maybe I convinced myself of it so I’d feel better about all the wrapping.

stem detail

Here’s one finished little guy.

one pear--done

And a little heap of ’em.

five pears in irregular white bowl

And, because I can’t resist pretending like I live in HGTV magazine, here’s a little heap of ’em styled with a vase of white alstroemeria and a patterned pillow in the background.  Doesn’t the end result make you want to hunch over a table specked with hemp fibers, burning your fingers on melted glue and redeeming lightbulbs from what once seemed a certain doom?  No?  Well, see how you feel about it next time a bulb burns out.  Maybe the idea will grow on you.

five pears in white bowl with vase of white alstroemeria


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  1. Shelly

     /  October 29, 2012

    I think my jaw actually dropped when I saw that they were lightbulbs. So neat!

  2. Janene

     /  October 29, 2012

    Love. Love. I need to try this.

  3. Very thoughtful of her preferences; good listening again!


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