Bracelets and Wood Water Absorption

Today we bring you a beautiful craft with a scientific base. It is again an idea we found in Pinterest to make some colorful bracelets with wooden craft sticks.

craft sticks bracelet

To turn this craft into a science project you can make a research on the behavior of wood under certain circumstances, in order to find out the best way to make those bracelets.
You need some craft sticks or popsicle sticks of different shapes and lengths. First,   make 3 groups of sticks to see what happens to them under 3 different conditions.
Take the first group of sticks and simply keep them as they are for half an hour. Take the second group of craft sticks and soak them in water for half an hour. Now take the third group, and boil them for half an hour.

Craft sticks bracelet

After this time, take the 3 groups, and observe the differences. Can you see any difference in their external appearance? Now try and slightly bend them . Again, can you find any difference between the 3 groups? Can you bend the dry craft sticks? And the ones soaked in water? And the ones soaked in boiling water?
You should take note of your observations. Now, if you want to make some bracelets with the craft sticks you have, what method should you use?
Really, the best way to get the sticks bent is boiling them. But once bent, you need to keep that shape until they are completely dry. So, you can put them into a cup that will be used as a mold, and let them dry.

craft sticks bracelet

You can speed the proccess by placing the cup in a sunny place in summer, or close to a heater in winter, or even in the oven at low temperature.
Finally, you can decorate them and have your bracelets done.

craft sticks bracelet
Whould you like to learn more?
Wood is made of long cellulose fibres conected one to the others by lignin. And wood is also a hygroscopic material, that meaning it takes water from its surroundings. When you boil the craft sticks, water is absorbed by wood and brakes some of the bonds between fibers, letting them relocate. And they do it with the shape of the mold. Once the wood is completely dry (water gets evaporated) the bonds between fibers get strong again, keeping the shape of the mold.
When the craft sticks are soaked in water, it is also absorbed by wood, but the bonds between fibers do not brake, because a high temperature is needed. So, you will see an external change in the color and texture of the stick, but its elasticity does not change.

2 Comments

  1. Roger Strang January 25, 2015
    • Belén S.Seara January 29, 2015

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