Bamboo, actually classified as a grass, is an irrefutable eco-friendly product. It's affordable, lightweight, easy to work with, durable and beautiful. Projects are limited only by the imagination, but here are some ideas to get you started. Whether a beginner or master craftsperson, you'll find that adding bamboo to your list of resources opens a world of possibilities.
Small projects include using bamboo for handles for teapots, purses, fans and canes. You'll also find kitchenware like hot pads, coasters, skewers, trays, bowls, utensils and steamers. For the home and office, bamboo makes attractive pencil or plant holders, baskets and wind chimes. It's used to make whistles, flutes, arrows and even skateboards. And, don't forget about those bamboo fishing poles.
Mats made from bamboo are used for table mats, window shades and floor coverings. Smaller mats are made from thin layers of bamboo weaved into patterns. Larger mats often use small bamboo shoots to create stronger products.
Bamboo is a forgiving medium to work with and can produce casual or elegant results. While patterns may be hard to find for bamboo, PVC furniture is very popular and the designs should be easily substituted with a few alterations and some creative thinking.
For flooring, bamboo is split; then the skin and bumps are removed. It must be cleaned of dirt and other impurities before drying to the proper moisture level. The pieces are then laminated for strength. At this stage, the bamboo can be processed for desired color. After cutting and sanding, the flooring is ready to install. It's a long process, requiring skill and patience.
Like chairs, a tropical tiki bar can accent a backyard. Basics are a frame, bamboo matting for the sides and a thatch umbrella. The bar top can be finished with side-by-side bamboo lengths or a sheet of different type wood. Since the top is subject to spills, protect it with tiles, vinyl, glass or plastic coating. Decorative carvings to the front or sides will increase appeal.
In fencing, as with any project, quality bamboo is required. It's already naturally weather-resistant, but adding preservative treatment can ensure a long life. You can use palm fiber string to connect the pieces.
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