Monday, December 12, 2011

New Use for Turkey Bells!

Shortly after our last post about Turkeys and Bells, we had a customer call in to tell use what she and her coworkers use the turkey bells for.

Working in a nursing home, the employees needed a way to tell where patients with wheelchairs and/or walkers are, so they attached the turkey bells to the wheelchair handles and to the walkers. Also having a bell on their wheelchair or walker enables the residents to ring when they need help or assistance with something.

The patients like the bells because it allows them a little bit more freedom and so they don't have to worry if they are not near the nurse's call button, they still have a way to communicate where they are and that they need assistance. These bells have been a great help in the nursing home setting.

These bells would also work in a home setting for the same uses. It is amazing how many different uses each and every bell has.

copper turkey bell

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day,
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat,
Of peace on earth, good will to men."
This carol has been a favorite of many for years. It is a beautiful song that really embodies the idea of Christmas bells. (See the History of Christmas Bells.)  This song was originally a poem that was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow after his oldest son was severely wounded in the civil war and after his wife had passed away. He penned these words on Christmas day of 1864.

In many ways, even after a tragedy, people find peace in the sound of bells and have been doing so for over 3000 years.

liberty craft bell

Saturday, December 3, 2011

DIY Christmas Ornaments with Jingle Bells

Jingle bells are so easy for Christmas. They make great additions to wreaths, look pretty just setting in an ornate bowl on the coffee table, or can be easily strung onto the tree with some pretty thin ribbon. With the paints for metals they can also be painted to suit any decor. Or for a simple effect leave them in their original silver or gold colors.

christmas bell ornament

For a very simple, easy on the wallet ornament, buy some jingle bells and tie on a bit of ribbon to put on your Christmas tree.

Christmas Bell Ornaments

You can also add a little pizazz by painting the bells and tying several together for an ornament, red gives the look of berries hanging on your tree. 

While jingle bells are the standard for the Holidays it seems. Any small craft bell can be used in the same way for decor.

Monday, November 28, 2011

History of Christmas Bells

When you think of Christmas, or other Winter Holidays, bells seem to play a big part in a lot of them. Just listening to carols you often hear of bells...
"I heard the bells on Christmas Day..."
"Silver Bells"
"Just hear those sleigh bells..."
"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells..."
And so on....
But where did the use of bells during the holiday season come from?

Bells were originally used to ward off evil spirits during the fall and winter months. It was believed that loud noises would scare the spirits away.

Gradually these same bells started to be used to announce celebrations and to keep evil spirits from ruining good times. And slowly the use for keeping away spirits began to fade. Bells began to be seen as a lovely instrument brought out for joyous occasions, such as weddings and births. They also have a beautiful sound, so carolers who couldn't afford instruments began to use bells when they went singing.

Like many sleighs of the time, Santa's sleigh had bells on it as well. Bells were used on sleighs to warn people that someone was coming through during foul weather. This way they could stay out of the road and be ran over by the horse and coach or sleigh (if the weather was snowy).

So have a little holiday tradition and gather up a few various bells and use them in your decor as a little nod to the long history of the bell.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkeys and Bells

For the people that keep turkeys, they probably already know that there is a such thing as a turkey bell. But for the rest of us, I thought I would share that little fact.

copper turkey bell

A turkey bell is very similar to a cow bell. It is worn by the turkey around its neck and it lets you hear where your turkey is, especially if you allow your turkeys to wander. This will help you find them if they wander off. But there is an added advantage to having a bell on your turkey. Strange noises tend to keep predators away. And a the noise a bell makes is not one that is typically found in natural surroundings. So by having a bell on your turkey you are helping to keep the predators at bay.

Some people use the turkey bell on other small animals, around a cat or dog's collar, or just to have as a novelty item or to use in crafts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Cowbell Craft

We revisited Create Bake Play's website and found a very neat craft for Christmas using white cowbells and regular cowbells. Without further ado here is a craft for you try out:

Christmas Bell DIY
Photo from Create Bake Play.
Santa Bell

You will need: 
  • different size cowbells (and different colors if you prefer)
  • orange, pink, and red pompoms
  • googly eyes
  • red lipstick
  • black and red permanent markers
  • cotton balls
  • brown, black, red ,and white pieces of felt 
  • peach acrylic paint 
  • white acrylic paint (optional)
For Santa Bell:
  1. Start with a white cowbell. Or paint one white. (if you paint one you will need to wait for the base coat to dry before going onto step 2.)
  2. Paint on the section of the bell that will be the face with the peach acrylic paint.
  3. Place and glue one your googly eyes and the pompom for the nose.
  4. Using the permanent markers, draw on glasses and mouth (use photo for guideline if you need to).
  5. Cut some of your white felt into a mustache shape for Santa and glue on.
  6. Using the lipstick create some blushing cheeks for Santa.
  7. Glue some cotton balls around the top of the Santa Bell.
  8. Cut some red felt into a cone shape for his hat and attach the cone to the cotton balls with glue.
  9. Use a small cotton ball or white pompom for the top of Santa's Hat.
For instructions on creating the other two Christmas bell crafts visit:

