DIY, etsy shop, Inspiration, pink toe press

Crayon Artwork for Nursery or Child’s Room

Crayon Project Step 13

Today I have a fun DIY that would make a lovely addition to a nursery or child’s room. This is a project that could be completed in an afternoon or even during “nap time” and it uses supplies that you may already have at home!

STEP 1 GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES:

Crayon Project Step 1

For this project you will need:

*A Canvas of any size. I used a canvas that measures 11 x 14 inches. (I added a coat of white paint to my canvas to give it an even color. This step is optional.)

*One box of Crayons. You will need enough crayons to cover the horizontal measurement of your canvas. I used 33 crayons but you may need more or fewer depending on the size of your canvas. I recommend using Crayola brand crayons. You can find them just about anywhere.

*Hot-Glue Gun and hot-glue sticks

*A hair dryer with several heat settings

*Newspaper or a paper shopping bag to protect your crafting area.

*Masking tape.

***PLEASE NOTE: This project includes warm to hot tools and materials. Please use caution with your hot glue gun and hair dryer while in use around children. Also, while it will not get VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or have pets nearby.***

STEP 2 PLAN YOUR ARTWORK:

First, let’s lay down our paper bag or newspaper over our workspace. Use masking tape to secure the corners to ensure that the paper will not move around while you are working and using the hairdryer. This is to protect your workspace from getting melted wax on it. Before moving on to the next step, plug in your glue gun to allow it ample time to warm up.

Crayon Project Step 2Make sure you have enough crayons to go across your canvas

Next, set your canvas down and lay out your crayons. You don’t need to decide what colors will go “where” quite yet. This step is to make sure you have the right amount of crayons to go across your canvas. Add or subtract crayons as needed (I needed 33 crayons for 11 inches of canvas). Once you have the right number of crayons, arrange them in the proper color combination for your preferences.

Crayon Project Step 3I chose a rainbow order from white to black.

Before you start gluing, make sure that you have the right number of crayons and that they are in the correct order. You should also decide whether you would like the crayon brand name to be facing out OR if you would rather each crayon’s color name to be showing. I love the names of the colors, so I chose to have those facing outward.

Crayon Project Step 6The color names are way more fun to read than the brand names.

STEP 3 GLUING:

Crayon Project Step 4

Now that your crayons are in place and your glue gun is heated up, you are ready to get gluing! Start with your first crayon and carefully glue it to the canvas. Glue each crayon one at a time with a long, thin strip of hot glue. Make sure each crayon is carefully secured before moving on to the next one.

Crayon Project Step 5

By gluing each crayon one at a time, you’ll make sure no crayons are glued in the wrong spot or wrong order. This will also help make your piece of artwork more durable in the end. Once every crayon is glued to the canvas, lift the canvas up and hold it vertically. Make sure you have a clean line across the top and that no crayons are coming loose. Unplug your glue gun and plug in your hair dryer; we are on to the next step!

STEP 4 MELTING:

Crayon Project Step 7You can see the crayons heating up.

This next step requires a little patience and is a little bit messy. If you haven’t put down some scrap paper or newspaper yet, it would be a good idea to do that now.

What you will want to do is hold your hairdryer in one hand and use your free hand to hold the canvas. Start on ONE SIDE and aim your hairdryer (on high heat) at the crayons and heat them up. The crayons will start to sweat a little bit (as shown in the picture above) and then will soon start to melt. Keep the canvas horizontal until the crayons melt enough to make a small pool under each crayon. Turn the hair dryer off or point it away from the canvas and slowly tilt the canvas vertically so that the wax will run down the canvas. Try not to rotate side-to-side so as to keep the path of the wax only up and down.

Crayon Project Step 8What a beautiful rainbow!

To stop the wax from dripping further down the canvas, just reduce the angle and move toward a more horizontal position (as if you were lowering a lawn chair to lie down). You can always add more heat to the crayon or the wax path to make it bigger or longer.

**Take advantage of lower settings on your hairdryer if you want to work more slowly. Also keep in mind that the highest settings may blow harder and could cause the wax to spread and splatter.

Crayon Project Step 10Add and remove heat as necessary.

 Repeat these steps across the canvas until each crayon has been heated and every color is melted onto the canvas. I found it easiest to work in groups of 6-or-so crayons at one time, waiting until the last group was mostly cooled before moving on to the next group of colors.

