When Big Guy and I got married, I got it into my head that it would be a good idea to fold 1,000 origami cranes. Although, I did most of the work, we did have quite a bit of help and I’m certain that my new in-laws, along with anyone who already knew me, thought I was insane. They were small and there just may have been some color-coding going on to help servers know each guest’s meal choice. Whatever. They were cool. People still talk about those cranes today, and almost anyone who was very close to me at the time has at least one or two still kicking around their house. I’m sure they’ll all thank me someday when origami crane folding becomes a revered art form.
I might have been holding a record among people I know for over-the-top wedding preparations, but I’m certain that I have been dethroned. Do you see the lovely Adirondack chair favor in the picture above? Pretty nice, huh? My new brother-in-law made it. He made 100 of them, actually. Out of popsicle sticks.* For his own wedding. Now, at first glance, you might been just mildly impressed. Maybe you’re thinking about gathering some popsicle sticks of your own. But before you go off running to start a cool new craft project, look a little closer.
First of all, you should note that those sticks are not standard length. He cut them down. And then, if you look closely, you can actually see that he rounded the edges on many of them (as appropriate to the design, of course), so they simply look like miniature versions of themselves. This is, in fact, an amazing example of engineering gone wild. I’m just getting to know my new brother-in-law, but based on some of the speeches at the rehearsal dinner, this is on par with his personality.
Sadly, most people simply don’t have enough experience to appreciate the magnitude of this kind of project, but I’ll admit that I was pretty wowed. And not so sad to hand off my crown to someone crazier than I am.
Edited to add my brother-in-law’s story about the chairs (from the comments), as well as links to his photos of the assembly process:
First of all, a link to the pictorial of how to make these DIY popsicle stick Adirondack Chairs.
“And as requested here is the story as read at the wedding:
My Grandfather on my mother’s side of the family was a milkman for 30 years.
He would deliver your milk to your home and put it in the milk box on the
porch, or in some cases, right into your refrigerator. When drivers were no
longer sent out on routes he transferred inside the plant to the night shift
in the ice cream department. He was in charge of sanitizing the lines when the
machines were done running a certain kind of product. He worked in this
department for 5 years until he retired.
When popsicles were run, bundles of popsicle sticks were opened to be used
in the machines. If all the sticks in an open bundle were not used, the
dairy would put them outside to be burned because they were no longer
sanitary and couldn’t be used. Being a very frugal and creative person, “POP”
( as us grandkids called him) would gather up these popsicle sticks and take
them home “just in case” he needed them for some project.
Over the years he “made” fruit bowls, table lamps of various sizes, small
fly-apart outhouses and frames among other things with thousands of these
popsicle sticks. They were used as shims, numbered for the church picnic
cake walk game and bags full of them were given as door prizes at family reunions.
At Christmas, ornaments were given, such as planes and sleds, made out
of………you guessed it—–popsicle sticks.
When Julie started talking about Adirondack Chairs as favors, I naively,
opened my big mouth and said “I could make those out of popsicle sticks”,
knowing that despite Pop’s best efforts, grandma still had thousands of these
sticks in her basement.
After hours of designing, cutting, sanding, gluing and painting,
I had made all the popsicle stick Adirondack
Chairs in this room using the same sticks Pop had saved.
A total of 100 chairs were made. There are 11 sticks in each chair, giving a total
of 869 popsicle sticks that were harmed in the making of these chairs.”