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    How to Personalize Your Own Cowbell

    We sell customized bells, but sometimes you just want to do it yourself, so that it has more meaning and so that each bell you personalize can be slightly different. While browsing the internet we found a craft on personalized bells at:

    With permission we are sharing this bell craft here:

    You will need:
    - cowbells of your choice in color and size
    - scrapbooking stickers/labels
    - adhesive

    There is no better way to say that you care than if your gift looks well-thought out. These simple gifts will do just that!

    Simply find a cowbell that fits with what you’re looking for, and use anytime of sticker, scrapbooking adhesive, or label that will fit onto the cowbell of your choice. You can even simply print a logo (perhaps a good gift for a high-school or college grad) out onto white paper and trim it up to fit your bell. It’s that simple!

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Halloween Game

    One fun Halloween game that I've played with friends for years is a Horror movie trivia game. We play for candy. (It isn't Halloween without treats.)

    It works best with 3 or more people.

    Supplies Needed:
    A Bucket, Hat, or Bowl (to put the questions in)
    Paper torn into smaller pieces
    Pens and or pencils
    Bells to ring in when you know the answer to someone else's question
    Small prize for each question that is answered correctly (candy, pennies, etc)

    The way we play is fairly simple. We each write out a bunch of questions on separate slips of paper and put them all in a Halloween bucket. Then we take turns pulling out a question. If the person who drew the question out doesn't know the answer, someone can use their hand bell to ring in and snag the other person's candy. This game is great to play with any type of movie, and I've been known to play it with my family during power outages.

    The best games are ones you can play anywhere.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Bell Delivery

    We had a dilemma come up with some of our bells not being able to find their location once they were shipped out. So since the customer is located in the same state, a person from the warehouse the bells had shipped from did a personal delivery to ensure that they made it to their location in time for the game that they were purchased for. Here is the email from our customer:

    I just wanted to let you know that somebody just dropped off the cow bells at the house. I wish we were able to get in touch with them before they made that long drive here but I so totally appreciate you going WAY above and beyond to make sure that they got here by this afternoon.
    The bells look amazing and they were definitely worth the wait. We will be ordering again for sure. Hopefully I can get the league to order a much larger quantity for next year.
    Again- thank you, thank you!!!!

    We are so glad that we were able to make this customer so happy, and we strive to achieve this with all of our customers.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    With Bells On! Where did that come from?

    Ever invite someone to a party or an event and had them reply, "I'll be there with bells on!"

    Most of us know that this statement means that they are eager to attend. But where did this phrase originate from?

    There are several different theories as to where this particular sentiment originated:
    • Theory #1:
      The costume of a court jester. The court jester would wear a costume to many events that was decorated with bells. Most of these events were lively parties, in which the participants celebrated one occasion or another in merriment. 
    • Theory #2:
      This theory goes back to days before the modern automobile. When people rode around in horse drawn carriages. Sometimes when attending a holiday or festive event, they would use harnesses on the horses that had jingle bells on them.
    • Theory #3:
      In the Appalachian mountains and other areas of the U.S. peddlers had to be quite when they roamed in order to avoid bandits and other threats to themselves and their wares. When reaching a settlement or town the peddler would place bells on their horses to announce their arrival to that settlement's people. People were always excited for a peddler's arrival since they were able to receive not only goods and wares that were sold by the peddlers, but also because the peddlers would bring news and letters from the outside world.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Jingle Bell Spider Craft by

    We have found a fascinating craft for Halloween that uses craft bells and with permission from we are sharing this neat little creation with you!

    All directions and photos are written by and taken by Crafts For All Seasons.

