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Oct 21, 2010

Straw Dome Cage Tutorial

Actually have challenged my Sister to take better snaps, and she gave it a try, once she gives me latest snaps, i shall post them, till then bear with my amateur photography... 
(this one with its 3D appearance was really challenging to photograph and make it look like it would for the naked eye, believe me it looks even more beautiful to the naked eye with all those angles of the triangles....) Here are the pics taken by my sis

My DD liked the dome made by aunt when we visited her during the first week of October and has been pestering me to make her one.

My Aunt made hers' decades back and hence couldn't recollect exactly how it was done, so she gave me her piece and asked me to leisurely figure it out

I managed to figure it out yesterday, and wanted to store it as a tutorial for future reference... here it is... it took me 8 hours to make it (both yesterday & Today combined together...) and another hour to make this tutorial, so please do give your valuable feedback to motivate me for future endeavours.....

Do not get scared by the sheer hours put in, once you get the initial hang of it you will be able to complete the next sets of such domb cages even faster ....

Here we go, lets get started  with Tutorial

Materials required: 
  • Straws ( I have used decorative Glass Straws, even thick plastic straws would work) 
  • Craft wire (even twine thread of size 10 above would work)
  • Needle to guide in between & push pin to push the non-cooperative wire to budge

Basket wire Birds  and other embellishments as desired; i have used crystal beads, 'ghunghroos' for bell sounds

Step 1 :  Make 2  Pentagons viz A & B

Step 2:  From each corner of the pentagon A make a triangle; Make 3 such layers i.e., from each corner there will be 3 triangles each layered

Step 3: From each end point of basic straws in the pentagon A, string a straw and join all 5 straws forming a dome

Step 4: From each corner of the Pentagon B make a triangle; Make 2 such layers i.e., from each corner there will be 2 triangles each layered

Step 3: From each end point of basic straws in the pentagon B, string a straw and join all 5 straws forming a dome

Now comes the tricky point i will explain it by words accompanied by photo graphs, if it is still not clear then will draw an instructive diagram and get it scanned tomorrow and update it for sure... please give feedback if this step is clear or not.

Step 4 : Join the Pinnacle Point of the triangle (Layer 3 only) of Pentagon A, to the Dome Center point of Pentagon A, by using a straw; repeat the same for every Triangle's Pinnacle point (Layer 3 only) of Pentagon A

Step 5:  Join the Pinnacle point of the triangle (Layer 1 only) of  Pentagon B, to the Dome center point of Pentagon B, by using a straw, repeat the same for every Triangle pinnacle point (Layer 1 only) of Pentagon B

Now comes even more trickier point....Joining the 2 pentagons together...

Pentagon A will form the bottom half and Pentagon B will form the top half

Step 6: Place the Pinnacle point (Layer 1) of Pentagon A to the corner points of Pentagon B; 5 triangle's pinnacle point (Remember of Layer 1) of Pentagon A will meet the 5 corners of Pentagon B. String through the straws and secure them
PURPOSEFULLY DID NOT ADD THE PICTURE AS IT IS MORE CONFUSING WITH PICTURE WITH ALL ANGLES OF TRIANGLES, just follow the instruction of the above step by visualization, you will be through, trust me....!!!

Step 7: Now Layer 2 of Pentagon A and Layer 2 of Pentagon B are hanging insecurely and we need to give them support, so add a straw to the pinnacle point of Triangle (Layer 2) in Pentagon A and join the other end of the straw with corner of Pentagon B.

The below pic shown have straws (red color) have been added to secure the pinnacle points of triangle to corner points of pentagon. I did it in red color to show how it is done, the end result i have used fully green straws, for your clarity i made this step with red color straw and later replaced it with green 

Step 8: Repeat the above step for all 5 triangles (Layer 2) in Pentagon A

Step 9: Now Layer 2 Triangles of Pentagon B have to be secured, so add a straw to Pinnacle point of each triangle, connect the other end of the straw to the corner point of Pentagon A which is below. Repeat the same for all 5 triangles (Layer 2) of Pentagon B

Ta da... the straw dome cage is ready...

Now cut small strips of straw and add to all possible pinnnacle points as you like and hang a bird at its end...

Embellish as you wish, i have added crystal bead at every junction of triangles 

Do not forget to add a bird within the dome in the hollow center that gets formed. and also at the lower half i.e., the dome center point of Pentagon A

I  have used 3 different colors of birds to enhance the effect. Play around and get the effect you are looking for, you can even add windchime bars at the bottom of each bird, i have added 'ghungroos' (Salangai) underneath 2 center birds... to give soothing bell sound as the birds wave around with the breeze....

This looks a complicated procedure to start with, but believe me, it is far more easy once you get the hang of it. Try it, please do keep me posted , if you liked it, i had spent more than 8 hours making this and more than an hour drafting this tutorial, so please give some feedback and also feel free to clarify your doubts if any.....

Give it a try and keep me posted on your finished products....

Check out here for more Tutorials  on sewing & crafts
I Chose to link this project up at various Linky Parties
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  1. Wow, now that takes some patience but is well worth it! Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence's Under $100 Party.

  2. WOW! Very cool! I love the instruction! Do these normally get made for a holiday or festival? If so, which one?
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie.
    I can't wait to see what you have next week!

  3. Yes Becky, that did take lot of patience to finish it off, but this little beauty every time it jingles due to the breeze at the center of my drawing room, all those hours are well worth it!

    Allie, it is not a must that this is made for a festival, but here in India, it is festival time, with 'Navarathri' 9 day festival, just got completed and Big Festival DIWALI coming up, houses are decked up for Diwali and this little cutie is my latest addition to my sweet home!


Your comments make my day! Thanks