Crayon Project Step 18A

If you want the melted wax to travel all the way down the canvas or make a certain pattern, just add more heat until you reach the design you would like.

Crayon Project Step 19A

If you find your wax thinning out toward the bottom, use your hair dryer to add more heat to the crayons and melt more wax of that color. The wax will follow the path already created, so it is pretty easy to add more wax. Be careful not to over-melt the crayons, though. I almost did that with my silver and grey crayon while trying to melt the colors next to them. If you melt a little too much wax at one time, tilt the canvas back to stop the flow and allow to cool before proceeding on to the next color.

crayon_s_step19Crayon Project Step 12Almost done!

**As you get closer to the bottom of your canvas, you may notice some wax dripping off of the canvas. Be careful not to get any wax on you, your clothing, or your workspace. While it will not be VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or pets nearby. The hairdryer scared my cats away, but please be mindful and safe while working on this project.**

I wanted to take full advantage of these artful drips, so I made sure to have my wax drip over the sides of my canvas. This way, little-ones can see the rainbow on the canvas even if they are looking at the artwork from below.

Crayon Project Step 11I wanted my artwork to fill the whole canvas! Even the sides and bottom!

STEP 5 COOL and HANG:

Spend as much time on the previous step as you need, tinkering to make sure your artwork is “Just Right”. When you are finished with your artwork, unplug your hairdryer and set the canvas down horizontally to cool for a few minutes. Once completely cool, hang your new artwork in your living room, nursery, or playroom!

Crayon Project Step 13

Voilà! Shown with another fun DIY project.

baking

Sweets for your Sweetie: Cupcakes with a heart inside

I thought I would try something fun this year for Valentine’s Day. I’ve been spending the last few days making tons of Heart Pieces pinback buttons, so I thought I ought to keep the theme going through the weekend. I made these adorable Heart-Filled cupcakes and I want to share the recipe with you!

step23

The perfect Valentine’s Day treat!

Last year I made some Star Wars cutout cookies that were delicious, but a little tricky to make. I’ve seen some similar recipes online to the one I made tonight, but I thought I would give it a go.  So grab your aprons and let’s get started!

STEP 1 GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES:

step1

I got most items from Trader Joe’s. Of course!

1 Box Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cake Mix (it has real vanilla bean flecks in it!)

2 Eggs

1 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Oil (recipe called for butter, but I wanted a lighter color)

Red Food Coloring (I used magenta gel food coloring. I would not recommend it)

Nonstick Cooking Spray

Frosting

Cupcake liners

Sprinkles (optional)

Small heart-shaped cookie cutter

Sharp, small knife.

Whisk. Mine is silicon on the whisk part…brilliant idea. It works almost like a spatula too.

Non-stick baking sheet (*small one if you do 1 batch, medium or large if you make a double batch)

Cupcake baking pan

*I made a double batch because I wanted to make more than 10-or-so cupcakes. Feel free to make as many or as few as you like.

STEP 2 PREPARE THE CAKE MIX:

step4

You can see the real vanilla bean flecks in this mix!

Preheat the oven to the temperature listed in the baking directions for your mix.

Follow the instructions for your boxed mix. Add wet ingredients together into a large bowl and blend well. Stir in dry mix until incorporated.

Once mixed, divide the batter into two parts to add food coloring to the part that will become the hearts. I divided mine in 1/2 and that seemed to be a little too much for the heart mixture. I would suggest 1/3 to be red and 2/3 to be plain. Set aside the bowl of batter that will not have coloring added to it.

step5

Mix well before adding more color.

Take your batter and add food coloring one drop at a time and mix it until you reach the desired shade. The mix will darken slightly once baked, but I would o err on the side of “too much” food coloring so as to create enough contrast in the finished cupcakes.

step7

This reminds me of The Shining…

Once you’ve gotten the mix to the correct shade of red, pour into a prepared non-stick pan. Spread evenly and place in oven. Bake at 375 for approximately 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. Do not over bake as these will be baked once more inside of the cupcakes.

STEP 3 PREPARING THE CUPCAKE LINERS:

step9

This scoop (from my protein powder) was the perfect size.

While you are waiting on the red cake to bake and cool, complete this step. Fill each cupcake liner with approximately 2 TB of batter. I used a scoop from my protein mix that measures 2TB. You can use a big spoon or ladle, but I found that this scoop worked splendidly. Placing a shallow layer of batter in the cupcake liners will help make sure that the hearts stay in place when they bake. If you were to try and insert the red hearts straight into a full tin of batter, it would make a huge mess.