    Things Needed:
    • Two 25 mM (1-inch) jinglebells (orange, black, purple, or green look best for Halloween)
    • Two 12 inch long black pipe cleaners
    • 24 beads (I used 8 mM round marbleized pearl beads)
    • Scissors
    • Small length of wire (I used 20 gauge wire)
    • Small jewelry pliers (optional, but come in handy)
    • Glue
    1.  Begin the jingle bell spider by attaching the two jingle bells together.  This is most easily done by taking a small length of wire and threading it between the two small hangers in each jingle bell, and wrapping it several times to secure.  Use some jewelry pliers to help.

    threading jingle bellsjingle bells wrapped

    2.  Cut each 12 inch pipe cleaner in two six inch sections, you will have four total.

    pipe cleaners

    3.  Thread two pipe cleaners through the front jingle bell, and two through the back jingle bell, as shown below.

    threaded pipe cleaners

    4.  Thread on a bead on to each of the 8 pipe cleaner legs, and thread it all the way up flush with the jingle bell.   You can use a little glue to secure if desired.  This keeps the legs from coming out of the jingle bells.

    threaded beads

    5.  Now, take your time and bend each leg to look like a spider leg.  Begin by bending each pipe cleaner up from where it comes out of the jingle bell.  Then about halfway down make the pipe cleaner bend down.  Look at the photos for help.  Then, thread on two more beads on each leg.  Secure the beads with a little bit of glue, if desired.  A cord can also be added around the middle of the two jingle bells for hanging.

    spider decoration2

    To view this craft at it's original location please visit: and be sure to check out all their other crafts while you are there!

    Thank you to Crafts for All Seasons for letting us share this wonderful little Halloween craft with our readers!

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    A Saturday Night in Hillsville with the Bells

     Just a little repost from our Red Hill General Store Blog:

    Whether you're a local or just passing through,
    Hillsville, Virginia is for a family like you!

    We're not the only folks around that feel this way,
    A family of five bells have something to say.

    They started their Saturday looking at sites,
    Doesn't the courthouse really look nice?

    The civil war statue is something to see,
    It won't disappoint you, Mr. Bell will guarantee.

    Now the little ones will want something refreshing and sweet,
    if it doesn't ruin their dinner, get them a tastee-freez treat.

    With full bellies of sugar, it's time to play,
    Fast down the green slide, hip-hip horray!

    Time to cool off now in the close by stream,
    it paints a perfect picture of the American Dream.

    You're never too old to be high in the air,
    Swinging around with not even a care.

    To finish the day in this sweet country town,
    stop by Red Hill, the best store around.
    Kids love our candy, there's no doubt this is true,
    now the question is, how about you?

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    What are those bells on motorcycles?

    With all this nice weather lately there have been a lot of motorcyclist traveling through the Hillsville, VA and Fancy Gap, VA area, enjoying the parkway I presume. I happened to notice that some of the bikes had a little bell hanging on them, curious about this, I decided to do a little research:

    From what I was able to gather gremlins are little imps that like to hitch rides on motorcycles and wreak havoc during their stay. It is believed that evil road gremlins cannot live in the presence of bells. It is said that their hearing is super-sensitive and that the constant ringing of the bell will drive them insane. It is believed that a gremlin bell works even if you purchase your own, however, it is stronger if it is given to you from someone who cares about you.

    It is said that the bell should be mounted as low to the road as possible without interfering with any of the parts of the motorcycle.

    It might be a neat idea to get a small custom bell for someone you know who rides a motorcycle as their own gremlin bell.

    If you are curious about the legends behind the gremlin bell a quick search on google will reveal tons of information and folk lore.

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Wedding Bells Revisited

    If you have been following our Bell Blog, then you know that we have talked about the history of wedding bells in the past. Today, we are going to give you an idea on how to use those bells in a wedding.

    three wedding bells
    Bells look adorable with bows and handed out as favors at weddings. And you can add a tag that reads: "Ring for a newlywed Kiss", "Ring for a Kiss", "Ring for a wedding Kiss", or "Ring to make a Toast" (really the list of reasons to ring a wedding bell is endless).

    Or, if you're handwriting isn't that great (or you don't want to write on 100s of tags), you can order a custom bell for your favors:

    two wedding bells

    Bells and weddings go hand in hand and have for a long time. So if you want or need a little bit of something traditional. Then the wedding bell is the way to go. Of course, wedding bells don't have to be typical of tradition, you can also use small bells tied on strings and woven above the aisle, it would be lovely on a nice breezy afternoon wedding to hear the tinkling of tiny bells as you walk towards your future spouse.

    kiss bell

    We would love to hear about bells being used in weddings. Let us know what you've seen or done with wedding bells.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Keep Birds out of Your Fruit Trees

    Fruit trees are a delicious source of meals for our feathered friends. But with all the work that we put into growing these trees so that we can have the harvest for ourselves, it is often times very agitating to realize that you are sharing your harvest with a bunch of cute little free loaders.

