Sunday, 24 February 2013

Scrabble & Penny Spheres

These are just a couple of simple little projects that I wanted to try. Not many supplies required and very inexpensive.

I think the finished products turned out pretty good and are still fun and a little quirky, kind of like me!
The first one I did was the Scrabble Tile Sphere and while it was only a little bit difficult, 
it was also a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be. Easy doesn't always mean fast.

I started with a  5" glass ball that I picked up from my local HomeSense store. 
I glued the scrabble tiles on with E-600 industrial strength glue (very smelly but very strong).
Use in a well ventilated area.

I placed the letters spelling out names of my family and words like love, laugh, travel etc. To fill in the spaces between the words I used some wooden Sudoku tiles that I found at my local thrift store. These were perfect because they are almost the same size as the scrabble tiles and the numbers are red on one side. So by placing the numbers in-between the words with the red side up you could still easily read the words.

Now, here is where the problems started. 
1) I had to wait for the glue to dry after each word because the tiles would slide out of place while waiting for the glue to set. 
2) Some of the gaps between the tiles were larger than I liked. Too much of the glass underneath was showing through. Perhaps a larger sphere wouldn't have this problem. 
Too late now! So what to do? 
I could have tried grout or something similar to fill the gaps but I wasn't sure how that would affect the tiles seeing as they are wood. I didn't want to chance it. So I ended up cutting out the gap shapes from 1/8" plywood (not an easy thing to do with such tiny shapes)and glued them in after the tiles had dried. The plywood was a bit lighter color than the tiles but you have to call it a day at some point.    

I liked the end result so I wanted to do another one but something different. That lead to .....

The Penny Sphere
Here in Canada we have just eliminated the penny from our currency. I had been saving them and now I have a few dollars worth. I wanted to somehow make something creative with this part of our history. This sphere project was the perfect canvas. And it had to be easier than the tiles! It was in fact much easier and faster to make as well. 
The sphere I used was approx. 5" in diameter and it took 148 pennies to cover it.
If you ever plan on making one I would just suggest that you do it in concentric circles.
 Start with a single penny, then glue a circle of pennies around it. Making sure the pennies are touching the ones on each side of it and also the original penny (I used 6 pennies for this). Let it dry and do the next row (mine had 12).  By letting the glue dry after each row, the new row (or circle) can rest against the previous one and not slide around while you wait for it to dry. My rows worked out like this 1 - 6 -12 - 16 - 19 - 21 - 21 - 19 - 16 - 11 - 5 - 1. As you can see one side had to be spaced a little farther apart. Because this glue doesn't set up right away you have the time to adjust the spacing if necessary. 
I alternated between three rows of shiny pennies and three rows of dull pennies. This worked out nice and even and added a bit of interest. I was able to end it with a special centennial penny on the bottom.
Depending on the size of the spheres, you could use dimes, quarters, etc. 
Hmm..... I wonder if I can find anymore that need decorating.....

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