Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pirates and Pixies

No small bones about it, I'm foisting my interests all up on my Kid. It started innocently enough: NBC was showing Peter Pan Live (and I wrote all about it). Then, he got into Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Then, as part of our prep-watching for our upcoming vacation to Disney World, we watched Disney's Peter Pan for one of our movie nights. It was all over from there...

And I love it.

So, when he asked me to make him fairy wings so he could play Tinker Bell, I couldn't say no. We took a trip to Michael's to pick out some flowers and paint, and I finally forgave Jake for having wire hangers in his closet. (He's getting better, but there are still a couple. I struggle not to go all Joan Crawford on him, but it's what keeps our marriage interesting.) I used this tutorial, which was pretty darned clear. My one note: even though I used Q-sized stockings, they compressed my hanger-shapes, so they wound up thinner than my original design. It's cool; he loves them, and so do I!

The Kid had asked me for "black and white stripes with orange squiggles and flowers," and I think I delivered. It's definitely the most Tim Burton-y, Halloween-y thing I've ever made! He's been flying around the apartment for the last couple of days, and I get to be his Peter Pan. Not complaining!
So, then.

I realized if I could make fairy wings, I could probably make a pair of swords for swordfighting, too. The Kid has been initiating swordfights with everything from chopsticks to plastic cucumbers to rubber snakes. Jake and I hadn't had The Play Weapon Talk yet--it had never come up. But both of us figured, if The Kid uses safe foam swords to play pirate, how could we argue?

Especially because I'm a craft-nerd who already had all of the materials, and didn't have to buy anything...

Tutorial after the jump.

1 Poly-Fill Tru-Foam foam pad
Black Sharpie
Paints (I used Liquitex acrylics)
Mod-Podge (I used satin finish)

How To:
1. Sketch out your sword shape on the foam. You can absolutely use a ruler and a level for straight lines and consistent angels. I threw caution to the wind, and it turned out just fine.

2. Cut your swords out. Trim any unsightly ridges and edges; I found that the edges around the hilt were the hardest.

3. Paint your swords. I used gray for the blade and golden brown for the handle. Let the first side dry completely before flipping onto the other side. Drying sufficiently took about an hour and a half. Be sure to paint all sides. I didn't find a second coat necessary. Now you could skip to step 5, or...

4. ...Add embellishments! The Kid's favorite color is orange, so I sketched out some jewels on the hilt and painted one orange. The other is blue, because color wheel opposites. I outlined the embellishments with cartoonish black lines. Again, be sure to let the paint dry completely between steps.

5. Seal the handle and hilt with your Mod-Podge. We first started swordfighting the day after I made the swords, but without sealer, the handles were very floppy (of course) and started to crack. The Mod-Podge sealed up the cracks and hardened the handles, so we could fight to our dastardly hearts' content!

 6. Fight with your favorite pirate! Don't forget to yell "You codfish!" and "Yo, ho, ho!" a lot. And, if you're anything like The Kid, insist on only hitting the swords and not each other. Because "we're sword fighting, not people fighting!"


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