Bone Cleaning Tools: What I use and what I use them for

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1. Dissection Kit: $20-40 on Amazon. 

You can buy a starting dissection kit online on Amazon. When you buy your kit you should expect a few things. Most likely you will be getting 2-3 different kinds of forceps, 1 scalpel, 2 kinds tweezers, and possibly a few kinds of scissors.

These kits are always handy because they have a nice variety of instruments and a portable carrying case. Unfortunately this neat kit won’t have everything you need so you will most likely expand your collection. I will further explain the tools further along in the post.

2. Latex Gloves: $5-10

Gloves are important! When you are working with messy things you don’t want to have the risk in getting an infection of some sort. Gloves help protect you and your specimen. Our fingers are very oily and the oil will eventually leave stains on the bone.

Now I don’t always use gloves. This is, of course, under my own discretion. If most of the skin and fur is dried up, sometimes wearing gloves can get in the way. Gloves are definitely important, unless there isn’t much of a mess to deal with.

3. Forceps: $3+

Forceps are medical tweezers. There are different sizes and buying various sizes will help you out in the long run. Having different sized forceps will allow you to work more efficiently on different animals. I use forceps to assist me in skin removal and cleaning the small nooks.

4. Sewing Needles $.50-3

Sewing needles also assist in getting into small places. They are precise and sharp making them able to get to all the small places.

5. Disposable Scalpel w/ extra Blades $10+

You can either get a disposable or a replaceable scalpel. I use scalpels to help take off the meat off the bones. Whether you get a fresh kill or you found an animal that had died, a scalpel helps take off the hide, gets the bones off the meat and cut the tendons off the bone. Be very careful when using them. Cool enough there are actually different sizes in blades and shapes. Once again, getting a variety of tools can only help you more.

6. Teeth Cleaning Metal Instruments: $10

Teeth cleaning supplies are the best! They have interesting scraping blades on each end of the tool. I got mine from an online clay tool shop for around 10 dollars. They are easy to be precise with, but I do admit it hurts your fingers a bit. Along the handle of the teeth cleaning tool there is a texture in the metal, that after time is completely uncomfortable. I suggest getting pencil jelly’s so your fingers can rest easy.

7. Toothbrush: $.50

I use a tooth brush to further clean the bone. After I have done my soaks I take my BONE toothbrush and clean the bone in circular motions-as you would with your own teeth. I enjoy cleaning with a toothbrush because I love seeing the before and after of the bone. Since you can get different types of brushes I highly suggest getting 1 hard, 1 medium and 1 soft-once again for different situations.

8. Paint Brushes: $.50+

Paintbrushes are used to gently remove debris, dust and other obstacles. Getting different sized brushes can help you remove from a various amount of animal skulls.

9. Pipe Cleaner: $3

I use a pipe cleaner to help get into the different cavities in the skeleton. After cleaning the bones it is sometimes hard to dry off the liquid in the small holes.

10. Dull Knife: $free!

A  dull knife is easily attainable and easy to use. Just like pealing a pear or an apple, you can use the knife to gently pull back remaining skin with out harming the bone.

11. Serrated Tip Pliers: $4

Pliers with a serrated tip is my personal best friend when it comes to removing meat from the bone. Because it is serrated the plier is able to hold tightly onto the skin as you pull away.

12. Weldbond Glue: $4

I use this glue to glue the teeth back into space. It is a very sturdy glue and doesn’t make a mess. I take an uncooked spaghetti and dip the tip in the glue then into the teeth cavities in the mandible.

13. Plastic Containers: $1+

Bone cleaning w.o plastic containers of any sort is a crisis. I use plastic containers for every part of cleaning. The soaks, the touch ups, the final cleanings. I always have a container of some sort with me when I clean bones.

14. H2O2 Hydrogen Peroxide: $2+

2:2 ratio of water and H.P when cleaning. If you can, I highly suggest getting 6% Hydrogen peroxide. Not only does hydrogen sterilize the bone but it also bleaches it too! NEVER USE BLEACH. It breaks down the calcium in the bone making the bone very brittle.

 

DIY Patio Decor!

Image Here is our ugly Patio…

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Hideous Air Conditioner…. Can see into the neighbors balcony, and the shrubs are way too overgrown.

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I used these Items to attach the Bamboo fencing.

Hammer,

24 guage galvanized wire,

1″ nails

Pliers with a wire cutter

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The fencing is pretty weak, and our winds are VERY strong. So I devised a great way to keep the fence upright. I take two nails, nail them about a inch to half-inch away from each other. I take the wire about 5 inches of it, and i do a twisty 8 around both of the nails. and then I individually wrap them around their own nail to keep them more sturdy.

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I found this awesome piece of burlap and I thought it would be awesome to paint it and put it up in my patio.

I put the burlap on a nice area with two poster boards underneath. The paint goes directly to the paper underneath.

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And here is the finished piece! I am not done with the whole patio, but I covered up the ugly part and the fence 🙂 more to come. stay updated!

D.I.Y Cute Face Mask

So yesterday I realized how much dust there was on my overhead fan. Gross! Literally the was so much dust on my fan I thought if I turned it on I would of definitely gotten some in my lungs. I think to my self, “This HAS to get done, how do I go about cleaning this with out dying. So I decided to make a face mask. In Japan, wearing a face mask is a very popular thing. The people of Japan wear face masks to: make sure they don’t spread their sickness to others and to not GET sick from other people. I am not sick but I thought this would be a great way to NOT get sick from the dust.

