Star Wars Birthday Party Bits: or foolish flotsam

At long last, the Star Wars party was coming closer and closer.  The big or time intensive projects like the Millennium Falcon, styrofoam fort, Yoda backpacks and Yoda lantern were complete.  I always start with the most complicated  project so I have time if it doesn’t turn out right (I typically plan these parties about 2 months out).  The remaining bits and pieces were not complicated enough to warrant a single post (“I photocopied a Star Wars poster and covered it in clear contact paper to make a laminated placemat.  The end.”), but all the little pieces added to the overall theme, of course.  Here we go — roll call, Star Wars Birthday Party Bits:

Death Star lantern:

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A Yoda green lantern painted gray with details in white and black.  This was supposed to be a pull string piñata but I gave up on that and just bought the real deal.  I wished later I had made the white light details much smaller, but that would have taken a very small paintbrush and many hours.  So I took a deep breath, repeated the “my interpretation” mantra, and was rewarded when Big Brother saw it and immediately asked if he could go look at the “Death Star”.  The kid knows what it is — mission accomplished.

Chewbacca table runner:

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A piece of brown craft paper with a black diagonal stripe and silver details to take up negative space on the table.  It didn’t work quite as well as I wold have liked but it was kind of a minor detail, as the kids did not spend much time at the table.  I toyed with the idea of purchasing some Star Wars fabric and making a runner but I already had the paper and paint, which was a much easier idea and cheaper . . . you do the math.

Poster Placemats

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A wise person once wrote:  “I photocopied a Star Wars poster and covered it in clear contact paper to make a laminated placemat. The end.”  I did take one of the minimalist posters I found online and played around with the color in Power Point using the picture format tools, but otherwise it was pretty straightforward.

Crayons and Notepads

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I had been wanting to try this crayon idea before so I was excited to do this.  I bought a few boxes of cheap crayons in addition to Big Brother’s broken ones, removed the paper, broke the crayon into inch sections, lined a muffin tin with foil cupcake liners, and placed light and dark crayons in each tin to make round crayons.  Based on the color palette of each crayon, I printed some “stickers” of different characters (Mace Windu — purple; Padme — red; Luke — blue; etc).  I wrapped the crayons almost like candy in waxed paper and then glued the “stickers” to each crayon.  If I could do it over again I would not make the crayon look like candy because once the kids opened the goody bags I had to stop one kid in the act of almost biting into his crayon –“It’s not candy!!!!”  That could have been interesting . . .

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I had noticed at Target some dollar Star Wars coloring sheets.  Alas, when it came time to purchase them they had all been replaced with Transformers.  What was a mom to do?  I grabbed some small Mead notebooks, took the black and white accidental photocopies of the poster placemats and cut out the most visually pleasing part to the size of the notebook.  I added a matte of leftover Yoda green card stock and boom — Star Wars notebook, decorated with reusable items.  Paper and crayons, y’all.

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Jawa sand table

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I have two little boys, one who was potty training at the time of the party planning.  That means a lot of butt-wiping.  What in the hell does this have to do with Jawas, you might wonder?  I had a TON of leftover toilet paper tubes.  I knew the sand table was going to be labeled as Tatooine, but other than sand I had nothing to tie it in with the planet.  And so the toilet paper tube Jawa was born.  I figured the kids would enjoy scooping up sand in the tubes or other random imaginative things kids tend to do with toys.  I drew the Jawa eyes first with an orange marker, and then colored around the “face” (the “weirdly slanted Hershey Kiss head”, as my boss called it — thanks Greg) with a black permanent marker.  I painted the rest of the tube with brown acrylic paint I had on hand, and then, because I am a ridiculous person, I varnished the outside since: 1) the paint felt weird; and 2) to provide a second barrier against lingering germs.  You can’t exactly Lysol a cardboard tube.  I then made some R2-D2 and “Red”  droid tubes as well by painting the tubes silver or white first, and then drawing on the details with different colored Sharpies.