STEP 4 ASSEMBLING THE HEARTS:

step10

You could even cut out the shape with a knife, but the cookie cutter is easier.

Remove the red cake from the oven and let cool COMPLETELY. Once cool, begin cutting out small hearts to fill the cupcakes. I used the small cookie cutter shown in the photograph above. Unfortunately, I found that it was too tall for the cupcakes and ended up trimming each piece with a sharp knife.

step11

Make enough hearts for every cupcake…and then make a few extra.

The finished hearts. You can see that they are slightly shorter than the cookie cutter. Make sure you double check that your hearts will fit inside of the cupcake paper with very (or none) of it sticking out of the top. You will want to prepare at least a dozen of these little hearts at this time and have them ready to go. The next step is a little tricky.

STEP 5 ASSEMBLING THE CUPCAKES:

step13

Don’t go breakin’ my heart…

This step requires a little patience (and would be best with an extra set of hands). One at a time, you are going to be placing the red hearts inside the partially-filled cupcake liners. Then you will evenly pour enough batter to fill the cupcakes a little more than 3/4 full. And make sure to pour some of the batter over the heart. I used my little 2TB scoop for this part too and it helped evenly distribute the batter on either side of the heart. If you pour the batter only from one side, it is possible that the heart will fall over or even crumble. I had 2 break and crumble on me during this process, so please make sure you cut a few extra hearts ahead of time.

step14You’ll want to fill them a little more than this

You want to make sure that each of the hearts is facing the same direction as well. This will help make the end result much more striking. I used a mechanical pencil to make a small mark on one side of the paper liner where the middle of the heart is. That way if you were to cut right where the little line is, you would cut the heart right in half and both cupcake pieces would have a heart in them (which is what we’re trying to do!). *Once the cupcakes are frosted, it will be hard to tell where that midline is.

NOW BAKE!

Follow the package directions for the baking time. Mine took approximately 13-15 minutes with one rotation half-way through. Keep an eye on the cupcakes in the last few minutes so as not to burn them.

step16

A few are less than perfect, but I’ll just eat those ones…

Here is what a few of my cupcakes looked like after baking. Some of them were perfect, a few of them got a little wonky. The ones that did not turn out as well either had the heart fall over during baking or just did not have enough batter in the tin. Most cupcakes turned out like the two up top.

Allow the cupcakes to cool a few minutes in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.

If you have any remaining batter and hearts, make another batch.

STEP 6 DECORATE:

If you haven’t marked on the paper liner where the midline of the cupcake is, you should do that now. Again, I just used a small pencil line so that I will know where to cut to get the best result.

Now on to the fun part: decorating!

You will want to prepare your frosting. I used a pre-made frosting that I added food coloring to. You can use any type of frosting you like, but I would suggest that you apply it with a pastry bag. They’ve changed my life.

step17

The pastry bag is a lifesaver. Perfect frosting every time!

I use disposable pastry bags from a small kit that I bought at the grocery store. I am sure somewhere like Michaels or Bed Bath and Beyond sells a fancier version, but this one works very well and doesn’t require much maintenance (and cost me about $4). You could also look online for cheaper DIY versions.

Scoop the frosting into the pastry bag and start at the outer edge of your cupcake. Work your way around the cupcake and towards the center. It should look something like soft-serve ice cream or Fro-Yo when you are done.

step18

Pink and white swirls are easy to make.

**Optional: To achieve the lovely pink and white swirl shown on the cupcake in the middle, follow these directions. Put a little pink frosting in the pastry bag and spread it around the sides of the bag with a long spoon. Make sure it is enough to line the sides of the bag. Then open up the bag and add the white frosting. You will want a little pink frosting on the outside and lots of frosting white in the middle, then apply to the cupcakes normally. As the two colors pass through the bag, they will create the lovely swirled look.

step19Add sprinkles.

step22

Mmmm. Sprinkles.

step20

Be sure to come up with an Instagram-worthy presentation…

STEP 7 THE MOMENT OF TRUTH:

While everyone loves cupcakes, these ones are something special and you deserve to show off your handiwork!

step26

Let them eat (cup)cakes!

Making the cut: This is where the marking on the cupcake liner will come in handy. Make sure you have a sharp knife to make this cut. I used a sharp, flat-bottomed knife that is a little larger than a paring knife. Make a quick cut and carefully separate the two halves of cupcake and remove the liner.

step23

Perfection.

DIY, MonDIY

MonDIY: Make your own Craspedia bouquet Part 2

Picking up where we left off in the first part of our tutorial on how to make your one Craspedia Bouquet…

Step 3: Get your glue on.

CraspediaDIY3
Use a generous amount of glue on each skewer “stem” to ensure you do not lose your flowers along the line.

This is pretty easy. One by one, take a skewer and put a generous amount of glue on the sharp end. Take the glue-covered end and place a wool felt ball on top of it.

CraspediaDIY4
Putting the glue on the skewer ensures that your bouquet will last well into spring and summer.

Twist the ball a few times to ensure the glue is evenly distributed. Set aside to dry.

**If you are concerned about the glue showing once it has dried, feel free to use a glue that says “clear dry”. I have had no issues with the Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue, though. It just takes longer to dry clear than other brands.

CraspediaDIY6
Just the right amount of glue.

Step 4:  Dry and arrange.

Fortunately, this project does not require a long wait-time for the glue to dry. That being said, it is wise to place your flowers in a wide-mouth jar or other container where they have ample space to dry without touching each other. I used a mason jar to dry the painted skewers first, and then again when letting the glue dry on the flowers themselves.

Aren't they cute?
Aren’t they cute?

When your flowers are completely dry, please arrange them how you would like them in your favorite vase or jar. This is where cutting the skewers at the beginning will come in handy. The variance in heights really makes the bouquet extra special.

CraspediaDIY12
The varied height gives a lovely effect to these flowers.

I Took photos of my bouquet in a few different vases and vessels.

What a lovely reminder that spring is on the way.
What a lovely reminder that spring is on the way.

The vase in this photograph was detailed with gold paint. I took a glass vase, masking tape, and gold paint, and painted the bottom part of the vase for a regal look.

CraspediaDIY8
A mason jar and some twine. Ain’t nothing better than that.

You could even get crazy and do colorful felt balls in an empty growler like I did with this bouquet…

The blue flowers look great in this colorful growler.
The blue flowers look great in this colorful growler.

Good luck with your creations!

3-D, DIY, Painting, Tutorials

How to make your own DIY Hylian Shield Tutorial PART THREE

This is Step Three of Three in a tutorial to make your own Hylian Shield from the Legend of Zelda series. If you would like to start at the beginning, please follow this link to PART ONE.

If you recall, we just finished adding all the hardware and detailing to the shield. A lot of the detail we added has a functional purpose too. Now it is time to add the finishing touches to really make this Hylian Shield look fit for the Hero of Hyrule!

Step 9A: Painting the shield. Now this is where everything comes together. You CAN prime the shield first, but as I am impatient and since the foam-core I was using is white, I decided to bypass that step. Get yourRust-oleum “Hammered” silver spray paint and go to a well ventilated area (outside). I chose to spray the back of the shield first, just incase anything happened.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 25

 Looks pretty good to me!

I had no issues with the paint. I was mindful not to get much paint close to the edges of the foam-core as it has a tendency to eat through styrofoam. I had very little corrosion on this project, but please bear that in mind. The only place were a little touch-up was needed was underneath the wooden buttons. For this, I used my Martha Stewart’s High Gloss Acrylic Paints  in SILVER.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 22

You (almost) can’t see the little crescent of silver paint.

I know it is hard, but you WILL want to wait at least a few hours between coats of paint. I let mine dry overnight before painting the front of the shield. The Hammered spray paints seem to take a little extra time to dry without becoming tacky. But once the back of the shield is dry, take it outside to add a coat of silver to the front of the shield. This looks awesome when painted.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 24

Maybe I’ll just leave it like this… 

If you notice any spots on the front of the shield that need a touch-up. As we will be painting most of the interior of the shield a different color anyway, you may not need to do any touch-up work with the silver paint at all. I would double check near the wooden buttons and the edges. This may be a good time to use your SILVER ACRYLIC paint to do a coat around the edges. Allow all paint to dry.