    So some steps that you can take to prevent birds from eating all your apples, cherries, etc. are as follows:
    • Reflective objects tend to cause birds to not want to be near the source of this strange light. Also noise is rather bothersome to birds. So one way to knock out two birds with one stone (ha, ha, sorry couldn't help myself) is to find some reflective bells that could be strung together so that not only are the bells ringing, but they are also clanging into each other for even more noise effect.
    • Birds also don't like being doused with water when they are not expecting it, you might want to consider installing timed sprinklers near your tree so that if birds are resting there they get a sudden cold shower.
    • If birds have an even easier food supply to get food from they won't want to bother with the fruit trees. Distract them with bird feeders placed away from the trees (but close enough that they will visit the feeder instead) do a little research on the types of birds that are "visiting" your fruit trees and find out which seeds for your feeder will attract them the most.
    Those are just a few tips for keeping birds from eating your fruit. We'd love to hear what methods you've been using!

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Garden Bells

    Ah, hanging out on the back porch, having cookouts, friends over, just generally enjoying the outdoors. But if you are like me you start noticing all the little things that need to be done outside while enjoying the sounds of birds, the breeze, and the smell of the flowers.

    The yard might need to be weeded, the porch stained or power washed, the grill brought out and cleaned up. You get the idea.

    But once all the work is done and overly weathered outdoor decor has been fixed or nixed (depending on the condition) you might find yourself yearning for some new decor.

    One piece of decor that I feel every porch needs is (wait for it....)

    A BELL!

    Bells go well with almost any decor style, from country to modern. Garden bells come in several sizes, colors, and shapes:

    See,  this is just an example of two different bells, but they are so different and each would give a porch it's own unique signature look.

    We would love to see pictures or hear ideas of how you've used garden bells to decorate your own home.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Wedding Bell History

    Spring is in the air and that means that summer months will soon be here. Summer tends to be the most popular time for weddings. So for those of you planning, helping to plan, or attending weddings this summer, we have a little wedding bell history for you to enjoy.

    Wedding bells have been around for many years. And as with many things that have been around for as long as wedding bells have there is a little bit of history, tradition, and superstition behind them.

    It was once believed that evil spirits were all around and apparently they were intent upon ruining happy moments for people. Wedding bells were believed to scare off these evil spirits that were intent upon ruining the couple's happy day. Also in other beliefs, it was thought that wedding bells would help to promise good luck and fortune to the newly weds' future.  In many cases, people rung bells for the couple to kiss. Who would want evil spirits trying to ruin a sweet kiss from a blissfully just wed couple?

    One of the most recognized symbols of a wedding is two bells tied together with a bow. This probably signifies the joining together of two people into one life.

    Some weddings, particularly ones that do not have any alcoholic beverages, the Bride and Groom have bells handed out to guests so that they can use them during toasts instead of clinking together glasses.

    Bells are a very traditional touch to a wedding, and there are so many options that you can use bells for. They can be used during the ceremony, instead of rice when the Bride and Groom set off on their new life together, small craft bells can be used to jazz up floral arrangements, bells can be used as the wedding cake topper, and in centerpieces. We have heard of couple's who used small wedding bells hung up in outdoor weddings so when ever a breeze came through the guests would have some lovely tinkling music to enjoy. You can use customized bells as wedding favors and so much more.

    If you want a piece of tradition in your wedding keep the bell in mind.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    25 Uses for Bells

    There are many bells, different sizes, different types, etc. But what can they all be used for?  Here are 25 different ways to use various bells:

    1. Train a pet to come to dinner.
    2. Train a pet to let you know when they need to go potty.
    3. Noise makers at sporting events.
    4. Ornaments for a Christmas tree.
    5. Decorate a wreath.
    6. Add to a bouquet of flowers for something unique.
    7. Put on a pet’s collar to warn smaller animals. (ex. Warn a mouse of a cat’s presence)
    8. Use on an elf costume.
    9. Use in a Halloween costume.
    10. Use by someone who is bed bound.
    11. Get people’s attention.
    12. Centerpiece for a wedding.
    13. Use in a garland as decor.
    14. Use on a scarecrow to help scare away the birds.
    15. Use instead of birdseed/rice at a wedding.
    16. Use to let the cows know that dinner is coming.
    17. Use as a door bell.
    18. Let your family know that dinner is ready.
    19. Use as a desk bell to get clerk’s attention.
    20. Get several small ones and make a wind chime.
    21. Put one on a door that leads to stairs so you will be warned if a little one is entering a danger zone.
    22. Ring in the New Year.
    23. If you work in a business, use one to announce a sale.
    24. If you work in a business encourage customers to ring if they had a good experience there.
    25. If you work with small children use one to let them know when recess is over.
    Didn't see an idea that you have used or have thought of using? Let us know what we missed in the comments!

