How to Make a Boing


A boing is a coiled rope that you hang from the ceiling or a hangar that most birds just love to play on. They consist of a cotton or sisal rope with a wire in the center.

 

A bit of preamble. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to make a Boing, just that you want it to serve its purpose. There are a couple of different ways to do the ends. You can use an end cap like............

 

or you can use a toy on the end and wrap the wire around the rope like.......

So, you have to decide which way you are going to do the ends before you start. For this demonstration, I am going to use a combination.

Also something to keep in mind, if you use (say) 12' of rope, this does not mean you will end up with a Boing that is 12' long. Because of the twisting action, and because you try to keep the wrap (twist) fairly tight, you will probably end up with about a 9' Boing and once curled, this will probably hang down about 5' depending on how you wrap and stretch it. Probably the best length of rope to use for a larger bird is about 8 or 9'. So now you need to pick your rope and your wire, making it size appropriate for what birds you expect to be using it. Remember with the wire, you want it to be heavy enough to support the bird/s without stretching the Boing out, but light enough so that it has some spring. Stainless steel wire is probably the best but..............

The end caps I use are just plastic ends for chair feet. I drill 2 holes in them the same size as the wire.
Ok, are we ready????????

First, assemble the things you need. Rope, wire, wire cutters, toys, end caps, tape.

Remember, any time you are working with something like rope, make sure the ends are secured or else it will all unwind.

So you want to get the wire, up through the rope so that you can do whatever you have chosen for your end. Loosen the twist on the rope a little and insert wire and push through. (forgive some of the out of focus pictures)

For this one, I opted for an end cap, so push wire through the cap.

But then I also decided on a toy on top. (toy isn't made yet in photo) so I pushed wire through the toy shape, made a loop and bent the wire down for the end to go back inside the end cap. Insert wire into 2nd hole in end cap, leaving the end of the wire safely away inside the cap.

Ok, now what I do is use my glue gun and partially fill the end cap with hot glue. I then push the rope up inside of the cap. This will hold the rope in place from sliding down. As mentioned above, some people just twist the wire around the rope to hold it in place.

I will then trim the frayed bits of rope off, that didn't quite go into the end cap ....or I'll trim them at some point and time :-)

So we have one end done. Now you just need to get the rope onto the wire. You do this with a twisting motion, you twist the natural weave of the rope to loosen it, like we did when first inserting the wire, and then you close the natural weave of the rope around thewire. You do this until your rope is all done....down to the end.

You should now be sitting with most of a Boing. The bottom will look just like our top did initially.

Cut any excess wire off that you won't need for finishing the end. Think how you want to finish it. You will now probably need to loosen your rope on the wire a bit, so you can pull it down to the end of the wire and insert the end through, just like at the top. The bottom end is not as important as the top end because it doesn't need to hold the rope up in place. I often finish with the end caps so you put the wire through one hole in the end, bend it, and if you want a bell at the bottom put the bell on the wire now, and insert end back into cap. Again, you can glue your rope in the cap. This time I didn't use a cap, instead I used a large wooden ball. I thread some of the rope through the ball, and the wire and made a loop in the wire to hold it. I then tied knots in many of the rope strands so the rope wouldn't untwist and put a few little babbles on some of the rope strands. Watch what length you leave the strands. You don't want this to become a dangerous toy for catching toes.

The only thing left to do now is to bend your Boing into the shape you desire and finish any toys you may have put on the Boing. This one was quite a large Boing. I started with 11' of rope and here is my finished product.

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