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A Special Easter Donkey and Conquering The Jigsaw

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Hey there what have you been up to? I’ve been playing around, trying to master the jigsaw. And since it’s almost Easter I thought I’d try make something, using my jigsaw, that celebrates a special animal that forms such a central part of the Easter story – the little donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Don’t you just love donkeys? They’re so sweet with those big ears and gentle eyes that look right into your soul. Think Eyeore and Shrek’s hilarious companion Donkey or this little cutie here.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

She’s the first “intricate” piece I’ve done using our jigsaw. Most of the time it only gets used to cut straight lines or circles 😀 If you’re a relatively newbie jigsaw user, like me, I thought I’d share what I learnt and how I made the Easter donkey. She started out as this basic drawing.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Which I traced onto a piece of scaffolding plank before using the jigsaw to cut her out.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Conquering the Jigsaw

We have a Bosch 700E, which is an awesome little tool. It’s light weight and really easy to control. It does vibrate a little when it’s on, but I figured that’s good thing. It helps with my flabby, underarm workouts 😉 Here’s the thing about a jigsaw though. The blade goes up and down, kinda like a woodpecker on steroids and it’s loud. So make sure you put those ear muffs on and wear safety googles. And if you have long hair like I do, tie it up and don’t forget to remove all your jewelery.

Just remember if you use a jigsaw or any power tool, dangly bits are dangerous bits.Click To Tweet

And I have a lot of dangly bits. Some were bought and others arrived mysteriously with the onset of old age 😀

You’ll also need:

  • Clamps
  • An extension cord
  • Jigsaw
  • The right blade for the job. It’s all about dem teeth 😉 Bosch puts these handy little icons on all their blades which makes it so much easier to find the right one.

    Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

    Image sourced from toolshop.co.uk

See those two little “squiggly line” icons up there on the left hand side. That means the blade is suitable for cutting curves. Those are the ones you want to use for something like this.

What I Learnt

Start with the easier cuts to get the feel of the jigsaw. Straight lines are pretty easy, curves are a bit harder.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Go for easy

To make the first cut, place the shoe (the metal plate at the bottom of the jigsaw) firmly on the piece of wood with the blade slightly away from the edge. When you’re ready, push the starter button. To cut around a curve, gently guide the jigsaw along the inside of the cutting line. If you see smoke or the jigsaw kicks back, stop and back off. Don’t panic, just switch it off and wait for the blade to stop chattering. When you start cutting again pull the jigsaw back a little, and give the blade time to speed up before you move forward.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Curves are a bit harder

Let the jigsaw do the work

Don’t push it, just guide it gently. Jigsaws don’t do sharp turns too well. The narrower the blade the sharper the turns, but it definitely won’t do really sharp 90 degree turns and if you force it those chattering magpies will become screaming queens, or even worse, the blade may break. For those tight spots, like between the donkey’s legs use relief cuts to “chip” away bits of wood until you’ve got more room to move.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Making relief cuts

And for really, really tight spots you can drill a pilot hole that’s big enough for the blade fit into and cut from there.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Making a pilot hole

Finishing Off

When you’ve finished, switch the jigsaw off and wait for the blade to stop completely before setting it down. When I first started using the jigsaw I kept on putting it down and then trying to chase it around the workbench because it was still chattering away 😀 Oh and don’t touch the blade, it’s hot. Since I’m a newbie when it comes to a jigsaw, some of my cuts were a bit rough. Especially those tight spots around her ears and under her tummy. No worries, there’s nothing that some sanding can’t fix.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Getting The Donkey Ready For Easter

Once the donkey shape had been cut, it was time to give her some character. Oh BTW, do you know why donkeys have a cross on their backs? It’s such a sweet story. Legend has it that the little donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was devastated when He was crucified a few days later. She desperately wanted to help Him, but people kept on driving her away. So she waited patiently until everyone went home and then returned to the cross to pay her last respects. The sun was just beginning to set when she finally turned away, heart-broken, and the shadow of the cross fell on her back. That mark has been there ever since as a symbol of the donkey’s undying love and loyalty. So special right?!!

