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Wire and Mica Bird's Nest Votive

Create a unique votive bird nest out of wire and mica.

Project by Monica Heeren.

Materials and Tools:

45' spool of 22-gauge brown Wild Wire
about 50 small glass beads
9"-12" round party balloon, inflated to 5" diameter
3-4 large rubber bands
2-1/2" x 7" shellac bond mica
3" x 7" copper wire mesh
Black Ink skeleton leaves
standard glass votive holder
votive candle
heat gun
old pot holder
needle-nose pliers
paper
scissors
ruler

Steps:

1. For the mica wrap: Create a paper template by wrapping a piece of paper around standard glass votive holder, overlapping 1/2 inch at the back seam.

2. Use the template to cut a piece of mica to size. When cutting mica, use a craft knife and straight edge (ruler). Make repeated cuts along the same line until mica separates.

3. Heat the mica with a heat gun. Using an old potholder to protect fingers, slowly ease mica around the glass votive. Heat the mica overlap and hold with potholder until it cools and sticks together.

4. For the copper mesh votive wrap: Cut a 3" x 7" piece of copper mesh. Use the ruler to make a bend in the mesh, 1/4 inch from the edge of one of the 7-inch-long sides.

5. Center a skeleton leaf on the mesh. Place the mica wrapped votive holder on the skeleton leaf and wrap the copper mesh around, aligning bent edge of the mesh with the top of the holder. Press the bent edge over the top rim of the holder. Press the excess mesh under the bottom of the glass.

6. Thread 50 small glass beads onto a 45-foot spool of brown 22-gauge wire.

7. Form a wire ball by wrapping the wire around the balloon, sliding a bead into the design from time to time. Use rubber bands to help hold the wire ball as it develops.

8. Puncture the balloon, cut the rubber bands, and remove.

9. Ease the wire into a dish shape by hand.

10. Using pliers, pull and twist random wires from the inside out. Crimp and loop random wires for shape, interest, and stability.

11. Add votive holder, insert candle, and light.

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