Friday, 17 March 2017

Millennium Falcon - Star Wars Craft

Millennium Falcon craft

We've made a fair number of Star Wars figures so far - time for a spaceship, don't you think!
This Millennium Falcon is made from paper plates and can be decorated any way you like.

You'll need:
4 to 5 paper plates (ours had 23cm/9in. diameter)
Egg carton
Craft glue
Black and red fine tipped marker pens (like Sharpies)
Craft scissors
Small scissors (straight-edged nail scissors - adult supervision required)
Ball of plasticine (modelling clay)
Tin foil
Metallic silver marker pen
Cereal box card
Paper clips

1. On the back of a paper plate, flatten it down a bit, and use the ruler and marker pen to draw a line across the middle of the plate, and then another across that, to divide the plate roughly into equal quarters. Try to get the lines to cross as close to the centre of the circle as possible, but it really doesn't need to be perfect.

2. Take another plate and cut out two similar-sized long, thin triangle segments, cutting up as far as the centre of the plate. Glue these on the top of your spaceship - in the middle of two, opposite sections. Cut small pieces from the spare plate's bumpy rim, to stick on the triangles, to add a bit of detail.

3. For the front part of your Millennium Falcon, take another paper plate and cut the rim off carefully, so you're left with a flattish circle.

Fold it in half and cut a little off the bottom to make a straight edge. I've drawn a pencil line where the cut needs to be.

4. Then cut a piece off the side at an angle - don't make the angle too sharp (see the picture).
Open up the circle and slip it under the top of your spaceship (between the sections with triangles), until the sides roughly line up with the black lines, and part of it is still sticking out.

 Either side of the fold, draw a pencil line up to the plate and cut this piece out. Glue the front section to the rim.

5. Cut a strip of card from a spare plate ( like the one used to cut the triangles from). Make it roughly as long as half the width of the plate. Glue it in the middle of the front section so it just hangs over the edge of the plate.
Again, add a few small pieces of the rim for some detail.

6. Cover the messy joins in the middle with a circle cut out of any spare card. Use the bottom of a small spice jar or something similar to draw around. Glue in place.

7. For the cockpit that sticks out at the side, we found the easiest way to get the right shape was to draw a rectangle that's 4cm by 15cm (11/2in.x6in.) on some spare paper plate card (make the rectangle shorter if you're using a smaller plate).
NOTE: We've used extra paper plates for all the extra bits to keep our Millennium Falcon looking the same colour, but if you don't want to use so many plates, cereal box card would be absolutely fine too.

8. Mark 3cm (1in.) from the bottom of the rectangle and draw lines sloping in on either side. Use the ruler to draw a line from the top right-hand corner to the lefthand one, just above the end of the cockpit (see pic).

9. Cut along the sloping lines and make sure to leave an extra section of card on the right-hand side, so it's easier to glue the cockpit to your starship.

10. Either simply colour in the bottom of the cockpit with a silver metallic pen if you've got one, or for a more 3D effect, draw around the bottom part only on some spare card, cut out and colour in. Make a cut half way down each piece, and snip out an extra sliver to widen the slot if you need to. Check they fit together but don't attach yet. Glue the whole cockpit piece under the rim of the top part of your spaceship.

11. Time to decorate, and we didn't add too much detail to our Millennium Falcon, but it's absolutely up to you! Have a look at some pictures online, or come up with your own design. Stick on more pieces of the plate rim if you want - drawing in the grooves looks pretty good I think.

12.  If you'd like to make guns to put on top, cut out a strip of card, 8cmx2cm (3in.x3/4in.). Colour one side of it with the black marker pen and also colour in a length of straw, so you can cut two 3cm (1in.) pieces from it.

13. Fold the strip in half, then in half again. Open it up and make a hole with nail scissors in a section above the first fold. Put a ball of plasticine behind the card, keep the nail scissors closed, press down and twist from side to side. When the scissors pierce through, cut out a wide slot that's big enough to fit both straw pieces, side by side. Check they fit then take them out.

14. Brush glue on one end of the strip and glue it to the other end, to make a triangle shape like this one. Use a paper clip to hold it together while drying if you need to.

15 For the sensor dish (again, optional) - take an egg carton and cut the bottom out of an egg cup. Make it as shallow as you can and cover with a piece of tin foil. Cut another strip from some spare card (about 1cmx6cm - 1/2in.x21/2in.), fold it in half, then fold the bottom ends. Glue the middle part together to make an upside down 'T' shape. Glue the dish to this support and glue the bottom tabs of the support to your ship, along with the guns. If you've made one, glue the extra part of the cockpit on too.

16. While that's drying, you could add a bit of card to hold onto, to the bottom part of your Millennium Falcon. Cut out a strip of cereal box card that's a good width to hold onto and is about 20cm (8in.) long. Take another paper plate and make a slot in the middle (using the nail scissors again). Make it wide enough for the cardboard strip, slot this in and glue the top part to the plate. You could put something heavy on top of it, like a book, to hold it in place while the glue dries.

17. Scrunch up small pieces of newspaper and put them in the middle of the plate. This should help stop the ship losing its shape when it's stuck together, but don't over fill it!

18. Brush glue along the edge of the bottom plate, and glue the top part on, keeping the card handle facing the front. Use paper clips to hold together while it dries.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Video book launch and prize giveaway!

I had a lot of fun making this! It's a short hop around the farm with Ruby rabbit to celebrate my latest craft book being let loose...
EVERYTHING you see here can be made following the simple step-by-step instructions in Make Your Own Farm Animals.