Foam Light Sabers

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I had some foam tubes leftover from an aborted attempt to make a chain for the anchor of my cardboard pirate ship (another time, another time).  Although I had read about using pool noodles to make lightsabers, I could not find any cheap enough.  At Home Depot the pipe insulation foam was about 2.50 for 4, so that seemed decent.  I bought some green wrapping paper (I would have preferred a metallic green foil paper, but the All Things Star Wars Craft Store doesn’t exist yet, so I had to make do).  I cut the foam to size using Big Brother as a model, and then wrapped it in green paper, leaving a bit of black at the bottom for the handle.  I made Lil’ Bro a red light saber because: 1) he always says, “I’m Darth Vader!” and 2) he kind of is a troublemaker, maybe a little too in touch with the Dark Side . . .  Easy to say the kids thoroughly enjoyed whaling on just about everything with their sabers relatively harmlessly.    I had the brilliant idea to also wrap the approximately 1 foot sections I had left over from cutting the sabers to size to make miniature sabers to dangle from some fishing wire as a decoration.  Alas I ran out of time on the day of the party but I thought it was an awesome idea.

Jedi Tunics

I bought enough unbleached muslin (6 yards, I think) to make 12 Jedi tunics.  I had a 50% off coupon for the fabric so it was about a dollar a yard.  I cut rectangles 18×40-42 (which is a yard of fabric folded in half along the short edge.  I measured Big Brother’s head first to get an idea of the size of the neck opening and drew a diamond shaped pattern on paper.  Using one rectangle as a sample, I folded it in half and cut a triangle along the fold to form a diamond-shaped neck opening once the rectangle was opened.  I did not bother sewing up the sides, this was just going to go right over their heads every easily.  I had some leftover tan microfiber/suede material which I cut into strips to make a belt.  Next thing you know, 12 padawans runnin’ around.

Dagobah/Mustafar

I made an obstacle course of sorts near the swing set:

  • Green streamers on the swingset to mimic the moss and vines on DagobahDSC01634
  • Milk carton stormtroopers on fishing wire — the troopers never go to Dagobah, but the kids needed something to smack.

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  • I incorporated the lava lake from Mustafar into the obstacle course because I already had a balance beam and just liked the idea.  I bought  a red plastic tablecloth and cut some pieces of cardboard into irregular shapes to mimic cooled lava.  I then spray painted them red, one light coat all over, and then a black rim on the edges.  I was ridiculously pleased with that effect.  I taped the lava rocks to the table cloth so the kids wouldn’t slip if they jumped on one.
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Birthday party sign

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This was the project that makes my husband roll his eyes because there is probably an easier but more expensive way to do this.  Anyway, I have a phobia of downloading things from the computer I don’t understand, thinking I am going to unleash an army of viruses somehow.  So I refused to download a Star Wars font for the sign, I copied and pdf’d the alphabet, blew it up to the size I wanted in Power Point, printed it, cut the letters out, and traced them on the white butcher paper my sons’ daycare so nicely gave me (I only needed 4 feet of paper, not 400!) to say “Happy Birthday” and painted the letters.  I outlined it with yellow and put “Episode VI” at the bottom since he was turning 6.  Although since I am not Roman and I was probably painting this late a night,  I got my numerals mixed up and made him 4.  Oops.  No one noticed, except me about 30 minutes before people showed up.  I briefly considered getting out the paint and fixing it but quite honestly no one gave a crap — I include myself in that category at that point, but it still bugged me all day.  For the crowning touch I found a silhouette of Vader and Luke dueling from the real Episode IV.  Using the same method I used for the words in the sign, I copied, pdf’d, skewed, cut and traced those along with a cool Bespin background, and painted that on the sign as well.  It turned out pretty close to what I imagined.  Except for those damn Roman numerals.  No wonder the Roman Empire collapsed.