Photo of The Donkey courtesy of TripAdvisor

My little Easter donkey doesn’t have a cross on her back. She does have a coat of dry brushed chalk paint though and I added a tail and a mane. They’re both made using our SIzzix Big Shot and and this Tassel Tastic Die. As one of Sizzix’s creative team members we get to play with their dies for free and the tassels are one of my favorites. If you don’t have a Sizzix, no worries, you can cut them by hand like we did when we made our oversized wooden garland All in all I made three tassels, two for the mane and one for the tail. For her eye I just used a old rusty nail.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

To attach the tail to the donkey, I drilled a hole in her bum (sorry little donkey) and squished the tassel into the hole. The mane tassels are glued between her big ears.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Some Final Thoughts and Tips

A jigsaw is called a power tool for a reason. It gives YOU the power to make something awesome. Treat it with respect, wear the right safety gear and you’ll be creating beautiful things in no time. Don’t be scared. It makes a lot of noise but then again so do babies. At least a jigsaw comes with a manual 😉 Read it!! Practice on scrap pieces of wood until you get the hang of it and then go out there and just do it!! I know YOU can ❣ If you get a chance let me know what you think of the little Easter donkey, is it something you’d try? And don’t forget to share it with your friends and/or save it to Pinterest.

Tips for conquering the jigsaw and a very special story about an Easter donkey

Pinny Please

Oh and just in case you want to start making things with a jigsaw I’ve saved you the hassle of trying to find the right tools and accessories. Disclosure: If you click on the links below, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us buy new blades in case I break one 😉

 

Bosch 120-Volt 7.0-Amp Variable Speed Top-Handle Jigsaw JS470E
Sale Bosch 10-Piece Assorted T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set T5002
Howard Leight by Honeywell Leightning L1N Safety Earmuff with Neckband (1011994)

Wishing you a lovely, creative and blessed week.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

 

 

 

P.S I’m having so much fun with the jigsaw now, I even made a little elephant friend for our donkey.

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Categories:   DIY Tutorials, Home Decor Crafts

Comments

  • Posted: April 20, 2018 18:46

    Keri

    Michelle, I love donkeys and the one you made is special and amazing!! Thank you for the directions and tips for using a jigsaw. I've used one a few times but just for simple cuts but now I feel like just maybe I could make something super adorable like the donkey you made because of the tips and tricks you shared. I had no idea about the legend of why the donkey has a cross on its back, that's very neat. I hope you and your family had a Happy Easter!
    • Posted: April 22, 2018 13:22

      acraftymix

      Thank you Keri, we had a lovely Easter and I'm happy to hear you like donkeys too. They're such special little creatures and the legend makes them even more special
  • Posted: March 30, 2018 23:48

    Wendi@H2OBungalow

    What a fabulous tutorial for newbies on a jigsaw! Plus, I think your donkey is darling! Good job all around :) Pinned!!
    • Posted: April 2, 2018 05:00

      acraftymix

      Awww Wendi, thanks so much 😊
  • Posted: March 21, 2018 02:13

    Amy

    This is fantastic, Michelle! And congrats on conquering the jigsaw. I don't think I've ever used a jigsaw. Although, my dad used his scroll saw a lot and taught me how to use it when I was pretty young. I always had fun with that! The donkey is perfectly adorable.
    • Posted: March 21, 2018 07:37

      acraftymix

      Good on your Dad for teaching you Amy. That's real special and ff you know how to use a scroll saw then the jig saw will be a breeze.
  • Posted: March 19, 2018 19:14

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    Michelle I LOVE the little donkey!!! I do believe that you have conquered the jigsaw. She turned out beautiful! I love how you added the fringed mane, and tail. She is adorable!!!
    • Posted: March 20, 2018 04:50

      acraftymix

      Thank you Linda, I really did enjoy making her
  • Posted: March 19, 2018 15:57

    Carolann

    That donkey is the cutest thing ever! It looks like you've mastered your skills already young lady! Everything you create is a masterpiece! I'm so inspired by your work and I thank you for sharing it. I have to run out and a jigsaw too!
    • Posted: March 20, 2018 04:48

      acraftymix

      Oooooo I love being called young lady Carolann 😀 Thank you my friend. Once you get the hang of the jigsaw there's just so much you can do
  • Posted: March 19, 2018 10:35

