Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Giant Bubble Blower, Hand Held Bubble Blower and Bubble Solution Tutorial

 You are looking at this picture and wondering what in the heck is that?  It is a giant bubble blower!!  And you say "A what"?  It's a giant bubble blower.  Really.  We made these for our grandsons for Christmas with the idea that when it got warm outside (if it ever does) they could make GIANT bubbles with them.

Last August, while attending the East Nashville Tomato Festival, there was a man on top of a building blowing the biggest bubbles I had ever seen.  The biggest.  Not lying.  As a lifetime lover of blowing bubbles, I had to know how he was doing such a thing.  He was quite a distance up and all I could see was the top of two poles and what looked like a string between them and these giant "holy smokes" kind of bubbles.  They were simply rolling out of this contraption he had.
Sorry, it's not the greatest picture - wish you could have been there.  Needless to say, I could have stood there all afternoon and watched him, even in the blazing heat.

Let's discuss blowing bubbles.  Do you still love them as much as I do?  There is almost nothing I love to do more than blow bubbles. especially with the grandsons.  Listening to their giggles and oooohs and aaaaahs, is worth the spills and the mess.  Once again, you return to the wonder days of summer, sitting outside in the sunshine, watching the bubbles float through the air in careless abandon.  It is a joyous memory.

There were always bubbles in our cabinet when our children were growing up.  There were no reasons or excuses needed to head outside and enjoy some good old bubble blowing time.  Great memories indeed.

Now, we all know about those teeny weeny wands that come in bottles of bubbles and many times they are completely useless!  And, why blow teeny weeny bubbles when you could make HUGE bubbles!  I have found the solution to this dilemma.  I found this solution on Lowes.com in their diy section.  Thank you Lowe's.  Not only did they show how to make the giant bubble blower, they had a recipe for the bubble solution that is fantastic.  Thanks again, Lowe's.  Here is what you need:

1 36 inch dowel rod, 1/2 inch in diameter
2 3/8" inch eye screws
1 1.5 inch washer
cotton string cut in a 60 inch length
paint (not necessary, just makes them more colorful)

First, cut the dowel rod in half so you have two 18 inch pieces of dowel rod.  Place an eye screw in the center top of each dowel rod.  Paint them now if you want them to be colorful.  Put the washer on the 60 inch piece of cotton string and run the string through each eye hook (make sure the washer doesn't slide off) and knot the string together.  The string should form a triangle like in the picture above.  I knotted the string many times so it would not come apart while in use.

We added some colorful duct tape to the ends of the rods to help with grip in case your hands get slick from the soapy bubble solution (and for contrast).  Here is how they looked finished.  I wrapped the string around the rods so they wouldn't tangle when I wrapped them.
Don't you just love the bright colors?  Now to use them, this is what you do.  Place a good amount of bubble solution in a wide mouth container, like a bucket.  Dip the string (with the washer at the bottom) down into the solution holding the rods close together.  Step back, pull the rods apart and let the wind catch the solution in the string.  It produces amazing giant bubbles.  It may take a few tries to get the hang of it, but you will.

The older grandsons tried theirs out a few weeks ago when we actually had a warm, sunny Saturday and they really, really work!  I don't have a picture of the bubbles, but take my word, they are awesome.  The boys and their neighbor playmates played all afternoon giggling and squealing with total delight.  Yes, that was a good gift to make.  Now, I have to make one for myself so I can join in this summer when they come over.  I can't wait!

Also, I made hand held bubble blowers for all 6 grandsons so the younger ones would be able to join in the fun.  Their parents will have to use the big blowers for a while because three of them are under 3 and using the big blower will be difficult.    The hand held bubble blowers look like this.
They also blow good sized bubbles and the three year old and 2.5 year old can do it alone.  The older boys like them too.  They are a nice change from the giant blowers.

For these, I used 20 gauge copper wire and a bunch of beads of all variety.  They all love animals, and I found the adorable animal beads at Michael's which made me very happy.  Everyone has different animals so they know their bubble blower.  These are about 8 inches long finished.

I started by pulling out a long length of wire (maybe 2 feet).  I left a length of about 8 inches and  wrapped some of the wire twice around a metal tea container that I had.  It is about 3.5 inches in diameter.   I carefully slide the wire off the container and wrapped the longer length all the way around the two circle pieces so it looked like this.

This gave the "blower" part strength and stability.  Then, I wrapped the wire over and around several times where the base would be.  If you look closely, you can see what I mean.  Then, I put the remaining wire alongside the starting piece of wire and threaded beads on in a pattern that I liked.
Next, I cut another piece of wire, wrapped it around the circle above the beads several times and crimped the end with a pair of needle nose pliers.  I wound the wire around and between the beads in a random fashion to hold the beads in place and to give the handle even more stability.
The handles will bend slightly, but are stable enough for blowing lots and lots of quality bubbles!  They were all so colorful and pretty, one of our daughter's said they looked like heirlooms and she hated to use them.  : )

When I got to the bottom of the beads, I wrapped the wire around the bottom bead, several times, cut the wire going through the beads and the outside wire to the same length and curled them up with the needle nose pliers.  Done.

They take a little time and patience, but they are worth every minute.  They are original, unique, one of a kind bubble blowers.  It's kind of like having your own pool cue or ping pong paddle.  It makes you a bona fide, no nonsense kind of bubble blower.  

Here is the recipe for the bubbles.  We made up a large quantity of it and put it in plastic canisters so that they each had a supply to start with.  Here is what you need.

a bucket
11 cups water
4 cups regular Dawn dishwashing liquid
1 cup white corn syrup

Mix all ingredients in the bucket and let is sit overnight before using.  This makes amazing bubbles!

Now, if the weather will ever cooperate and warm up, we are going to have ourselves a bubble blowing good time.  Today, we are having snow flurries.  Hopefully, this is the last of this crazy weather and spring will finally come to stay.  

By the way, these would be really fun gifts for children or grandchild this Easter Sunday!  I'm just sayin'.  Maybe you should get to work now.  It is supposed to warm up next week (fingers crossed).

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Carried on a soft whisper
Of a breeze
Little bubbles float aloft,
Delighting little children
With such simple pleasures;
A kaleidoscope of colours......

Paul Holmes

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