Invites — “This is the party you’re looking for”

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In the course of researching this party, I came across a lot of minimalist Star Wars art.  A lot of the parties I saw used a literal reference to the movie images.  The idea of trying to do this gave me nightmares, but using a different but no less evocative take on Star Wars help alleviate some of that pressure, and was unique, too.  I started with the wording first and then tried to find pictures to go along with it.  I could not find a good minimalist picture of Obi Wan, but I took a movie still and used the artistic picture formatting tools in Word (specifically the cutout feature), and managed to make it look minimalist but still referential.

Station signs

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Using the same minimalist art, I created station posters at each of the play areas and used cardboard to make simple easels.

Food

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Here I came up with menu item names, with the exception of Luke Skywater, Ewokamole, (which was not made out of Ewoks) Wookie Cookies, Han Rolos, Trooper Scoopers:

  • Alderaan Applesauce (in pouches.  In fact Big Brother calls them Yoda sauce because they are green and the twist cap kind of looks like Yoda’s ears)
  • DagobahDrumsticks — found them on sale, roasted them the day before and nuked ’em on the day of the party — I hate turning on the oven and making the house hot since everyone ends up in the kitchen
  • Bespin Black Beans — made the day before and heated in the crockpot
  • Corusant Cornbread — cheap, easy to make, made it that morning
  • Salacious Salsa
  • Trooper Scoopers
  • Ewokamole
  • Han Rolos and Wookie Cookies

Cupcakes

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I really wanted to do something creative but relatively easy.  I came up with a Chewbacca cupcake — again, that bandolier is so easy.  I used the old frosting in a sandwich bag trick, made a few practive pipes to get the frosting to lay flat.  Instead of cutting off the corner at an angle like I usually do, I cut a slit along the seam of the bag, and laid my hand sideways to get a flat strip of frosting to look like a bandolier.  Then I piped some white bullets or whatever those are across the front.  To be honest, not everyone knew what the cupcakes were, and at the right angle it could be mistaken for a football, but I liked them.

I did make Geoffrey a small cake with the leftover batter.  After watching Cake Boss so many years I actually managed to pipe a decent edging on the cake — this was my first time trying that!  I cut out the cardboard Star Wars logo from a shoebox, glued waxed paper to the back of it, and placed it on the cake.

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Decorations —

Other than streamers, I didn’t do much decoration in the house since I had the Yoda lanterns and the Death Star Lantern, which I hung over the table, plus a freaking Millennium Falcon and snow fort in the backyard.  I also hung a sign on the front door of 3-PO and Jabba that said, “The illustrious Jabba bids you welcome” and also hung signs on the kids’ bedroom and my bedroom that said “Restricted Area — No Padawans”

Pinata

Pullstring piñata with candy, raisins, and bracelets made from what appeared to be curly telephone cord.  Whatever, they were a dollar for 4 at Target and the kids were like jackals when that piñata came open.

Death Star Ball Toss/Cornhole

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This poor ball toss has been through 4 incarnations — candy corn, Mickey Mouse, Batman, and now Star Wars.  I wanted to make the exhaust port that the Rebels try to hit with their proton torpedos.   Taking a large rectangle of cardboard, I cut a piece of butcher paper to size over an existing hole in the box which would be the exhaust port, and cut out a hexagon for the exhaust port.  Other than painting the trench and the exhaust port specifically, I randomly painted geometric figures on the paper, referring to a close up of the Death Star for inspiration.  I taped the paper to the front of the box.  The cardboard was folded in an L shape and propped in the grass.  I crumpled packing paper from an aborted “We have to sell this house because there’s a bat in the spare bedroom (true story)” attempt into balls, and secured them with clear packing tape to mimic proton torpedos.  The adults played with this as much if not more than the kids.

The party was a great success — the kids seemed like they had a great time, even though I kicked all the kids out in the backyard and put all the toy boxes in our bedroom because invariably the kids pull out every toy in the living room.   My mama didn’t raise no fool.

