This colorful bouncing garden flower is something that has been in the old noggin for about a year now. Last year we gathered the scraps and supplies to make it, but never quite got around to doing it. In fact, it actually started out as an idea for a windmill, but I had some problems getting the roller bearings to work how I wanted them to, so it became a bouncing flower instead. We still dig it though.
Here is a short video that shows a bit more of each step than we can show in just images:
If you plan to make it yourself here is what you'll need:
- Thin sheet metal for the petals/leaves (we used the housings from some old florescent lights)
- Decently thick wire (something you can bend, but will hold its shape)
- Some kind of pipe (we used some conduit - not ideal for welding, but it worked)
- A bolt or rod
- Spray paint
Step 1: Making the Petals
To make the petals, we started out by drawing on the petal shape that we wanted. We didn't get what we wanted the first time, so we drew another over top of it. Which is okay, because it will get painted later. Each petal was rough cut using a pair of tin snips. It took a little work. We made six total.
To make them look a little nicer and to get rid of the rough, sharp edges, we sanded each petal's edge on the disc sander. A file or sanding block would have worked as well.
Step 2: Center and Stems
While we were making the petals, we also cut out a round disc from the same metal. We also drilled a hole in the center. This will come into play later when we attach it to the pole.
The stems are connected to the center disc. Each stem is made from a piece of bendable metal wire. The metal we used came from an old industrial drop-ceiling. It is about 1.5 times thicker than a wire coat hanger. Each of these was attached in somewhat symmetrical pattern around the center disc. We used a welder to attach ours. If you don't have a welder, you might need to get creative. Perhaps a strong epoxy would work.
Step 3: Bending the Stems
As you can see here, the stems are easily bent and will hold their shape. We got crazy with ours and bent them all different ways.
Step 4: Bending the Petals
We also shaped the petals. To do this we laid each one over a spray paint can and applied some decent pressure. This gave the petal a convex shape. The we just grabbed each end and gave it a slight twist.
Step 5: Attaching the Petals to the Stems
We attached each petal to an individual stem using the welder. We made sure to add quite a few tack welds so that it would stay put when it is windy.
Step 6: Attaching the Bolt or Rod
A bolt was added through the hole that was made in the center disc. It was tack welded in a few places so it would sit firm without an movement.
Step 7: Attaching the Flower to the Pole
We had already made a pole out of metal conduit. It was about 7 foot tall and resembled a standard shepherd's hook base, without the hook at the top. The best way to describe it would be that it is in the shape of a lower case (h). This gives you a place to step the post into the ground.
To attach the flower, we just drilled a hole through the top of that pole, stuck the bolt through and then welded a washer onto the back side. We also used a metal cut-off wheel to cut the excess bolt off that was sticking out the back. You could also use a hacksaw.
Step 8: Painting the Flower
Once everything was welded and we were satisfied, we painted the entire flower and pole. The whole thing received a base coat of light green. Then we painted each petal a different color, either red, yellow or blue. The center was painted yellow as well.
Step 9: Installing the Flower
As you can see here, we were able to step the pole into the ground fairly easy. It stands straight up and holds up really well in the wind.
Step 10: All Done!
That's pretty much it. We've had it outside now for a bit and it has been through some pretty windy conditions and a few storms. It still stands strong, and wow, does it like to bounce in the wind. It also bounces some when rain hits it.
I hope that you found this project inspiring and that it will get the wheels turning for you to make something as well. Thanks for checking it out.
You can also find more of our project ideas on our website waylightcreations.com
Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest