Crafting with cardboard

I'm a pretty big Star Wars fan. I'm also a pretty frequent "crafter". I find myself using cardboard, white glue, and hot glue in many of my projects. With that in mind, you can imagine how blown away I was when I stumbled across this tutorial on how to construct your own Boba Fett helmet out of cardboard!

This "crafter" takes cardboard construction into a whole other realm in this tutorial. Even though I've used similar methods to construct items of my own (check out my crown!), I had no idea cardboard could be so versatile and could be used in the creation of such complex shapes! I am inspired to utilize some of his tips and tricks in future designs. After seeing his technique, I feel anything can be created with cardboard and glue if you have plenty of patience and a sharp X-Acto blade!

The unfinished helmet


Drooling over new tools

I reluctantly went to Home Depot last night to pick up a few necessary items. (I much prefer to spend my money at a locally owned establishment but they close so early!) I needed rubber cement and carborundum paper-which I never found. What I did find was a new abrasive wheel for my Dremel that I later found gives silver a nice satin finish. I also looked for and found the newest Dremel Workstation. As soon as my eyes settled on the box I swooped down and picked it up. I cradled it in my arms as though it were a newborn kitten. I'm sure I made a few random high pitched noises and was probably talking to myself while gazing lovingly at the picture on the outside of the box. I want this workstation. Very badly. I also need it.

The workstation grips the Dremel motor in a vice to allow the user to wield the Dremel like a drill press. Thus far, I've proven to be pretty incapable of holding my Dremel perpendicular to my work. Though it seems relatively easy to drill straight downward, somehow my holes always end up angled-which becomes a problem when I rivet. Another attractive feature of the workstation: The vice that holds the Dremel can be tilted up to a full 90° which will allow me to use the Dremel hands-free for polishing and sanding!

A few observations leave me wondering how long this tool will last. It appears to be made entirely from plastic-which is awful! I really hate the throw-away mentality of companies and consumers today. I'd much rather pay extra for a solid piece of equipment. I have read reviews and my fears are confirmed. It is not the most stable piece of equipment-but it is stable enough for my needs, and it can be permanently secured to a workbench if extra stability is needed. It sells for about $45 in most places so it's not too expensive. I hope to pick one up soon-hopefully during an after Christmas sale!


Crafting for Halloween

Wow! I can't believe I've been M.I.A. for two weeks! Between Halloween, the recent time change, and the chilliness of autumn, I just can't seem to get motivated. I hope this is a temporary setback-my art show isn't getting any farther away! In my defense, I did spend a week and a half solid constructing my Halloween costume. Since that definitely fits into the "crafting" category, (do I have one of those?) here's what I accomplished, with the help of Mario and Luigi, of course. I present: Mario-Kart Princess Peach! The photo was taken with a cell phone so it is a bit grainy, but you can get the gist of the costume. It included a Kart, a pink ball gown, a bejeweled crown, and various props, such as stars (for an extra boost of energy and invincibility) and turtle shells (for knocking down the competition).

The cart was made from 1.5" foam insulation which we glued together using some industrial adhesive and dowels. The pieces of foam were all sanded down, glued together, and spray painted with a special latex paint that doesn't dissolve plastics/foam/etc.

I made the dress by making a pattern from another ball gown I happened to own already. You can't see the whole thing, but there's a 1' wide magenta stripe at the bottom and a huge magenta sash around the waist that ties in the back. The skirt poofed out about a foot from my body in all directions, which was great for "watching my step"; let's just say, I tripped more than once. It was labor intensive to make and caused me way more stress than I'd like to admit. The easiest part of the costume was the crown, which I made by gluing two pieces of poster board together with Elmer's glue and securing with a rubber band until dry and as solid as a rock. I spray painted it with gold spray paint, hot glued jewels onto it, punched a few holes at the bottom edge, and bobby pinned it to my wig.

Since Peach hasn't had much of a make over in the past few decades, I updated her look for personal reasons. Gone is the Farrah Fawcett feathered mullet hair and high-necked poufy sleeved princess dress. I'm sure only die-hard fans would even have noticed of the changes I wrought. I thought it was much needed and it suited my style a lot better.

Creating your own Halloween costume is a great way to be creative and original for one of the best holidays of the year. Depending on your costume, it's also an excellent way to recycle and to support your local thrift stores.