    Claire

    That is so cute ! You're so creative! Love it :)
    • Posted: March 20, 2018 04:46

      acraftymix

      Thank you Claire 😉
  • Posted: March 16, 2018 19:03

    Debrashoppeno5

    This little donkey is so adorable. I love the story. I have never heard that before. Your jigsaw is so nice. I like how it has the icons on the blade. Mine doesn't have that. I am not as brave as you to cut the intricate cuts. I just do straight cuts.
    • Posted: March 17, 2018 05:19

      acraftymix

      I love our Bosch jigsaw. When I was doing research for the post I discovered that Bosch were the original inventors of the jigsaw way back in the 1950's if I remember correctly. Sp they sure know what they're doing and those little icons help alot when trying to figure out what blade to use.
  • Posted: March 16, 2018 16:12

    Julia - Vintage with Laces

    I love donkeys and yours is so cute, Michelle! I recently used a jig saw for the first time and it went better than expected. It was just a straight cut though. Thank you for all the tips! I had no idea that there are special blades to cut curves. Good to know! Currently, I have predominantly fabric and jewelry projects to work on but I'm sure some jig saw projects will come up sooner or later.
    • Posted: March 17, 2018 05:16

      acraftymix

      It's a pleasure and I would absolutely love to see what you create with a jigsaw Julia. You are so incredibly talented when it comes to creating salvaged works of art
  • Posted: March 16, 2018 02:32

    FLORENCE

    Michelle, such a sweet story about a power tool and a donkey. I've never heard the legend of the donkey either. Your tutorial and story make me want to go out and buy a jigsaw for sure, even though I'm one of those scared of power tools. I've always liked donkeys and burros. Never known one up close. I liked your reference to the "dangly bits." Ha...I've sure got plenty of those.
    • Posted: March 16, 2018 04:56

      acraftymix

      😀 You and me both Florence 😀 and I do hope you get to try using the jigsaw, it's not as frightening as it sounds
  • Posted: March 16, 2018 01:09

    Ayana

    Oh wow you did an amazing job!!! He's so cute!! I would be so scared to chop my hand off lol.
    • Posted: March 16, 2018 04:58

      acraftymix

      I'm sure you won't Ayana, just keep the dangly bits out of the way, those are the things that make it dangerous 😉
  • Posted: March 15, 2018 19:59

    Sadhna Grover

    This is an amazing woodwork, Michelle. The shape of this donkey is so nice and the tail is so cute.
    • Posted: March 16, 2018 04:58

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Sadhna 😉
  • Posted: March 15, 2018 15:59

    Jas @ All that's Jas

    Simply adorable! Donkeys don't get enough credit during the Easter celebration. Way to go, Michelle!
    • Posted: March 16, 2018 05:01

      acraftymix

      And they're so special too. Donkeys should get way more attention over Easter than bunnies and eggs. I'm still trying to find something in the bible that explains that 😉
  • Posted: March 15, 2018 11:08

    Angela Ricardo Bethea

    Oh Wow! So adorable. I really like the leather tail of the donkey. In fact I love everything about her.
    • Posted: March 15, 2018 12:29

      acraftymix

      😉 Thank you Angela, I'm pretty impressed with how the tail turned out too
  • Posted: March 15, 2018 04:43

    Candy Rachelle

    OMG!! This Easter Donkey is so cute. I love how you made the tail. You make me want to pick up a power tool and try something too. So impressed. You really did a great job, Mich!!!
    • Posted: March 15, 2018 12:28

      acraftymix

      Go for it Candy 😉 It's such a nice feeling knowing that power tools aren't that frightening and there's just so much you can do with them too. As long as you follow the safety instructions.
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 21:59