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Yoda Lantern & Yoda backpack: or, no fool, Yoda is

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It’s been a while since my last post.  Not for lack of ideas but for all that parenting and working stuff that pays the bills and keeps my children from ending up in jail when they turn 18.  For Big Brother’s Star Wars birthday party, I tried to incorporate as many Star Wars elements and characters as possible.  Let’s face it, for a character that has been both a puppet and a CGI image but never real, there just is no Star Wars without Yoda’s little lovable green self.  I embarked on two Yoda-based projects, a Yoda backpack for the kids and Yoda lanterns.

Yoda Lantern

The Yoda lantern came about from a somewhat misdirected attempt to make a Death Star lantern.  I could not find any gray paper globe lanterns at the party store, but I did find bright Yoda green.  I mean how could I not make a Yoda lantern when a bright green globe was shoved in my face?  I decided, befitting my mantra of “my interpretation” of Star Wars I would not even attempt to draw or paint his face — I knew I would not be successful and Yoda would look really creepy.   I decided to go with a silhouette instead.

Yoda lantern materials:

  • round green paper lantern
  • green cardstock

I free-handed a Yoda ear pattern with a little tab at the part that would connect with the lantern.  On the card stock, I traced 4 ears (well really 8 because I made two lanterns but I’m sure if you’re reading this you passed long division in 3rd grade).

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After I cut them out, I taped two together at the tip of the ear.  I then folded the tab of each ear so that they nested inside each other to make a vaguely triangular shape and secured it with tape.

Yoda triangle

I did this for each ear and then realized I had hit a snag.  The lantern was curved but the base of the ear was not.  I couldn’t figure out how to get the ear to be flush against the globe.  Yeah, I barely passed geometry.  I still can’t figure it out.  Now had Yoda’s head been square this would not be a problem.  Unfortunately, George Lucas did not take my birthday planning needs into account 35 years ago.  I wouldn’t be able to hot glue the ear to the lantern as I intended, I’d have to tape them.  I ran a piece of tape down the middle of the ear tab with a little overlap off the ends and taped it to the lantern.  And then it fell off.

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So I had to secure the tape with more tape.  It was getting ridiculous, redundant and precarious but now the battle was enjoined.  It was . . . “do or do not” time.  So basically I taped the hell out of it and made it stick.  Dare I say I held it on with the Force?

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I ended up hanging them from the entry way light so Yoda could say to arriving guests “When 900 pieces of tape you need, look as good you will not, hmmm?”

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Yoda Backpacks

After surviving the lantern debacle, I moved on to the goody bags.  I don’t remember how I got to this idea, because my original and much simpler idea was to add a strip of black paper with silver rectangles painted on to the front of a brown paper bag to look like Chewbacca’s bandolier.  Simple, modern, and cheap.  I did end up using this idea for some of the kids who were not able to come to the party.

chewbacca bag

Somehow in the course of researching this party I came across the idea of having the kids run in the yard with a backpack and stuffed Yoda on their back through an obstacle course.  I briefly and insanely considered making backpacks from muslin with a 2D Yoda and then came to my senses (“you can’t draw Yoda’s face, girl!”).  I saw this post  on how to make a backpack from a paper bag.  With a little rumination at my desk (I made like George Costanza and rubbed my furrowed brow like I was doing something work-related that was really hard) I modified the design of the backpack to make it work.

Yoda Paper Bag Backpack Materials:

  • brown craft paper for the straps
  • paper shopping bag (1-2 per backpack if you do not have brown craft paper)
  • Ivory, cream or manila card stock
  • Yoda green card stock
  • Any free printable Yoda mask cutout

The original design includes cutting parts of the bag, which did not work for me.  Instead, using Big Brother as a model, I folded in the top inside of the bag to make it the right size and give the backpack a nice smooth edge.  If you do not have a roll of heavy duty brown paper (at one time my husband bought this at Home Depot for a project and I have since taken it over so technically this did not cost me anything), you can cut the top of the bag and save the scraps for the straps instead.  The paper bag has a natural fold from when it is laid flat.  I simply stapled the bottom edge of the bag to the back edge of the bag to make kind of an accordion-folder type backpack.

