Sunday, April 25, 2010


Hi!  Happy Sunday.  I don't think I ever showed this to you, but in March I made this as a gift for one of those Catty girls.  Birthday season starts in March over there and then happens once a month through June with a late bloomer in October.  We are all big fans of handmade and upcycled gifts so it was a no brainer when thinking of what to make our math major........a homemade abacus for her wall.  I had the frame on hand, so I only had to buy the beads and dowel rods.  And Hubble helped with the drilling and assembly (thank you dear!) because I really wasn't home often enough to do this in time for her birthday.  I also had some help painting the beads.  I am really pleased with how this turned out.
Hubble found the frame in yesterday's trash and it was bright yellow, but a really sturdy, all-wood frame.  It got a few coats of semi-matte black spray paint and the rods we sprayed with metallic silver which never looks the same on wood, but worked for this.  Craft paint and a few coats of varnish completed the counting beads.  The row with the big, brown beads actually goes on the bottom dowel which is further from the rest of the rows and is used as a 'multiplier row' because the beads were too big to fit 10 across.  I have no idea how that works, so you will have to ask the math major.

In doing this project I started thinking about ways to make it "greener".  I mean the cost of this was so minimal that it is not really an issue, but I am sure there is a way to use even more recycled items and look just as good.  I found a tutorial for making paper beads that I think i would like to try the next time I make one of these.  And maybe straws or pencils would make good dowels?  what do you think?


  1. Good read. I surely liked every bit of it.