Here is what you need to make this fun face mask:

  • (2)5.5×4.5 inches rectangles
  • (2)rectangles x+2=width (I will further explain)*
  • (2) 5×2 inches *
  • Fun decor, lace, ruffles, beads, etc

* For these two you can actually use binding tape (I decided to use the same fabric from the mouth piece)

ImageI started out by cutting out my  pieces. Six in total

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I then took the mouth pieces and added slight curves to each corner (I used my handy dandy wax chalk)

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TIP: Grab your two longest pieces and lets talk about the * from the intro. In order to find what the length is of the top and bottom binding, you have to measure from ear-ear or tragus to tragus. My number was 11 inches and I add 2 inches. So 13 inches by 2 inches

I then added my home made binding to the sides first. Top Stitch towards the open side. If you need help with binding I will be more than happy to make a quick tut. After that is sewn into place, I added the top and  bottom binding  and pinned that into place. This is where you add your fun, pretty, additions. I decided to add some lace to sides and the a layer of them in the middle.

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I cut and trimmed some lace and I did a blind hem stitch. I did this because it is a strong stitch and it is a less noticeable one. Remember to always pin. Pinning is your best friend when sewing.

Next connect the bottom and top bindings together to fully construct the ear pieces. I added some lace to my sides to make them look prettier. Connect and WaLa!

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A project I am working on…..DIY SHELF!

This shelf is so simple and easy. Grab a nice handful of cinder blocks and 3 or 4 2×4’s, stain the wood and Boom! I am constantly starting new projects. Even if I dont finish one I start on a new one and I go back and fourth, sometimes with 4 projects running. You can see how that can be hard on my wallet. I have had this in mind for a long time, once my pallet furniture comes through this will be the project to come directly after the furniture is done.Image

This picture is not mine. I will post a picture of mine when it is done!

How to Fuse Plastic Bags

I like to use fused plastic, because the material is easily available and versatile. I use in quite a few of my projects.

I made a cardboard tray and lined it by fusing a plastic bag directly on the cardboard. I also made the handles for the tray by fusing plastic around a nylon cord. My junk mail and magazine vases have removable fused plastic linings. This lets me fill them with water for fresh flowers.  I created plastic versions of my origami accessorieswith squares of fused plastic. These are great, because they’re more durable than the paper versions. I even use this technique to wrap gifts.

Fused plastic is waterproof, flexible, easy to work with, and a cinch to make. Let’s get started.

Supplies

  • 1 plastic bag
  • 1 pair scissors
  • wax paper, parchment paper, or copy paper (Forego used copy paper. Ink from the paper may transfer onto your iron or the plastic. Use new copy paper. You can always print on the paper after your done using it to your fuse plastic. I’m going to use wax paper because it’s what I have in my kitchen at the moment.)
  • 1 clothes iron
  • 1 towel, ironing board

How-To

  1. First, cut off the bottom seam of the bag.
  2. Now cut off the handles.
  3. Flatten out the bag.
  4. If you’re using a towel, layout it out on your work surface. I prefer using towels, because I find it easier to fuse sheets of plastic on a larger surface.
  5. If the plastic bag has printed graphics, turn the bag inside out. This prevents the bag’s ink from transferring onto your waxed paper or iron and smudging everywhere.
  6. Lay a protective sheet of wax, parchment, or copy paper underneath the bag.
  7. Place second a sheet on top.
  8. Set the iron on polyester or rayon and turn of the steam.
  9. Iron the plastic bag, running the hot iron from the center outwards. This prevents air from getting trapped in the bag and forming bubbles. If you do find bubbles you can pop them with a pin and iron over them. Keep the iron moving at all times running over the entire surface two to three times. The plastic bag will smoothen and the protective sheet will adhere to the plastic bag. Be careful to run the iron over the protective sheet only and not directly on the plastic bag, otherwise you may melt the bag onto your work surface and your iron.
  10. Turn the plastic bag over while keeping it sandwiched between the protective sheets.
  11. Iron this side of the plastic bag.
  12. Allow the fused plastic to cool.
  13. Once it’s cool to the touch carefully peel off the protective sheets. If the plastic isn’t fused completely sandwich it between protective sheets and iron again.
  14. Now you have a two-ply sheet of fused plastic. You can make it thicker by ironing another plastic bag onto it. Remember to sandwich the plastic between protective paper before ironing!

Useful tips

  1. Keep the scraps from the bottom and handles. You can place them on top and fuse them with the main part of the plastic bag too, so there’s no need to throw anything in the trash.
  2. Ironing your plastic a little longer will cause it to melt and form holes. This can make for an interesting texture, but be careful not to burn it!
  3. You can fuse multiple bags together to make an even thicker and durable plastic sheet. Fuse additional plastic bags by stacking one on top and fusing it completely before stacking on another. If you try ironing together a stack that’s too thick, the iron may not be able to fuse the bags in the center of the stack
  4. Cut out shapes from different colored bags and fuse it on fused plastic sheet for like an appliqué effect.
  5. I made my plastic origami accessories using four-ply fused plastic. You can even go up to six or eight-ply.
  6. There will be minimal fumes, so keep the door to your work room open or crack open a window.
  7. Here’s a tip from talented crafter,  Arely. You can use clear plastic bags to laminate paper. If you use a clear plastic bag, be careful because it tends to melt faster. After fusing, the plastic will still be clear, but it will have a matte finish.
  8. Becky, the plastic crafting maven of Crop Rotation, says sewing plastic is like sewing regular fabric, but can be a little more slippery. Use denim sewing machine needles and general purpose yarn or denim yarn.

This fused plastic was ironed a little longer, giving it an interesting holey texture.

This fused plastic was ironed a little longer, giving it an interesting holey texture.

Fused plastic can be layered quite thick. This piece is about 1/4" thick.

Fused plastic can be layered quite thick. This piece is about 1/4″ thick.

 

Thanks to http://www.relevedesign.com/how-to-fuse-plastic-bags/ for this idea!