Can’t get enough of that amazing yard art? Check out this star shaped wind twister I made with drinking straws, wire and tape! Yep I’m coming at you again with another wild and crazy project idea…This one was a “spur of the moment” kind of thing.
I love yard art, and unfortunately it’s still too early to be thinking about it. The helix-spiral windspinner I made last spring is just the beginning 🙂 Decorations for the backward, porch and garden are the most epic fun!
Someone I knew used to have the coolest looking optical illusion design of windspinner and I wanted one like that in the worst way, but had no idea how to put it together.
Hard to describe it as you don’t see anything like this at craft shows. It looked like a hexagon, Star of David, triangular something or other. Yep, that cool and unique.
Well one day (well, it was Friday actually) and I just ran into a how-to by accident when looking up other ideas. (Tell me I’m not the only one who does this, haha)
This crafty garden blogger from Canada deserves the credit for this how-to post on how to make this awesome opt illusion design out of PVC tubes and elbows that helped me out.
I have never worked with PVC, but it’s on the to-do list. But I was afraid I might lose the article so I decided to put together a prototype lite version using very basic materials: drinking straws -the kind with the flex neck -about a yard of 12 gauge wire and some color type masking (not washi) tape.
I kind of blundered through it the first time and did not do so well. Since this thingy kind of has all these triangles making up the design, my approach was to take each straw and bend it at the flex-neck point to form the corner and to compensate for the lack of length on the flexed side I would take another straw and pinch it at the end and attempt to thread it through the open end of the flexed opening.
Straws are great to have in your crafting arsenal but in and of themselves they are not that strong. To strengthen them, I came across some wire by the yard and threaded it through the bent straws to give it some stability. However my resulting design looked like, well, crap.
(Sorry I did not take pictures of the process in action; I was not thinking that far -just trying to figure it out!)
Tried again. This is why I write my posts with step by step approaches, because if you think you may have missed a step you can always go back and see what part got left out. I studied that post again and this time more carefully.
So…I got my hands on some more straws. I did something a little differently this time. I cut off the straws just past the flex-necks (I had 12 in all) making sure they would all be equal in length.
Then I threaded the wire through the straws, two at a time, I let the triangular sides be formed by bending the corners out of the wire. And what do you know, it worked:) It turned out I needed two strands of wire because this design is kind of symmetrical and I needed to make 2 main pieces and the second one is pretty much identical except that I had to flip it over and secure it to the complementing piece by twisting the loose ends together.
What would strengthen my design just a little bit more? More straws. I doubled them so it would be a little stronger. Then I secured the sides with colorful masking tape. Then built up with the tape, adding a pretty floral tape layer.
To hang up my final optical illusion wind twister I used a length of fishing line wrapped around the top triangle apex. Voila! Criticism accepted for looking a little amateurish as this is a prototype for the real thing.
This model will serve me well by the time I manage to get a wood or PVC pipe version going.
Rule number one: Never have a “one and done” attitude towards crafting. If you do, you won’t get into the groove of pure enjoyment and it will seem like just getting something out of the way. Don’t do that; don’t be afraid to replicate what you’ve done with different colors, different materials, and different approaches.
It may seem like another take on “practice makes perfect” but try it and you’ll see what I mean.
I’m showing pictures of each angle as this thing has like, five different designs as it moves, this was a normal day with light breezes so not hard to capture each movement. I wish I had some real outdoor expanse so I could have more yard art opportunities, but that’s OK. Even if you have nothing but a small balcony you still have space for fun things like windchimes and windtwisters.
Update: It’s now 2 years later (February 2020) and this baby is STILL holding up – it did get blown off the gutter from where it was hanging due to some bad weather and got a tad “smooshed” but because I used a wire foundation I was able to nudge it back into place.
Hope you enjoy and if you have any stories on outside yard art ideas I would enjoy hearing them!