    Pili

    Thanks for the tips, I wasn't able to cut curves because I was using the same wide blade for everything, oh my! Your donkey is as adorable as a real one. I didn't know the legend, I can't wait to tell my daughters tomorrow, they love donkeys too
    • Posted: March 15, 2018 04:40

      acraftymix

      Using the right blade is so important 😉 and I only figured that bit out after trying to cut the circle for our wine barrel tray. Glad you liked the story Pili, it's one of my favorites
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 20:41

    NAti

    This project is so cute and sweet! I also love donkeys :) thank you for all these precious tips!
    • Posted: March 15, 2018 04:41

      acraftymix

      It's a big pleasure Nati ❣
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 18:16

    Deb Eastwood

    This came out simply adorable! Love the story and the tip of drilling a hole is spot on,thank you!
    • Posted: March 15, 2018 04:45

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much Deb 😊
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 11:26

    Peps Goh

    This is so adorable. I thought it's interesting how you chose to make a donkey instead of a horse or another animal until I read the story. The leather tail and hair is creative too~
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 13:54

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much Peps, it's such a special story too.
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 06:10

    Katrin

    Oh what a cutie Michelle, it's absolutely lovely your little donkey. And wow to you for mastering the jig saw so well!
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 09:32

      acraftymix

      I'm so glad you like it Katrin, thank you
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 04:37

    Preet

    The donkey looks so cute and adorable. You always inspire me to try something new. I have never done cutouts with the jigsaw before but would love to try something with it.
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:07

      acraftymix

      I'm so glad to hear that Preet, hope you have lots of fun with your jigsaw
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 02:57

    itsnadianelson

    How neat! Your donkey came out really well to say it was your first time attempting something more complicated. I was not aware of the background regarding the donkey and the reason why they have a cross pattern on their backs.
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:05

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Nadia and isn't it just such a sweet, beautiful story too. It just makes me love donkeys even more
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 01:07

    Sam - Raggedy Bits

    What a little cutie pie!!! I to have a love-hate relationship with my jigsaw and your so right about the teeth!! Fabulous tutorial and LOVE your tweet! Made me giggle out loud! :-)
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:15

      acraftymix

      Ahhh yes at my age those dangley bits can be quite dangerous 😁 Thank you Sam
  • Posted: March 14, 2018 00:09

    kumamonjeng

    It looks so easy to do it but not sure in reality how it is like. I never do such thing before and did not owned a carpenter tool like Bosch 700E, it looks so useful and fun to have one. I love the donkey and the tails. I may considering making a unicorn! One question : Can you use Bocsh 700E to drill holes on the wall?
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:30

      acraftymix

      Once you get the hang of it, the jigsaw is a great tool have. There are so many things you can do with it but it won't drill holes though. You'll need to get a drill for that
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 22:12

    Mary

    This is such a sweet post Michelle. I had no idea about the Donkey story and the cross. You did a great job recreating your drawing as a wood figure and I'm sure it must make you feel great to know you have mastered that jigsaw! I'll be looking forward to lots more great projects like this one now that you know how to maneuver it and don't have to chase it around the workbench.
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:19

      acraftymix

      Ooooo, I'm going to have lots more fun with the jigsaw now. Thank you Mary 😁
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 21:37

    Elizabeth O

    This is a great post. You have done a really lovely job on this Easter Donkey, it is really cute.
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:19

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Elizabeth
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 18:22

    Debbie

    Hi Michelle, your little Easter donkey is adorable! I'd be well chuffed to have created something so cute. It's not something I would do myself, my husband wouldn't let me in the same room as his jigsaws let alone let me use them! xx
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:25

      acraftymix

      Awwww that's a pity Debbie. I'm real lucky that my hubby doesn't mind when I get stuck into his power tools, he's even bought me a few for my birthday. Waaaaayyy better than diamonds in my opinion 😉
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 18:00