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Desk Bell/Call Bell

    This bell is one that many people have seen during their lives, they aren't seen as frequently today as they once were. These classic bells used to found nearly everywhere, from teacher's desks, to secretary counters in Dr.'s offices, Post Office counters, the front desk in hotels, on the counter at the tailor's, etc.  This list goes on.  These bells make neat gifts for people who are in the fields that used to use these bells.  Teachers sometimes get a kick out of them, and even put them to use in their classrooms after receiving one.

    Where do you remember seeing the desk bell?

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Bells for Pets

    Some people have used bells that hang off of their doorknob to train dogs how to let them know when they want outside to use the bathroom. But how many of you have heard of a cat who has learned how to ring a bell to notify their owners of some sort of need?

    Janet at Of Cats and Cardstock has taught her cat, Lily, how to ring a bell for food. Lily learned how to ring her bell for food and even got to the point that Janet had to confiscate the bell. However, Lily, being a very intellectual feline, found that one of her toys has a bell in it and decided to use that as the replacement for her bag of bells. 

    Picture of Lily by Janet

    Now that is a smart cat!

    Teaching pets an alternative way to let us know things can come in handy, no more dog scratches in the door, and no more loud and crazy mewing from the cat who just wants an early dinner.

    For the doggie "door bell" you could get some ribbon (probably 1" wide or wider) sew jingle bells or craft size cow bells every so often down the length of your ribbon (leaving a big enough empty spot at the top to tie around your doorknob.) And make the ribbon long enough for "Fido" to reach with his/her paw.

    For the Kitty "dinner bell" get some scrap fabric (cotton or some other organic type that will not harm your cat if she chews on it) cut out 2 squares or rectangles (choose a size that you feel would be appropriate for your kitty. and sew together 3 sides with the side that you want to show, facing each other. Then flip the fabric right side out. Place a few jingle bells inside (you can also stuff it if you want the bells to sound more muffled) then stitch together the open end.

    Hope your pet bell ringing training goes well!

    And thank you Janet for allowing us to feature Lily in our blog!


    From Janet: I actually got the idea to teach Lily because I knew of a dog who had been trained to use a doggie door bell as you describe. I'm sure Lily could have been trained with a hanging bag, just like a dog, but I used a cloth bag which sits on the floor next to her food bowl.

    It took about 2 weeks of training for her to consistently ring the bells for food. At first I wiggled the bag with her paw so she'd hear the bells then gave her a nibble of her food. I kept doing this until she associated the sound with the food. I also repeated the command "ring the bell" until she learned to do it herself. I would love to hear any success stories! :)

    From a Facebook friend:  our rabbit uses one, its rather silly, and adorable at the same time.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Bells for your Scarecrow

    On Pressure Cooker Outlet's blog we talked about the benefits of having an edible garden. Now, what if you go ahead with your garden only to discover that the birds are feasting upon your hard worked for vegetables & fruits? One method that has been used since America was first settled is the Scarecrow.

    Making a scarecrow does not have to be a difficult task.

    2x4 board 6 to 7 feet long
    2x4 board 3 to 4 feet long
    Hay or something to stuff with
    Old unused clothing (great way to recycle some items)
    Something to make noise (BELLS!)
    (needle and thread may be needed depending on the bells you decide to use)
    Old pillow case

    1. Place the longer 2x4 on the ground, nail the shorter one to it in a lowercase t shape, so that it is low enough to be considered arms.
    2. When you dress your scarecrow if using pants, put the long piece of lumber through one leg, stuff both legs with straw or other stuffing and tie the waistband to the board.
    3. Place the scarecrow in its garden spot and pound the frame into the ground.
    4. Finish dressing the scarecrow by putting on its shirt and stuffing the arms.
    5. Fill the pillowcase with straw for the head and slip it over the top of the board; tuck the pillowcase end into the shirt and use rope to secure the head to the frame.
    6. Add finishing touches, like a face, hat, gloves etc.
    7. Place ribbons streamers, bells, pie plates or chimes so they’ll move when the wind blows, if desired.
    We recommend sewing mini cow bells to the ends of about half of your ribbons before tying them onto the scarecrow.  This will add much needed racket and it will ensure that the bells are well placed so that they do not fall off. Jingle Bells will work as well.

    Now you are ready to go!

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Welcome to Bell Outlet's Blog

    When you have a need for bells of any kind, Bell Outlet is the place for you we are the ultimate bell store.  We have almost every bell imaginable.  Everything from Cow Bells, Hand Bells, Craft Bells, Garden Bells, Call Bells, Shop Keeper Bells, Customized Bells and more.

    Bells are great for party favors, wedding decor, events, sport games, etc.

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...