And so the Hufflepuff fell in love…

…with the Ravenclaw.

As some of you may recall, I briefly mentioned this earlier at the very start of the year.  As of today, we’ve now been dating 10 months, and things couldn’t be happier! 🙂 His name is Johan, he plays in a solo wizard rock band known as Ravenrock, and he’s just as big a nerd as me!  We met and started talking on, and since then we haven’t stopped.  The only downside is that he lives across the other side of the world from me!  While I’m situated in Australia, he’s way up north, 9 485 miles away in Sweden.  The distance is tough, but we make it through 🙂 In fact, I’ve just booked my tickets to go over and see him for 6 weeks over Christmas and New Years, so we are both extremely excited, and I for one, can’t wait to have a white Christmas – my first.

And so, I thought I’d share with you another kind of craft that I did to help me see exactly how much time we had left before I could wrap my arms around him.  A countdown.  Every day I can drop down a bead and visually see how much time has passed and how much time there is to go.  I love how it turned out and I hope you do too!  Maybe you can make something similar?  Process below.

Great Hall Hourglass Countdown

The picture was drawn to depict me and my boyfriend, and was inspired by this portrait of James and Lily on DeviantART.

It was of course, also inspired by the house point hourglasses seen in The Great Hall.

You will need:

  • Photo/Drawing
  • Photo Frame with thick depth
  • Plastic/Glass Vial
  • Smaller plastic/glass vial to fit inside the bigger one OR a bit of plastic OR both – See Step 6.
  • Balsa Wood
  • Paint
  • Skewers
  • Beads
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Step 1.  Draw the image and edit it the way you want, keeping in mind to measure up how much space you need for the hourglass.  This was just a small 6×8″ print, and as you can see, the D in INTERTWINED is *just* cut off at the end because i didn’t quite measure it perfectly.  Once printed and you’ve found the perfect frame, you’re ready to go!

Step 2.   Glue the drawing/photo to the backing of the photo frame – the one with the stand/hook on it.  Also, using some sort of super strong glue, maybe hot glue, glue the glass to the inside of the frame.   Because you’re making a 3D type image, and the back of the photo frame will be sitting back from the glass, the metal bits you usually use to secure the back of the frame in place will likely be too short to safely secure the glass without it rattling, so the glue will act as a replacement for that.

Step 3.  Trace around the end of your vial onto the balsa wood.  Draw a bigger circle around that, and two smaller rimmed circles on either side.  The inner circles should be the size of your skewer ends (this is of course if you’re doing a small scale version.  If you’re doing a larger scale, you might use a straw, or a wooden dowel or whatever the case may be.  Cut out the three inner circles.  Repeat for the second piece.  This was by far, the hardest part for me – because I was working on such a small scale.  I tried several times to make this template using cardboard before I found the balsa wood, and even then I drew it about ten times before getting it right and cutting it out without breaking it.  Be very careful, and don’t rush this step.  Once the holes have been cut out, you want to make sure your skewers and your vial fit snugly into the holes, without forcing them too much.  Another thing to note, the bottom of the vial was slightly smaller than the top, so that’s another thing to look out for in yours.

Pic 573_

Step 4.  Cut the skewers to size and glue little beads to each end after securing into the balsa wood.  Paint.  I recommend doing this after securing into the balsa wood because even the thinnest layer of paint can muck up your measurements and cause the skewers not to fit inside – believe me – I tried.

Step 5.  Glue the edges of the balsa wood which should stick out the most, to the photo.

Step 6.  Decide how you want to make the smaller upper vial.  Initially, I tried to just make a cylinder out of plastic, gluing it with super glue.  It was messy to say the least, and the plastic ended up white and cloudy and I don’t recommend it.  After that misfortune, I went hunting for other small bits of plastic – and found the clear plastic lid of an old gel pen fit snugly into the top – and when I say snugly, I mean very snugly.  I pushed it down too far once and spent a good 40 minutes trying to get it out again (after I’d spent all that time on the framework!) so be careful. The lid was open at both ends – it had a cap on the top that I had taken off (usually the thing that you use to clip onto something) so I took the rest of my plastic sheet (just from product packaging) and cut up a tiny cone to superglue to the end and create a stopper.  This stops the beads at the top falling down to the bottom.

Pic 565_

Step 7 (Optional).  This part was important to me and my project because I wanted to use two different beads which represented each of us.  Yellow for me, the Hufflepuff, and blue for him.  In particular, The whole idea of the frame was that we are currently on opposite sides of the world, separated, and the countdown was until we were intertwined, so I wanted to have the two different bead colours separated at the top, and intertwined at the bottom.  This required measuring and creating a small plastic divider (a rectangle with a triangle on the end) that slot inside the upper vial, which kept the two colours separated.

Step 8.  Take 4 wooden skewers and measure them to just under the length of each side of your frame. Paint them to match the colour of your frame if you like to hide them better.  These are going to act as stoppers to stop your photo falling forward unevenly due to the 3D part of the hourglass.  You’ll need to measure how far back the photo needs to sit, and glue the skewers in place there.  Essentially, the framework for the photo to sit on.

Pic 575_

Step 9.  Using a bit of wood or sturdy cardboard, create a back for your photo to lean on – this should be sturdy enough to hold the picture in place, creating a slot between the skewer and the cardboard for the picture to sit.  Because you’ll need to take the back of the frame out every day to replace the beads, this shouldn’t be too high and should be simple enough to do.  As an added precaution, you can add a bit of elastic to secure the top of the photo.  I used staples.

Pic 576_

It looks a bit fiddly, but it’s fairly simple.  To lift out the back of the frame, I pull it back slightly and lift it up a bit, before dragging the bottom half completely back and pulling it out.  You just have to be careful and mindful of where you’ve placed that hourglass.  Another trick – if you’re using tiny beads in your vial… have a pair of tweasers handy, and try not to change the beads in a thickly carpeted room – if you drop a bead in the carpet, it can be hard to find again!

That’s it!  All you need to do now is count out your beads, or whatever else you can find as a substitute!

As for us, it’s 91 days! 😀 What are you counting down to?

~ by acciomagic on September 8, 2013.

4 Responses to “And so the Hufflepuff fell in love…”

  1. That’s a really cute countdown… thing (?). My boyfriend’s in the military, so there are all-too-often spaces where we’re not near each other. (He’s not even based here, so I can definitely empathize with you!) Maybe I’ll build my own version for the next time we’re apart, but I’ve never been good at that sort of thing. (Christmas calendars often ended up with a couple of weeks of chocolates on Christmas Eve, and that’s with chocolate!)

    • Thanks! Aaawww, I kind of get the chocolate thing. I can still have chocolate left in July after Easter 😛 It is definitely a fun thing to do and well worth the effort if you decide to!

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