    Ithfifi

    You my dear are a lady of sheer talent! I would love to try this for myself but I fear I would finish up with no fingers (probably not good for my blog niche!) I am so in awe of how you teach yourself to use such big and scary tools. Your donkey of course came out perfectly, he's totally adorable. This would make such a thoughtful, unique and pretty Easter gift!
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:28

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Ithi but you're fingers and beautiful nail art should be safe, as long as you clamp you work down and keep your fingers on the tool. Uuuummm that sounds so wrong some how 😁
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 16:59

    Kelly Edgar

    This is a really great and creative DIY project! I would love to do this with my nieces and nephews.
    • Posted: March 14, 2018 05:01

      acraftymix

      Thank you Kelly. I'm not sure how old your nieces and nephews are so just be careful with power tools if they're still little ones. They will have loads of fun decorating the donkey after it's been cut out and they can help with the sanding too.
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 14:16

    Leanna

    Your Donkey is wonderful. I have done cutouts with the jigsaw before and although it worked I break way too many blades. There really is a skill to using one of them. Your project turned out great. Love it.
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 14:53

      acraftymix

      You're so right Leanna. I learnt that the blade actually tries to tell you when it's not happy with how you're pushing it. It either starts smoking or making an awful screeching noise.
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 10:21

    Marie

    This is so creative! This reminds me the ice sculpture that I made a few months ago. I wish I could share the picture with you!
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 10:25

      acraftymix

      That sounds amazing Marie. I'd love to see that picture
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 09:48

    Adriana

    Oh wow you are technically gifted, I guess my donkey would look like a round something with ears. I love the Idea behind it! Its like a metaphor how to treat others and yourself. Thanks for sharing :)
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 10:06

      acraftymix

      🙂 I'm sure yours would look perfect Adriana. As long as you can trace along the lines it's just like using a big ass pencil that makes a lots of noise 😉
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 06:41

    Collins Michael Nwokolo

    A special easter donkey. That's quite creative. Nice one. I also enjoyed reading through it.
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 08:01

      acraftymix

      Ese gan Collins, I really appreciate that
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 06:16

    Samantha

    This is too cute! You did a really great job with the jigsaw. It’s always good to be able to get an extra workout in when you’re busy with other stuff. 😆
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 06:31

      acraftymix

      😆 Yup, I love my arm wobble exercise machine so much
  • Posted: March 13, 2018 02:10

    Tanvi Rastogi

    The end result looks professional ... and I don't mean to say that you are not ALWAYS professional ... but that I couldn't have told that it was hand made. It is so cool that you are always trying to learn new skills and improve on techniques which you are not an expert at. Your blog has inspired me so much in the past year. Xx ❥ tanvii.com
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 05:49

      acraftymix

      Awww Tanvi, thank you so incredibly much for that. You've just made my day
  • Posted: March 12, 2018 23:37

    Toni | Small Home Soul

    Oh my gosh this little donkey is so adorable. You did a great job, I love my jigsaw but need to get it out more often. Great job!
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 05:48

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Toni 😊 I'm really enjoying my jigsaw. It's so much fun to use and makes thing a lot easier
  • Posted: March 12, 2018 22:10

    Kim

    First of all, I have to say adorable...and second, I am super impressed. The only power tool I own is my sewing machine. Does that count? ;)
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 04:37

      acraftymix

      Of course it counts Kim, it's one of my favorite power tools too 😀
  • Posted: March 12, 2018 19:51

    Pat

    Your donkey is really cute! Love his fringe leather tail and mane.
    • Posted: March 13, 2018 04:36

      acraftymix

      Thank you Pat 😉
  • Posted: March 12, 2018 13:53

    Katerina Konstantinou

    What a great post! Thank God I have my father for doing this and I only just design what I want but you're giving me the courage to actually try myself for a time!
    • Posted: March 12, 2018 14:10

      acraftymix

      Thank you Katerina. I was pretty scared to use the jigsaw at first but there's so much you can do with it and I really, really wanted to learn how to do it for myself. I'm sure your Dad would love to show you how to use it too.

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