Home Arts & Crafts Crafts How to Make an Old-Fashioned Victorian Rug Beater

How to Make an Old-Fashioned Victorian Rug Beater

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Written by writecorner2   

Add a touch of Victorian charm to home decor with a rug beater inspired by real antique household items. Crafted from sturdy wire and wooden materials, the result is a unique wall hanging or conversation piece. Make the design as simple or as complicated as desired, simply by shaping the wires used to form the pattern.

Once a staple for Victorian housekeepers and traditional housewives, old-fashioned rugbeaters are now mostly found in antique stores or attics, where enthusiastic crafters and collectors salvage and transform them into wall art. While original designs were often ornate but practical, modern versions aren't necessarily intended for practical purposes, leaving the rug beater's finished appearance open to interpretation by each crafter.

Materials Needed:

one wire coat hanger heavy-gauge craft wire wire cutters pliers old wooden utensil handle OR wooden dowel (one-inch thick) wooden spool drill with 1/2-inch bit wood glue

Step 1: Unwind a metal coat hanger and shape the middle part using a pair of sturdy pliers to bend the wire into a curved shape or pattern. Intertwine the two metal ends to form a straight, thick wire handle like traditional rug beaters.

Step 2: Cut an equal or longer piece of heavy wire and mold into a pattern using the pliers. Heart-shaped curves are the easiest design, but any style is fine. Interweave with the wire coat hanger, which serves as the rug beater's main part, then wrap the remainging wire around the handle.

Step 3: Repeat above step with another piece of wire, until the rug beater's desired pattern is fully formed. Wrap all wire ends securely and smoothly in place, so no sharp ends protrude from the handle or from the beater's base.

Step 4: Insert the wire handle in an old wooden utensil handle, securing with extra wood glue. To make an old-fashioned handle, cut a length of one-inch thick wooden dowel and drill a hole through the center. Insert the wire handle and secure in place with glue (stuff shredded newspaper into the hole to help position and secure the handle before gluing, if necessary).

Step 5: Glue a wooden spool to the other end of the dowel handle, to add a finishing touch. Stain or paint the wooden handle brown.

Step 6: Fasten a loop of lightweight wire around the bottom or tie a leather cord around the handle to hang the rug beater for display.

Tips: Add a touch of "rust" to the wire rug beater frame using a little brown paint sprinkled over with cinnamon.

Comments (1)add comment

Ms Rebecca said:

Ms Rebecca
This sounds like a fun project- thanks for the directions!
February 20, 2011
Votes: +0

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