Mostly Nice Paint Chip Christmas Nautilus




Introduction: Mostly Nice Paint Chip Christmas Nautilus

Like everyone else, it would seem, I noticed these ornaments dangling around in Whole Foods and in  my office lobby.   And I instantly thought:  Aha!  Something I can do with my paint chip collection.

So, I set about it....

Step 1: Materials

Every time I visit the hardware store, which is a lot, I try to make a point to pick up a few paint chip samples.  Since I am a frequent customer and always make a purchase, I don't feel excessively guilty about taking advantage of a customary corporate kindness such as these.  I imagine they are somewhat costly to make as they have to reproduce the colors with exacting precision.  So I don't take too many and always make a purchase.

That's why this Instructable is categorized as mostly nice, but also slightly naughty.

Please don't run out and ransack the paint counter, not that you would of course, but some might feel empowered to do so by the mere fact that they are offered for free and here you are, as I am, presented with a use for them.... at long last...

20 or so paint chip samples
a drill with a fine bit
a small clamp
cutting board or scissors
bamboo skewers
a length of thread
xacto knife
maybe some long  nosed pliers

Step 2: Cut the Strips Up

Cut the strips into 1/2" by 4.5" strips.   I found that it takes about 20 half inch strips to go all the way around the diameter of the ornament with these dimensions.

Arrange them in the order you want them to appear on the surface...

Step 3: Drill the First Set of Holes

Align one long end of the strips and clamp them together.  Wrap a little piece of cardboard around it before you clamp it to protect it from getting an impression from the clamp.

Drill a small hole (smaller than the diameter of the bamboo skewer).

Step 4: Drill the Second Set of Holes So They Stagger Slightly

In order for the strips to curve around each other as they make their way around the shape without buckling or blocking one another the holes on the other end must move progressively closer to the end of the strip. 

To accomplish this, bend the strips around as shown before reclamping the other end.

Once clamped, drill a small hole through as illustrated in the photos.

Step 5: Thread the Strips on the Skewer in Order

Load up all the strips onto the skewer through the first hole.  Then, starting with the innermost strip, poke the skewer into remaining hole.  Take the next closest strip and repeat until complete.  With half inch strips, it took about 20 strips to go all the way around with minimum gaps exposed between them..

The video explains it best.

Step 6: Cut Off the Pointy Bit

Using the xacto knife, cut away the pointy bit so it isn't sharp.

Lay the skewer along the edge of some wood, then roll the blade of the xacto along it perpendicularly, as illustrated in the video.

After a few turns, you can just break the pointy part off

Step 7: Glue the End

Add a small bit of glue to each end to keep the strips from sliding off

Step 8: Attach Some Thread

Using the same technique as for removing the pointy bit, cut a groove into the skewer as illustrated in the video.

Then tie some string to the skewer so it falls into the groove, then tighten it to hold it.

Step 9: Alternative Use: Gift Wrap

Another option is to just squash them down in the middle, they make fairly good looking bows for giftwrapping...

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    7 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Ive got about 10,000 of these....


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Cool. What are you going to do with them?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well, up until now i never really thought of them, but these are an awesome application!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Perfect ornaments for all the graphic designers I know. :D Very pretty.