Step 9B: Painting the shield with Acrylics is the last big step. The High Gloss colors I used on the shield were: Habanero, Beetle Black, and Indigo. The Metallic colors I used were: Gold, Yellow Gold, and Sterling (silver). I chose to start with the blue part of the shield.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 26

Use a fine detailing brush to get in those tough corners.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 29

You may need to do several coats in some places. I found the blue did not cover the silver completely in certain areas. Once the blue paint has dried completely, move on to red and then gold. If you are using the same brushes, be sure to thoroughly clean them between colors.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 30

Before the detailing on the silver areas.

For the back of the shield and for the silver detailing on the front, I mixed the silver paint with a little bit of black paint to make a dark silver color.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 27After. Doesn’t it look better?

This is an optional step, but I found it really added depth to the shield. You really only need a little bit for the front, but I would suggest making a couple Tablespoons worth of dark silver for the back of the shield. I used a 1-inch brush to apply the dark silver paint to the recessed area on the back of the shield. While waiting for the paint to dry, go fetch your fabric/felt and embroidery thread. Also grab some scrap pieces of foam-core and some more brads.

Step 10: Adding the finishing touches. Now that the painting is done, there is little left for us to do. The finishing touches include adding a strap to the back of the shield to keep it close to your arm, and minimal detailing on the handle. Let’s start with the arm strap!

For the arm strap you will need a long piece of felt. Mine was about 8.5 inches by 2 inches. If your arm is bigger or smaller, you may need to adjust the size. You will also need to cut two pieces of foam-core from your scraps. These pieces will be used to secure the strap to the shield.

Glue the foam-core and felt together with the foam-core on top. Take the furniture nail/tack and push it through the foam-core and into the fabric close to the base of the scallop shape. The tack should have enough room left to be pressed into the back of the shield. Do this for the other side of the strap. Take both ends and press into the shield approximately 5 inches apart. Note where the tack makes a mark and apply glue to that area. Glue both ends and apply pressure (lay a book on top) and let dry. Once dry, take a brad (they are longer than the tacks) to opposite ends of the piece of foam-core and press into the shield. This will add extra strength to the strap. Allow to dry completely before use.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 33

The arm strap and the handle being finished.

While you are waiting on the straps to dry, take your two embroidery flosses. Wrap them around the handle and cover the center of the handle completely (see above photograph). Overlap slightly and use glue to secure the loose ends.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 28

You can see how the detailing really makes the shield come to life!

Step 11: Take a step back and admire your handiwork!!! 

Hylian Shield Tutorial 34

That’s it! You’re FINISHED!


3-D, DIY, Tutorials

How to make your own DIY Hylian Shield Tutorial PART TWO

This is Part Two of Three in a tutorial to make your own Hylian Shield from the Legend of Zelda series. If you would like to start at the beginning, please follow this link to PART ONE.

We last left off at Step 4 after having cut out the front and back shield pieces. I hope you have gathered your hardware and tools to add some of the important details to the shield! Let’s start with the front of the shield and work out way to the back.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 15

The chipboard pentagon in place. To the right you can see some of my hardware.

Step 5: Gather your hardware and your Chipboard or corrugated cardboard. For my shield, I used chipboard from the back of a  nearly empty sketchbook. You could also use a full sheet of matting material for framing, or even a cereal box. The chipboard is the perfect thickness but is HARD to cut. So make sure you have some spare X-Acto blades handy and a good pair of scissors at the ready.

We’ll use the Chipboard for the pentagon at the top of the shield as well as the interior shield design with the bird and Triforce. This will add dimension to the shield without making it the same depth as the outside boarder. I used my template from earlier to cut out the design for the interior of the shield. Trace those pieces onto the chipboard and get cutting. It will take a few passes with an X-Acto blade to get the pieces all the way cut. Once cut, place all the pieces on the front of the shield in the way you want to glue them down. Use beads of glue to cover the back of each piece and press it down. Allow ample time for drying.

Leave the right wing of the bird unglued for now. We will be placing screws for the handle through that side of the shield.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 19

Make sure you use enough glue. You don’t want the pieces to come off!

Step 6: Detailing the back of the shield is a little less tedious than the front. For the wooden buttons, you will want to gather 3 small screws that will pass through 2 layers of foam-core and still have about 1/2 cm of thread sticking through. Prep both pieces that make up the back of the shield. Cut small slits with your blade in each of the three corners where you will be securing a wooden button. Then push/screw the small screw so that the head is on the BACK of the shield and the thread end is sticking out the front. Carefully screw the thread of the screw into the wooden button, securing it to the shield. This is a little tricky at first, but you will find it easier after the second one. I also put a little glue on the underside of the wooden button as I was screwing it into the foam-core for added strength.