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I cut two 2.5 inch strips of the heavy duty paper, which was the same weight as the paper bag, and folded the edges inward to make a 1 inch wide strip with finished edges.  I ended up having to tape the folds down on the inside for a smoother strap.  I doubled folded each end of the strap approximately half an inch for greater durability.  Using Big Brother’s real backpack as a model, I stapled the top of the straps more towards the center top of the backpack, and angled the ends toward the outside of the backpack  This seemed to make the backpack hang more naturally then two parallel straps.

Now for His Greeness.  I scrounged around at work and found some old manila folders that were waiting to be recycled.  I made a pattern of basically a torso and some arms (no hands) and cut that out on the manila folder.  I printed out the Yoda mask, decided the blank eye holes were extremely creepy, and then –sigh– hand colored in irises and pupils so I could sleep at night without worrying about an army of dead-eyed decapitated Yoda zombie heads using the Force to come down the hall and levitate me out of my bed.  Yeah, that’s where my brain goes sometimes.  I could not fit both Yoda’s head and body onto one folder (darn ears) so I had to cut out a backing for his head separately at an angle.  I glued the Yoda head to the backing, and then glued the head to the torso cutout.

I created a pattern for Yoda’s hands with a little “wrist” or tab so it could be glued to the end of the manila sleeve, thanked George that he only had three fingers, and cursed George because of Yoda’s nails which I would have liked to have replicated but had to fall back on the “my interpretation” mantra and let that detail go.  I traced the hand pattern on green card stock — I would recommend printing the Yoda face first and then trying to match that color to the available card stock, which I found out the hard way.   I glued the Yoda figure to the backpack  and bam  there were a bunch of Lukes running around with Yoda on their backs.

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Now keep in mind, these ended up being humongous goody bags.  I would have liked to have done this with a lunch bag, but they were too delicate and kind of too small for a backpack.  I handed these out at the time we broke open the piñata, and called them goody bags but there was not enough candy to warrant the size of the bag.  However, when it was filled with the Jedi tunics, crayons, notebooks, and the lightsabers that survived the afternoon, it seemed  little more proportional.   On the back of Yoda’s head I wrote “Grateful I am that came you did” so that also covered the thank you note I never send out.  When the parents started giggling and whipping out their cameras to take pictures of the kids with the backpacks, I knew I had done something right and felt — you guessed it, foolishly happy.

Building a styrofoam fort: or, foolishly accepting Kathyann’s challenge

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One of the ways I make time to craft is to do small portable projects on my lunch break at my desk, listening to 80’s hits with my ear buds (“Chak chak chak Chaka Khan.  Chaka Khan . . .”).  Inevitably, someone will ask, “What’s with all the black pompons, Melody?”  Or I’ll contrive to artfully toss a pompon into someone’s cubicle to have an excuse to show off the Halloween spiders I was working on.  One of my co-workers, Kathyann, always: 1) admired my work; 2) asked where I came up with the idea; 3) encouraged me to to come up with something original instead of tweaking what I saw online.  With the Star Wars party in full planning mode I threw down the gauntlet and said “Challenge accepted, Kathyann!”

I was looking at a styrofoam insert from a monstrous microwave we had just purchased.  It had such interesting shapes, in particular a porthole-looking cutout, that I, sick individual that I am, thought it reminded me of Star Wars and maybe I could use it to make some sort of ship along with some other pieces of styrofoam.  When I threw this idea out to Kathyann, she mentioned she had 4 enormous styrofoam containers she wanted to get rid of.  All she had to say was “free” and I was hooked.  I took those 4 containers, the microwave insert, and some of those inexpensive styrofoam coolers they sell at the grocery store we already had on hand, cleared out the garage, and started to basically play with very large blocks, like some grotesque parody of a toddler, for all the neighborhood to see.  All I needed was a onesie and a pacifier.  Besides that scary image,  this was the scary and exhilarating part about creating on the fly — no blueprints, no instructions, just makin’ it up as you go along and only yourself to blame if it doesn’t come out right.

