Are you looking for a super easy, super quick holiday gift? Here's a good gift for anyone you know with long hair... or someone who knits.
I came up with this project last week after walking around all day with a DPN knitting needle stuck in my hair to hold it off my face. I've been known to hold back my hair with an assortment of odd items: pencils, paintbrushes, plastic forks and spoons, etc... Before things got too ridiculous, I decided to make something specifically for my hair.
Wooden beads or other small wooden shapes (I used these, these and these)
Dowels 3/16 inch /.5 cm diameter)
An electric drill plus 3/16 inch/.5 cm diameter drill bit (optional if your beads already have 3/16" holes)
Small saw (hack saw, carpentry saw, folding saw, etc...)
Sand paper (medium and fine grit)
Paint and paint brushes
White craft glue
Safety notice: always use a vise to protect your hands & fingers when using woodworking tools!
Step 1: My wooden beads and mushroom-shaped drawer pulls already had 3/16 inch/.5 cm holes, however, I needed to drill holes in the bases of the peg dolls. If you are using peg dolls for this project, secure them in a vise (and you might notice that I have lovely yellow vise jaw pads; these vise jaw pads are amazing for protecting wooden pieces from becoming dented and damaged in the vise).
Use a 3/16 inch/.5 cm drill bit to make holes in the bases of the peg dolls.
Step 2: Secure dowels in vise and use a small saw to cut them to size: 10 inches/25 cm for knitting needles and 6.25 inches/16 cm for hair-sticks. After they have been cut to size, create points on one end of each stick with a pencil sharpener. Use sandpaper to smooth the sticks and pointed ends.
Step 3: Paint your beads, dolls, drawer pulls, etc...
And add any small details you wish... (Note: This is where you can let your imagination run wild. I chose to paint faces on my beads, but you could paint stripes, solid colors, abstract designs, add glitter, etc... You could also paint the sticks!)
Step 4: Rub your sticks with beeswax polish, and if you painted your beads or dolls with watercolors, you can rub them with polish to brighten the paint, too. In case you have never made beeswax polish, here is the (very simple) recipe:
In a double boiler, heat a small amount of beeswax with some almond, jojoba or olive oil. The usual ratio is 1:3 (one unit beeswax to three units of other oil). Once the beeswax has melted and combined with the other oil, pour your polish into a small container (a throat lozenge tin or small mason jar works well) and allow to cool. You will only need tiny amounts of polish at a time and the polish will keep for at least 2 years. (Or you can buy beeswax polish here or here.)
To use the polish, put a small amount of the beeswax & oil mixture onto a paper towel and rub until there is no excess polish on the wood. If the surface you are polishing is painted, you will know you are done when very little paint pigment rubs off on a clean piece of towel.
Step 5: Insert the unsharpened ends of your sticks into the holes of your wooden pieces. My pieces fit so snugly that I did not need glue, however you can put a tiny drop of white craft glue inside each hole before inserting the ends of the dowels.
If the ends of your dowels are too large to fit inside the drilled holes, use sand paper to slightly decrease the diameter of the unsharpened ends.
A note about knitting needles: 3/16 inch/.5 cm diameter dowels correspond with 5 mm metric/European size and US knitting needle size 8.