DIY: Calm Down Jar

We recently transitioned my 6 yo to sleep alone in his bed. We told him about it well in advance so he is prepared. We even bought a shiny bunk bed of his choice to make this transition as much fun for him as possible. To our surprise, the transition was quite easy. Looks like he was ready for this even before we were! But then, there are days (or nights) when he would be lying in his bed and unable to fall asleep. Cue the many calls to mom for water and “I need to pee” et al. Reading in his bed is not possible as the reading light is on the table and his bed is much higher. I wanted something that would keep him engaged as well as calm him down. I went looking on the internet and I saw this wonderful little thing called Calm Down Jars. There are more versions than you can count on your fingers, but I settled on this one.

A quick trip to Itsy Bitsy was arranged over the weekend. I let my kid pick the colors and boy, was he excited! He made this calming down jar (with our help, of course) and he is might proud of it.

1. Glitter Glue from Itsy Bitsy. I love that iridescent blue. Kid has an eye for colors, eh?

2. Glitter. The white is a fine powder whereas the blue one is coarse.

3. Assorted shapes to go in the jar. Kid picked stars. I picked the butterfly ones, because butterflies!

4. Add boiling/very hot water to the jar. I didn’t fill the jar to the brim so that I can adjust the water-glue ratio later. If your water is not hot enough, glue will sit like a blob, so make sure your water is hot, hot, hot.

5. Add 3/4th of glitter glue into it. We eventually added the entire bottle, but add just 3/4th to begin with.

6. Add the glitter. We added half of the blue one and 1/4th of the white one.

7. Give it a good stirring to break up the glue.

8. Add the shapes, howmuchever you please. We added I think 15 of each. Put the lid on and shake, shake, shake it baby.

9. Give it swirl. And see the oh-so-pretty glitter tornado (kid’s words, not mine).

10. And this is how it looks settled. Glitter takes around 3-4 minutes to completely settle, but the shapes dive to the bottom very fast. I wish we had something lighter which would take a little longer, but I didn’t have any choice.

This now sits in the kid’s room and we end up shaking it whenever one of us passes by. Can’t resist the pretty sight.

PS: I wish I had used a plastic jar/bottle, but didn’t have a good one. We will be making another one with plastic bottle for sure.

DIY, Knitting, yarn swift

DIY: Yarn Swift

My knitting “hobby” is slowly becoming a full time activity. What that means is a box full of overflowing yarns, needles in all possible shapes and sizes. What it also means is sore wrists from winding all those yards and yards of yarns into balls. When I can’t order yarn from US, ordering a yarn swift is totally out of the question. The yarn winding pain is felt more by my husband because he volunteers (no, really he does) to do it. I bought a bag full of yarn and also received RAK packages, so more winding for him. He anticipated how will wrists will feel in the coming days and set out to make a yarn swift for himself.

He looked at pictures of the actual swift, the DIY ideas and then he knew what to do.

What you need:

Two aluminium cloth hangers
Adhesive/Insulation tape
An empty bottle
That’s it!

What to do:

Straighten out the hangers so that they turn into straight rods. Each rod will be around 37 inches long. Approximately at the center you bend each rod so that there is a circle at the center and two end of the rods at 90 degrees. Each arm should be 13.5 inches. Now you have two pieces which look like this:

You place both the pieces so that the circles coincide and you have the four arms meet at right angles. Secure with adhesive tape. Your basic structure is ready.

You bend each arm in a Z shape. At 5 inches from the end, bend the rod until the angle is 50 degrees. At 2.5 inches from the end, you bend the arm again in the opposite direction to get a Z shape. Like this:

You mount this on a bottle (filled with water) and it is all ready to use. See it being used here:

The result:

I thought the swift will be wobbly, but it is surprisingly stable and the rotation is smooth. My husband is mighty happy with this one. His eyes are set on a niddy noddy which he agrees is more complicated than a swift.

Disclaimer: No, the yarn swift is not capable of turning a pink yarn into a grey one.