I also had to let the structure speak to me about what was going to work and what wasn’t.  Kind of like when you try to convince your extremely curly hair that it wants to be straight, like the Jedi mind trick.  But your hair yearns to be curly again, like Frodo’s Ring trying to find its way back to Sauron (I know I’m mixing my franchises but you get the picture).  So sometimes you just have to go with it.  I had intended to make a ship of some sort, but the resultant structure looked more like a fort than anything else.  I immediately declared it the Echo Base “located on the 6th planet of the Hoth System” and took pictures of it for reference when I was ready to build it.

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I gathered up some bamboo skewers and toothpicks, and bought some tacky glue for greater support as there would be a number of little boys probably doing their best to tear it up.  These were the only things I purchased for this project.  I started gluing together pieces of styrofoam and secured them together using the bamboo skewers or toothpicks depending on the thickness of the pieces.  I tried to put the skewers in the thickest parts of the styrofoam for better stability.  Once it was dry I checked the stability again, and some of the pieces were wobbly, and seemed like they were depending on the skewers for support which made me nervous.  Here I got probably the best idea I could have had.  I took more of the cut up wardrobe boxes leftover from the Falcon experience and glued the bottom of each side of the fort to one strip of cardboard.  This not only gave each side stability but when it came time to move the fort into the backyard I was able to either slide or lift the whole side by the cardboard instead of jeopardizing the styrofoam and accidentally breaking something.

Once again the painting ensued with no rhyme or reason, I just tried to keep it geometric and symmetrical.  I did refer to Google images a lot to get overall design inspiration, and used more of the foam keyboards, outlet cover buttons, and Star Wars radar graphics I used in the Falcon.

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Now it’s no fun to just stand in a fort, although I’m sure the kids would have thought of something.  I was stumped:  “Now I’ve made this thing, what the hell are the kids going to do in it?”  I finally came up with the idea of printing out some pictures of the wampa, the monster that attacks Luke (should I admit now I have the soundtrack to the Empire Strikes Back and that is why I know the monster is called a wampa?  Probably not.  Makes me look geeky), propping them up, and making paper snowballs for the kids to throw at them.  Never happened in the movie but this was (say it with me) my interpretation of Star Wars.

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On the day of the party I hauled it out to the backyard, laid down a canvas tarp, and placed some dumbbell weights (which, like all exercise equipment, ends up being used for something that has nothing to do with exercise — think clothes on the stationary bike or children riding the elliptical like a horsie) in some hollow areas to further weigh down the structure.  As it was the kids basically whaled on the wampas with their lightsabers (I can’t blame them, Luke did too) as well as threw the snowballs.  My one regret is that I could not figure out something for the front of the fort.  In the movie they mention something about shield doors, but that was not happening.  If I had had more time, I would have like to have fashioned some sort of doorway, but as it was I was pretty happy with the end result.  And so ends my foolish quest to meet Kathyann’s challenge to “make something original.”

The Millennium Foolcon, or how to turn a wading pool into the Millennium Falcon

It was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away when my son finally asked me to plan a Star Wars birthday party.  I’d been waiting for this day since he was born.  My elation was short-lived as the reality of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks.  This was Star Wars, perhaps the most iconic movie in cinematic history.  The imagery and details alone made my little perfectionist soul want to curl up in the fetal position.  I could spend a year and hundreds of dollars and still not be satisfied.  Frugality took over — you’re not spending hundreds of dollars, girl.  Then I sucked it up — I had spent my life watching Star Wars to be prepared for this moment — I couldn’t let George Lucas down.  And I told myself what would become my mantra — this is my interpretation of Star Wars, it’s okay if it’s not perfect.  That helped me let go of a lot of imperfections.