Available on Amazon now (click on the sidebar pic), and if you'd like the chance to win one, just leave a comment below (or on Facebook or Instagram), and you'll automatically be entered into a draw at the end of the month :)

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ted with a heart - cork craft for Mother's Day

Following almost hot on the heels of the bunny cork with a heart, comes Ted, and he's even easier to make! Again you could write a personal message on the heart, or even use a photo. Plenty of ways to make it a lovely little Mother's day gift.

You'll need:
A Champagne/cava cork
Red, yellow, blue and white paint
Fine paintbrush
brown and red paper (or plain to paint)
Fine black felt-tip or gel pen
PVA/craft glue or a glue stick
Old Christmas/Birthday card/photo (optional)

1. Paint the cork brown (mix yellow and a little red with a dab of blue and lighten with some white) - try to make it a similar colour to your brown paper. You may need more than one coat. While the cork's drying, cut a strip of the brown paper about 1cm (1/2in.) wide and any length (or cut a strip of plain paper and paint it brown).

2. Round off each end of the strip for the ears - use a pencil to draw the curved ear shape first if this helps, or fold the strip in half and cut the curved shape in the unfolded end, so when you open it out, both ears look the same.
Cut about 2cm (3/4in.) off each end and glue them either side of the cork, near the top. Only put glue on the bottom half of each ear. Don't fold them back until the glue has dried.

3. Cut a strip for the arms - make it about 1cm wide (1/2in) and 8cm long (3in), though it might need to be longer if you have a big cork. Fold the strip in half and round off the unfolded end so when you open it out, the paws look the same.
Brush or rub some glue either side of the fold, leaving the arm ends glue-free. Stick the middle gluey part to the back of your ted, in the groove just below the head.

4. Add lots of white to your brown colour and paint on a muzzle with a fine paintbrush.

 5. While that's drying, lightly fold another small piece of coloured or plain paper in half and draw half a heart on the fold - make it roughly the same height as the bottom section of the cork, below the head. Try not to press too hard on the fold so there isn't a heavy crease line on the heart. Cut out and open up your heart shape. This is the time to add a little message if you want.

6. If you'd like to use a photo (or a colourful piece of an old Birthday or Christmas card), carefully draw round your paper heart on the back of your chosen picture - or, if this is a bit too fiddly, make a proper heart template by sticking the paper heart on a spare piece of cereal box card and cutting it out. This will be much easier to draw around. Keep hold of your heart template, they're always useful!

7. The muzzle should be dry by now so draw on the face with a fine black felt-tip or gel pen and fold the ears back.

8. Dab some glue or rub glue stick on the paw ends on the inside, and attach one paw to one side of the heart (make sure the pointy part of the heart is roughly level with the base of the cork). Fold the paw around the edge of the heart, pinching together. Repeat on the other side, keeping the paws as even as you can.

You could try a monkey too! Just make the ears a bit smaller and use more of the pale colour on the face (see below).

Linking up with Trash 2 Treasure over at Coombe Mill.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Obi Wan Kenobi - Star Wars craft

Star Wars craft

Obi Wan Kenobi craft

Obi Wan Kenobi joins the Star Wars gang! He's made in a very similar way to the other two.

You'll need:
Egg carton
Brown paper
Craft scissors
Nail scissors or similar (optional) Adult supervision required
Craft glue
Black felt-tip or gel pen
Blue straw
Black marker pen (like a Sharpie)

1. Roughly cut out two middle cones from the egg box so they're easier to work with. On one, draw a pencil line around the cone, just above the bumpy joins at the bottom and cut out. This will be the body. Follow the step-by-step for Luke Skywalker and Han Solo to make the body, legs and arms.

2. For Obi Wan's head, take the other cone, and use a ruler and pencil to measure and mark 2cm from the top of the cone on each side. Join the marks and cut out. (A handy way to do this is to cut up two adjacent corners to the pencil line, bend the card back and cut off the flap - it should be easier now to cut along the rest of the line.)

3. Lightly draw a line around this cone piece, about halfway up. It doesn't matter if it's a bit wobbly, it's only for guidance.

4. Cut up all four corners to the line, bend 3 of the small card flaps back and cut them off, leaving one remaining for a beard. Round off the bottom of the beard.

5. Make his cloak next. Place the body (without the arms) on it's side on some brown paper. Use a pencil to draw a line where the side touches the paper and mark the top and bottom of the figure too. Roll onto its back and mark the bottom again, then roll carefully one more time and mark where the side touches the paper. Join the marks and gently round the top of the cloak before cutting it out.

6. Painting time. Keep the arms out and paint them a similar brown to the cloak (mix yellow and red then add a dab of blue until you're happy with the shade) - use this for his boots too. We mixed yellow and white to make a creamy colour for the body and legs, and made a flesh colour for the face and hands by mixing lots of white with a little yellow, red and tiny spot of blue. Paint his hair and beard grey.

7. Push the arm strip in the slot (or if you're not doing slots, cut the strip in half and glue the arms either side), and glue on the head. Brush glue on the top part of the back of the body, including the back of the arms and stick the cloak in place (trim first if it looks a bit on the big side) Use paper clips if you need to.

8. While the paint's drying, make a lightsaber from a blue straw. Cut off about 4cm (11/2in.) and colour the bottom end with the black marker pen. Cut small slits in this end so you can slot the lightsaber onto Obi Wan's hand. 

9. When the paint is dry, use the fine black pen to draw on a face and add detail to the clothes and hair.

TIP: If your egg cones have holes in the top, brush glue inside the cones and push a small piece of newspaper up to fill the hole.