Now glue, glue, glue! When the first wooden button was in place, I used the screw as a hinge and opened up the BACK of the shield. I then put a generous amount of glue on the back of the cross-shaped piece.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 14

Be generous with the glue. You’d hate for the pieces to come apart in battle.

Align the two pieces and press together gently. Set aside to dry.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 9

Wooden buttons screwed in place. Other hardware staged.

Once the wooden buttons are secured, it is time to add the brads to the vertical beam on the back. As with the screws, make a small slit with your blade where you would like them to go. Carefully push the brads straight down (they bend easily). Put a little glue on the bottom of the brad for extra strength. These will pass through both layers of foam-core and have a little bit sticking out the back. This is okay as this will help secure the front and the back pieces of the shield.

Set aside the BACK half of the shield and add the 3 wooden buttons to the FRONT half of the shield. Use the same method you did for the other wooden buttons AND for gluing the two front halves together. Once the wooden buttons are secured and dry, it will be time to move on to the handle.

Step 7: Adding the handle.

Once the brads and wooden buttons are in place, it is time to move on to the handle. I made my shield RIGHT HANDED. If you would rather use your shield with your left hand, just slide the handle over to the other side of the shield. Wherever you are putting the handle, make sure to measure carefully to ensure it is straight up and down. To properly secure the handle, you will need to work with both the front AND the back of the shield.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 20

This is the last time you will see them apart!

Make holes on the back of the shield where you will be inserting the screws. Turn the screws around and push them from the back. Mark where they land on the backside of the FRONT half of the shield. This is where you will be screwing them from. Remember where I told you not to secure the right wing of the bird? That is because we will be inserting the screw through there and we will use the wing to cover one of the screws when everything is secured.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 16

Measure carefully!

Hylian Shield Tutorial 18Lookin good!

Following the manufactures instructions, secure the handle. For my handle, I begin with the head of the screw on the FRONT of the shield, with the thread passing through to the back and into the handle. Add glue between the two halves before completely screwing them together. Secure tightly. FYI: mine came with two sets of screws, but I thought that one set of screws would be strong enough. It seems secure with just the single set.

Step 8: Finish the front of the shield by gluing the right wing of the bird over the screws for the handle. Once the bird motif is finished, you will want to start adding more brads to the front.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 17

Laying down the last piece of the bird motif.

These add a nice amount of detail to the shield as well as more contact points to secure all parts together. By adding more brads around the perimeter of the front and back of the shield, we are making it stronger and less likely to pull apart with use. There is no right way to do this…just make sure it looks symmetrical on each side. Also be sure that you stagger them from the front and back so that there are not two brads pushing into each other.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 18

There is no “right” way to put the perimeter brads down.

Once the shield is secured with brads and glue, make sure that there are no parts that seem loose or out of place. If anything seems loose, add a little extra glue (or whatever you need to do to fix the problem). This will be the last time you will be able to make any major changes without it being difficult. The next step after this is PAINTING! We are almost done!

Click here to continue on to PART THREE.

DIY, Tutorials

How to make your own DIY Hylian Shield Tutorial PART ONE

I’ve already talked about my love for Zelda. Now its time to geek out over my love of making things!

I love working with new or challenging materials. Initially I had wanted to make my shield out of wood, but without a proper workspace, shared walls, and older neighbors, I thought that may prove to be too messy and noisy. I have worked with wood before, but always in a proper workspace. After successfully creating a tiny version of the Hylian Shield, I decided it was time to get started on my FULL SCALE version of the shield!

Step 1: Gather your materials:

Supplies

YOU WILL NEED:

Foamcore (in large unbent pieces): I sourced mine from my local art-supply store. Michaels may have them large enough. Be sure they are at least 20 inches (50 cm) square.

Newsprint: (or other scrap paper) to make your template drawings. Or print them out from images you find online. Be sure to make drawings for the front of the shield AND for the back of the shield.

Pencils and Bold Markers to make your drawings on the newsprint and on the cardboard.

Brads: buy a lot of them, I went through close to 75 of them between both shields..

Glue: I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue and it worked quite well.

Masking Tape: .5 inches to 1 inch wide

Rust-oleum “Hammered” silver spray paint

Rust-oleum Primer (White)

X-Acto #11 Blade and Knife

Scraps of Leather or other durable brown fabric or felt.