Prior to this moment, I had planned a very successful pirate party for my younger son, complete with cardboard box pirate ships which were a big hit (more on this in another post).  I felt that Big Brother deserved no less (sibling rivalry must be kept at bay at all costs).  But what?  An X-wing fighter?  A Death Star?  How the hell was I going to build “it”?  Where was I going to keep “it” whatever it was?   I was leaning toward the Falcon but I could not find anything online to tell me how to make it!  I had bought a wading pool for the pirate party — maybe I could use it as the basis for my Millennium Falcon.  I wanted something a lot of kids could do free play in because experience has taught me don’t try to do anything organized with kids — just set the toys out and turn ’em loose.  Here is my supply list:

  1. 1 wading pool
  2. 1 tarp
  3. 2 small packing boxes and 1 med-large packing box
  4. 1 medium or large packing box
  5. A leftover wardrobe box (or a similar large appliance type box)
  6. Duct tape (or other strong tape)
  7. gray paint
  8. electrical outlet covers
  9. frisbees
  10. construction paper

The only things I had to purchase were the tarp, the electrical covers, and the frisbees — the tarp I justified by telling myself my dad or husband would use it.  I wanted to paint an existing canvas drop cloth but discarded that idea.  Good Lord in this whole process I splurged on a tarp of all things.  There is something wrong with me.

I inflated the pool to get a sense of the measurements.  I flattened the large packing box by cutting up one side and formed it in a rough C shape around the pool to form a dashboard that hooked over the side.  I cut off the top flaps of the dashboard part to fit better over the pool, and left the flaps on the bottom to fit under the pool.  I glued the two small boxes to the middle of the C shape to form the two points of the Falcon.  I hooked it back over the pool and measured the length of the outside corner of one small box to the edge of the pool.  I cut two rectangles of wardrobe box to length and duct taped them to the front of each small box.  I used the shape of the small box and rectangular side to trace and cut a semi triangular shape to go over the top of the small boxes and meet with the top of the pool.

Millenium Falcon

 

I had to cut a few extra pieces of cardboard to get things flush, but I kept checking the shape and fit against the wading pool and finally got an outline that looked pretty close to the Falcon.  It gave me a lot of joy to say casually to my co-workers, “So I was working on the Falcon again this weekend with my hydrospanner . . .” Those who knew the movie laughed, and those who didn’t just gave me the confused look I am often presented with when my colleagues think I’m being weird.

Next came the painting, which was pretty easy, and then testing out the prototype against the pool again with the tarp to make sure my idea was going to work.

Painted Falcon  Falcon

Once everything checked out I trimmed a little off the tops to make it curve to the shape of the pool, and I started adding the details with flat gray paint and red paint.  I know the Falcon doesn’t have red circles but I had red paint on hand, so that’s where the “my interpretation” mantra came into play.  I Googled some radar-type graphics from Star Wars and printed them, spray painted the frisbees black (thanks Dad for the spray paint), asked my husband to drill a hole in them (thanks Pookie for the power tools) and used those brads you used in 2nd grade to make dials on a clock or other rotating things to make kind of a steering wheel radar control the kids could pretend with.  i also spray painted the electrical covers silver and added red and blue construction paper to the back to mimic navigation buttons.  I used craft foam to make a keyboard to enter light speed coordinates.  I glued these to the dashboard and here is the finished product:

Final Falcon

Falcon dashboard

The pool was a a little under inflated, but the kids didn’t mind.  At some point each one ended up flying the Falcon, and after the piñata they all somehow ended up in the pool for an impromptu sugar-fest.

So that’s my fool’s quest for a Millennium Falcon wading pool.  All in all it turned out close to how I wanted it.  My next fool’s errand that I shall share is the Hoth Echo Base “snow” fortress.  Yeah that’s right.  I built a snow fort.  This is why my husband thinks I am a craftin’ fool.