DIY Bike Clock

Calling all cyclists–keep up the RAGBRAI spirit year round with this do-it-yourself bike clock! Full instructions below.

Supplies:

  • Bike rim
  • Metal house numbers (we used 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9)
  • Spray paint in color of your choice
  • Super glue
  • Clock kit
    • Minute hand
    • Hour hand
    • Square battery piece
    • Rubber gasket
    • Brass washer
    • Mounting nut
    • Open nut
    • Appropriate battery
  • Metal sprocket or other decoration (optional)

Steps:

  1. Gather your materials. If you’re having trouble finding an old bike rim, check out your town’s local bike collective. They might have an extra you could buy or have.
  2. Clean the bike rim of any cobwebs, dust or dirt.
  3. Lay out the house numbers in a well-ventilated area. Cover your work space with newspaper. Apply an even coat of spray paint to the front of the numbers. PRO TIP: Immediately after painting, carefully transfer the numbers to wax paper. This will allow them to dry properly without sticking to the newspaper.
  4. Once the painted numbers are dry, attach them to the rim in their designated positions with super glue. Glue the 1 and 2 next to each other to create a 12. Let dry.
  5. Next, put a battery in the square piece of the clock kit, and glue the kit in the center of the rim. Make sure to leave enough room to change the battery.
  6. Glue your sprocket or decoration, in our case an acorn, on top of the square clock piece. Let dry. PRO TIP: Make sure that your decoration has a hole in it that allows the nub of the clock kit to peek through. This is where we will attach the clock hands.
  7. Follow the instructions in your kit to attach the clock hands. We screwed on the rubber gasket, then the brass washer, mounting nut, hour hand, minute hand and open nut.
  8. Set clock to appropriate time.

Acorn cookies to spice up your Thanksgiving

Here at INHF, we’re getting into the Thanksgiving spirit! Learn how to make these acorn-shaped cookies for any holiday gathering!

Ingredients

1 package oreos, crushed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
Pecans, finely crushed
Pretzel sticks, broken into thirds

Directions

1. Mix oreos and cream cheese together. Blend well.
2. Take 1 Tbsp. of the mixture and form into an oval, then pinch the end to create a tapered, acorn shape. 
3. Place the acorns on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour or until hard.
4. Melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips in the microwave. Take chilled acorns and dip in chocolate. Use a fork to move the acorn around as the mixture will be hot. Once thoroughly coated, remove and place on a new wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Use a toothpick to smoothly transfer the acorn to the baking sheet.
5. Repeat step 4 until all acorns are coated. Let them harden at room temperature.
6. Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Take the hardened acorns and dip the wide end in chocolate again, then roll in crushed pecans.
7. Dip one end of a pretzel stick in chocolate, then press onto the top of the acorn.
8. Allow pretzels and nuts to set, then serve and enjoy!

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DIY Thanksgiving Table Accessories

Table decorations that will impress your guests this Thanksgiving don’t need to be expensive or store bought. Instead of heading to the store, walk around your nearest oak tree and gather some acorns to make cute and easy napkin rings and center pieces!

napkin ringsNapkin Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 9 – 10 acorns per ring
  • Thin wire
  • Drill with small bit
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters

Instructions:

Drill tiny holes through the center of each acorn. Carefully thread the wire through each hole alternating which direction the top of the acorn is facing. Use the wire cutters to snip the wire to size, leaving a bit extra on either side of the last acorns. Twist the ends of the wire together with the pliers to complete the ring. Slide them over napkins and when conversation gets dull, use them as a talking point!

candles with attribution

Photo courtesy of Little Birdie Secrets

Acorn and candle centerpiece

What you’ll need:

  • Clear glass vase
  • Acorns
  • Candle(s)
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Fill the vase ¾ of the way full with acorns. Insert the candle(s) and re-situate the acorns to position the candle(s) upright. To add a bit of embellishment, wrap twine around the center of the vase and use a piece of clear tape to keep it in place. If you prefer more exciting embellishment, you can also use a ribbon to make a bow.

To make sure the acorns you use for both of these projects are bug free, you may want to clean them first. One acorn crafter recommends soaking the acorns in water, lying them flat in a single layer on foil covered cookie sheet and baking them at 200 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. Check periodically to make sure they do not burn.