Bell shaker – with added bling!

My two boys are like little squirrels and after every walk they come home with pocketfuls of natural treasures. As a consequence I keep finding little stashes of sticks, pine cones, feathers, stones, soil and acorn cups around the house…and in the washing machine!

Bell shaker

From their stash I ‘borrowed’ a stick and some acorn cups to make this cool shaker…I’m developing a soft spot for handmade instruments!!

Bell shaker

The idea comes from a wonderful bottletop shaker I saw on the web.

Bell shaker

They are very easy to make and you only need a few basic tools.

Bell shaker

♥ First you need to find yourself a bit of fallen branch with a ‘y’ shape bit in it! I took some secateurs (pruning shears) on our walk with us so I could hack the branch up ‘on-site’! Make sure you stamp on it a bit to check it’s not rotten.
♥ When you get home, grab a saw and chop the ends off neatly.
♥ If your stick has beautiful bark then all well and good. My stick was a bit green and slimy(!) so I removed the bark and my son helped me to give it a good sand down.
♥ Drill two small holes in the end of the stick to thread your fishing wire into.

Bell shaker

I used some bells, acorn cup and wooden beads to thread onto the fishing wire. I also put some gold leaf inside the acorn cups because it looks soooo lovely (remember my unfinished bracelet post!!)

Bell shaker

If you don’t have bells handy then you can use bottle tops (hammered flat)….or old keys would work a treat. You could also decorate the wood. Later on you can turn the instrument into a catapult – I’m not quite ready for smashed windows yet though!

Just remember full supervision for those under three because of the little bits.



17 Comments Leave yours

  1. These are something else- seriously! J’adore!!!

  2. Kate #

    Very kind of you anenthusiast – thanks for the write up on your blog also…love the piccy of you dancing through the woods – made me smile… :)

  3. This is really beautiful! Looks so fun for kids, but it’s also really artistic – love it!

  4. You have no idea what sort of restraint it requires to NOT reach through my screen here and shake the bajeezers out of that thing.
    PS: Love the gold lined caps. Lovely touch!

  5. Kate #

    Thanks peaches…I am an avid reader of your blog and know we feel the same way about gold leaf!! I just love the fact you can buy real gold…for not very much money…and then smother all your possessions in it – haha.

  6. This is completely lovely. I can’t stop looking at the shining gold next to the soft brown of the wood. Where or where is that perfect stick from? How wonderful to think about nature being turned into a musical melody. It seems to make good sense to me! Okay, that’s enough….all the best, a

  7. Beautiful! and beautifully shot! just recently discovered your site and it’s all just well… beautiful! keep up the great work

  8. Beautiful! How do you make the holes in the acorn tops without breaking them to bits?

  9. Kate #

    Thanks Ariana and Gogs. Hey Ariana…I found my perfect stick in the local park….an old tree had fallen down during winter….loved your maple syrup post btw…makes my mouth water thinking about it! :)

    Erica…I just pushed a needle through. Easy and no breakages.. x

  10. Jen #

    The gold is striking in the acorns! Lovely, indeed!

  11. VERY creative! I love it! I would love to feature this on my blog in honor of earth day!

  12. Another inspirational creation that is being added to my Must Make list. SO much love for this…I want to make it NOW.

  13. Wow Kate! Very lovely – where do you buy gold leaf?

  14. Kate #

    Hi Helen…Ebay. It’s not that expensive…usually just a few pounds. You can buy it from arts and crafts shops but I’m a bit of an internet shopper myself!!

  15. I love this! I’m finally catching up on my reader! I can’t wait to try this out!

  16. kate, this is absolutely fabulous! i will have to try this with my girls!

  17. This is fantastic! You did a beautiful job!

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