Origami Octo-Wreath and Candle Holder

It Has Come Full Circle:

In a recent post I showed you how to make Eco-Balls from an eight-sided base unit. While experimenting with this base I discovered an even more delightful way to combine them to create a full circle wreath.

Divide and Conquer:

In order to create this form, however, I had to alter half of the  the eight-sided units I used to create the ring. It takes 18 units to complete the wheel. To form the linking unit I only glued it part-way leaving those units divided into two swiveling halves. Then I took the solid units and glued them in-between.

 

 

 

 

It Takes Patience and Time:

Though this project is time consuming and requires a little patience the end form is worth the effort. It can be made any size you desire according to the size of the original squares of paper used to fold the units. It could easily function as a wreath to use on a doorway or as a base to surround a candle. In what other ways could you find to use it?

Let It Shine:

Two Is Better Than One:

In the candle holder above I used two rings: one large and the other smaller. You can also use just a single wreath as below.

The wreaths can be stacked to create a pleasing form that could also be placed around a potted plant or flower vase.

If you haven’t already viewed my earlier blog post on the Eco-balls, you can look there to see how to fold the base units. Let me know if you find other ways to use this form.

The two-toned wreath above was created with units constructed from two colors. The green ones were the swivel forms and the blue were solid. You can create all kinds of neat color combos. Change the size of the units to create larger or smaller wreaths.  In this project I only used 16 total units.

Hairy Little Monsters and Skeletons? What?!!

This picture and question came my way this week via Facebook. I recognized it immediately! These little guys have caused me grief on more than one occasion in the past. So, what are they and what do they do? Let’s take a closer look.

What’s In A Name?

This creature is the larva of the dermestid beetle. The adult beetle has many common names: Skin Beetle, Skeletonizing Beetle, Carpet Beetle, Larder Beetle, and Khapra Beetle. No matter what you call them, they are usually a cause for a response.

A Pest?

If you are an insect collector, you will only want this creature in your collection if it is dead; otherwise it will eat up your entire collection! How do I know? I’ve had a few collections devastated by these remarkably hungry creatures. Most of the time collectors of insects include a tiny bit of protective poison inside their collections to deter these invaders. I used to take a mothball and heat a straight pin and insert it into the mothball so I could then place the pin inside the box to emit fumes that kept the little beasts away. After awhile, however, the mothball would run out as it kept shrinking in size when exposed to the air. By that time I had almost completely forgotten about its insertion into the box. Once the fumes stopped the beetle larvae soon smelled the dead bugs and made their way into the box. They can enter even through tiny holes and gaps in the box. I came back later to show off my bugs only to find a box full of powder and broken body parts. As you can guess, insect collectors are not fond of dermestid beetles!

Some See Them As Helpers:

Did you know some people even pay good money for a container of these insects? That’s right! They have found a way to use them to help them clean skeletons so they can be displayed in museums. When used this way they are called skeletonizing beetles. Just put the dead animal’s skull in a plastic box full of these larvae, snap it shut,  put it in a dark place, and wait. Eventually you will find that the skull has been completely stripped of skin and flesh.

They Even Help Solve Crimes!

Forensic specialists have discovered that these beetles can be used to determine the time of death in murder victims. It seems that scientists have learned the amount of time after death when the beetles usually appear and this provides an important timing device.

Feathers and Fur, Beware!

As a fisherman who has tied up a lot of trout flies, I know these beetles also like to snack on the materials used to make these trout attractors. Most of us have a lot of feathers, fur, and animal hair in our tool box. Though these materials are great for tying on a hook, they also are a fine meal for demestid beetle larvae. If you find holes in your feathers or chewed up hair and fur you won’t have to look far for the reason. They also enjoy feeding on fur coats and feathered hair pieces.

Lovers of Darkness

Though you may not need to look far, you will need to look closely to find these little bandits. They like to hide in dark places and only come out to eat when it is dark.

Very Important Creatures!:

Though these beetles can be destructive in many ways they actually have a very important ecological function! Can you imagine being buried under several feet of dead insects and seeing tons of dead, smelly animals all around you? That’s what would be the case if it were not for these little guys and other creatures that recycle dead things. Thank God that He created such natural recycle agents  and placed them in the environment to help sustain a comfortable living space.

Interesting to Study:

I have only told you a little about these amazing creatures. You can discover much more by doing a little research. See if you can find out how many different species of these insects exist. How big can they be? How small? How do they vary in color? How long do they live? Why are they called “dermestid” beetles? That’s only a few of the things you can learn. Have fun learning more.

I’m a hairy little Beast. My favorite poem is:

“Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair! Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he? ”

                        Of course this was after I removed all his hair as he sat in the museum.

Eco-Balls: Neat Way to Recycle Paper

 

A Fun Way to Recycle Paper:

If you have left over paper with interesting colors or designs, this is a great way to turn it into a cool project. This project makes a nice finished decorative form. It has 24 different surfaces that can be decorated or to which a message can be added. They are sturdy enough to use as a throw- and- catch ball as well.

Begin With the Traditional Pinwheel Base:

It Takes Four!

You will need four Pinwheel Base Units to construct this project. All should be the same size.

Once you have folded these you need to pull up a corner point like a dorsal fin on a shark.

 

Assemble the Pieces:

Once you have collapsed all four corners you are ready to slide one side into the other like this:

 

 

It’s Time for the Glue!

Now that you know how to make the pieces, you need to glue them. To do this you need to allow the form to open back up a bit and add glue just on the edges underneath where the form will come together. You have a lot of surfaces to glue so apply only a small amount just on the edges, then close the form back up and hold it while the glue sets up. You need four of these units.

 

The Final Steps:

Now that you have four of these smaller units you will need to combine them to make the ball. Find the side of a unit that has a line down the middle. This is the side you will need to glue. Be sure each time to glue these sides together.

Once two are glued together you have a hemisphere. Create another one to complete the ball.

The Finished Form:

When gluing the two halves together be sure that the two pieces are going in the opposite direction when they come together. You can see that they fit together better this way than the other way which leaves a gap. Add glue and hold the two sides together to finish the form. If you have gaps on the seams you can take a three by five card and put a little glue on both sides of a corner and insert it into the gaps to apply glue to each side then pull the card out and press the edges together to close the gap.

 

This is especially fun if you can find paper with pictures of animals and plants on them. By combining the patterns you make little Ecological Realms that look like little planets. These can be hung from strings and dangled from the ceiling to make nice mobile units. They also make great objects to set into a room to bring out the colors of the seasons. How will you use them?  Have fun!

If you want to see another project that can be created with these units, check out my blog pistons for September 27, 2017: Origami Octo-Wreath and Candle Holder. It is a fun project!