Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble!


I have wanted a bubbling cauldron to serve my witches brew from for years and we are always so busy that it never gets made…..until now! I described what I was looking for to my husband, David and he whipped up the best cauldron ever! It was such a hit at our Halloween party! Hope you have as much fun with this project as we did!
Authentic Wood-pole tripod stand for Witches Brew Bubbling Cauldrons
Supplies:
All these supplies can be found at Home Depot or other such home maintenance garden & hardware stores
3 smooth-hewn wooden landscape poles approximately 2’’ wide by 8ft tall
1 length of rough hemp rope approximately 1/4 “ by 10 feet long
1 length of black decorator metal chain, light gauge with approximately 1” loops and 12 ft long
7 spring link hooks or other like fastening hooks that can be closed approximately 2” long
Buy from a party store:
2 dark plastic cauldrons 1 larger and 1 smaller to fit inside the larger cauldron – cauldrons should have 3 holes near rim for hanging them by hooks – you can drill holes if necessary each a third of the way around the rim so that it can be hung by 3 chains
1 clear plastic bowl that will fit snugly inside the smaller cauldron – this is optional as you can use the smaller cauldron as is if you clean it out and let stand for awhile so that your witches brew drink doesn’t smell or taste like the plastic of the cauldron – we found a clear plastic ice bucket that worked perfectly.
Buy from Keg Beer store or similar vendor
1 block of dry ice approximately 10 lbs
Construction:
1. Tie a cinch knot at one end of your rope
2. Stand landscape poles together upright with pointed ends up
3. Use your cinch knot to slip over one of the poles and slide down to approximately 6 feet high from the bottom of your pole and pull tight to prevent slipping
4. Wind rope around all 3 poles several times tightly
5. Spread poles out to form tripod and use rope up and around each pole individually 2 times so that you have both wound the rope around the poles as a group and then individually forming a snug slip resistant fastening
6. Now run the rope over the top and between the poles to form a loop that hangs down between them that you can hang a hook from to support the chains that will suspend the cauldrons hanging down between the poles
7. Tie off the other end of the loop by holding the loop down with one hand to keep the loop open and tying the other end of the rope off securing after winding the loose end of the rope around the poles tying a knot and cutting  off the remainder – you should have at least 6 feet or more of loose rope remaining
8. Use your first link hook in the loop of rope hanging from the 3 poles
9. Measure 3 lengths of chain from this central hook down to a preferred length for the height you want your large cauldron to hang from – with 2” chain loops, mine was 15 links for each length of chain so the cauldron hung at about waist level
10. Cut chain lengths and using other 3 spring hooks hang your large cauldron
11. Using the same technique measure and hang the smaller cauldron inside the larger one
12. Use your remaining rope to wind around each pole near the bottom and stretch them tight to act as restraints from the poles spreading out too far – do this after you have set your tripod in place at the party site
13. Adjust your poles so that the cauldrons hang level and equidistant from each of the poles
14. To insure your top rope fastener doesn’t slip down the poles at some point during your party, you may want to tap a small nail under the bottom of your ropes at the top so the rope coils cannot slip down the pole if someone jostles the tripod
15. Pour your witches brew into the top cauldron
16. Use water and dry ice in the bottom larger cauldron to see steam bubbling out around the smaller cauldron – dry ice is very cold and should never be handled with bare hands as it can freeze your skin quickly. Please wear heavy gardening gloves to handle dry ice!
17. You can also drop a chip or two of dry ice directly into the witches brew for a dramatic bubbling effect – just ensure no one ladles out their brew with dry ice in their drink – it is extremely cold and can freeze  your skin so quickly it looks and feels as if were burned – dry ice is frozen CO2 gas and dissipates harmlessly as it is melts  - you can continue adding dry ice as needed for desired effect
18. Take pictures because everyone will be amazed at how lifelike the witches brew cauldron set looks and will want to know where you bought it – that’s when you get to brag about how you actually made it from scratch
19. Post on Facebook for extended kudos!
20. Storing your set can be simple as collapsing the poles or disassembling it completely and saving the directions so you remember how you put it together in the first place – TIP: I recommend you store your directions safely before you start drinking!

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