My oldest daughter, Laney, turned 8 recently. Eight seems pretty harmless, but it is actually a very scary birthday. Almost to ten, halfway to driving, only ten years from leaving! I decided that eight is the perfect age for me to start adding items to Laney's hope chest. A hope chest is sort of a forgotten tradition these days, but I have an old-fashioned side. Traditionally a hope chest is used to gather and store household items such as table linens, bed linens, dishes, etc in preparation for a young girl to get married or move out on her own. Commonly these chests are constructed of cedar wood in order to prevent moths, but other materials have also been known to be used. While Laney's hope chest is currently a theoretical one, eventually she will have an actual chest to fill.
I started by searching all over the web for ideas of things to include in her chest. I now have a list of items to make or have Laney make to include. These wooden spoons are what I chose to make first because they are inexpensive and easy to make. My goal is to post about each item I make so that you can see her hope chest collection grow over time.
Honestly, these would be great for so many purposes. They would be good to include in a wedding gift or give as a favor for a bridal shower. You could also just make some for yourself to add a little homespun touch to your kitchen. You have the idea...so now for the project.
Here's what you need:
set of wooden spoons
Walmart has sets of four wooden spoons for 88 cents, so I actually ended up buying two packs and making a set for little Leah to get a jump start on her chest as well. They also have woodburning kits for under $10, but I already had mine from my years of craft hopping.
Ready to craft?!? Here we go....
Because the wooden spoons are made of soft wood, they tend to be a little rough when you open them. You could spend more money and get nice, hardwood spoons....but I chose to just sand these down a bit around the rough spots. Plus, because of how inexpensive these are, you can afford to practice, mess up, and have fun without worrying about messing up an expensive spoon. Your choice though. If you choose to sand, just make sure you clear the area of any dust before we get to the burning part.
Now that you have a smooth surface, you are ready to burn. Choose and attach your wood burning tip. I chose a cone shaped tip. Let your wood burner heat up. Make sure that your wood burner is securely in its stand. You don't want to have it burning up the whole world while it heats. For extra security, you could work over a piece of glass to prevent damage to your work surface.
Once your burning tool is heated, you can draw your chosen design onto the surface of the back of a spoon. I chose to freehand a flower with some leaves and textural dots. You can choose to add any design you wish. Remember not to hold your burning tool in one place for too long. You will end up with strange dots and spots that are more burned than others. Most importantly...as I always say...perfection ruins a good project...so craft with confidence and don't worry about things being perfect....mine sure aren't.
Once you have finished the back design on the spoon, you can add additional designs to the front if desired. Jazz it up a little....add a monogram like I did on the large, flat spoons...or just do something that makes you happy!
Once I finished all of the spoons, I tied them with a blue ribbon to keep them together.
Here are my results! I hope you are as happy with yours as I am with mine.
Let me know if you have any ideas of things to add to a hope chest or if you have tried this project yourself. I love to hear from you!