Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gumball Machine Baskets, Part 1

What are gumball machine baskets? I don't know if our overseas friends have gumball machines. These machines are in stores, usually by the door, so the kids can ask for something before you take them home. They take coins, in my day they took pennies and nickels; the top of the machine is glass showing off the little trinkets inside. The trinkets sometimes come in small containers; we are using the containers as a form. Gumball machine? They used to dispense gum in colorful round balls for pennies.

The big basket is one that I bought in the Arthur/Arcola area in Illinois. There is a large population of Amish in the area and lots of fun stuff to look at and buy. I fell in love with this basket and bought it.

I made a miniature of it using wood veneer steamed and bent over a form. It was a long and tedious project. This little basket is in the "Ethan Allen Room Box" blog date: April 10, 2010.
That was a long time ago. My mind was wandering recently and I came up with an easier way to make this style of basket. Paper. . . . the miniaturist's best friend. If you think hard enough you can do just about anything with paper.

The little container is just a hair over one inch tall and 1 1/16 inch in diameter at the top. To make the container into our mould we need to sand the bottom until we have a hole half inch in diameter.

Set the container onto sandpaper and trying to keep it level sand a few strokes and turn the container and sand a few strokes more. Keep turning the container, this helps in keeping the finished hole level with the top.

This hole that we are making is the flat bottom we need.

I have given a spokes diagram at the top of the blog. I have printed it out from a trial run on the blog and it's printing just a bit larger than 2 1/2 inches, that's fine. If yours is printing a different size, load it into a program that you can resize in. For this container we need the spokes to be 2 1/2 inches in diameter, or very close.
Copy and paste the spokes, 6 to a page. Print onto card stock.

For one basket you will need to cut out 2 spokes.

Cut some 1/8 inch wide strips from the card stock, too. These will be for rims, banding and a handle.

I stained the spokes and strips.

Let these dry.

*****A note about size. It's great that we have such a wonderful machine as the computer and printer. If you find another container a different size you can resize the spokes to fit it and make another size basket.******

On to Part 2.