Paint and Paintbrushes: I used Martha Stewart’s High Gloss Acrylic Paints and an assortment of brushes

Measuring tools: Ruler, compass, protractor, measuring tape, etc.

Handle: Purchase a drawer/cupboard handle and its hardware from your local hardware store. Be sure to use one that fits your hand nicely. This will be the handle on the back of the shield.

Wooden Buttons: approximately 1.25 inches in diameter. Embellishments on front and back of the shield.

Chipboard or (non corrugated) Cardboard for some of the detailing on the front of the shield.

Embroidery Thread: or yarn in several shades of brown.

Step 2: Draw out the templates for the front AND back of the shield. Be sure to make them the exact size that you want them to be. For me, that was 20″ tall and 18.5″ (approx. 50 cm by 45 cm). The shield may need to be larger or smaller to suit your needs.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 1

Make sure you include all details too!

Once you’ve drawn out your templates from newsprint, cut along the outside like in the above photo. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by cutting the templates out this way. This would be a difficult project to freehand. Next, trace around the templates onto the sheets of foam core using your pencil. Carefully cut along your pencil line to cut out your first part of the shield.

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While you’ve got your ruler handy, make some guide lines on the shield to help you orient the template onto the center of the shield. Make one line down the center and another 1/2 way down the shield. Cut out and mark 3 shield parts in the SAME way.

Step 3: Cut out the interior of the FRONT Template. This will assist in keeping the shield pieces symmetrical Using an X-Acto blade will be much easier than trying to use scissors. You will be using the inner pieces as a guide in our next step. Keep all shield pattern pieces.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 2Cut inside this boarder with an X-Acto knife.

Once you have cut out the boarder, place it atop one of your shield pieces. This piece will become the top layer on the front of the shield. Use a tiny bit of masking tape to secure the stencil to the foam-core. Trace the inner boarder with a pencil. Use an X-Acto bade to cut out the design. Save the pieces from the center and set aside.

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Make sure you secure the stencil/template or it may shift during tracing/cutting.

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Here you can see the stencil/template and the pencil lines. Ready to cut!

Step 4: Do the same thing for the back of the shield. 

But here is where things may get a little tricky… or at least different. Depending on the size of your handle and your personal preference, you may give the supporting cross on the back different dimensions. I made the horizontal arm on the cross slightly smaller than the size of the handle. This way, the handle goes around the cross instead of on top of it.

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This was cut after careful measurement.

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Measure twice, cut once.

Carefully cut out the cross pattern and outer boarder. Make sure that you give the outer boarder a uniform thickness. For my shield, I gave it a 4cm thickness (see photo). This will make it look more finished and will also provide more stability.

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I found it helpful to use a ruler to cut straight lines.

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Here are the front AND the back of the shield.

Above are the two pieces we just cut atop the two shield pieces we cut from before. We now have two “front” pieces and two “back” pieces. That’s all the major cutting we have to do for today. Next we will add some of the hardware that gives this shield its character and believability. Gather your hardware and tools and meet me back here ASAP!

Click here to continue on to PART TWO.

DIY, Halloween, Tutorials

Getting Ready for Halloween

I suppose I have made it pretty clear, but just in case you weren’t sure, I am going to be Link from the Legend of Zelda for Halloween. I’ve never been one to wear ready-made costumes; even as children we always had a handmade costume from Grandma R. As I’ve grown older, I continued that tradition, frequently making my own costumes. I was never really one for following the trends as it were.

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The biggest challenge for this year’s costume was not the outfit itself (I basically had that together, save some time to embroider and work on accessories). The biggest challenge this year was Link’s shield and sword. Link is pretty recognizable, but if I were to dress up as Link without his trusty sword and shield…well, that wasn’t an option. I did some research at the beginning of the month to prepare myself for the “real deal” of making or finding a sword and shied that would work for my costume.


Looking online, there are very few options that look good and don’t cost an arm-and-a-leg. Since I need both my arms to swing my sword and use my shield, and since Rupees don’t grow on trees, I decided to make my own Hylian Shield. I styled the design after the shield from Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. I chose this shield for a few reasons: The materials I had for Link’s tunic matched that character design perfectly, and I really like the way they designed the Master Sword and Hylian Shield in that game. Also, it was the last game where Link was playable as a left-handed character (on the Gamecube version) and I wanted to be true to the “Corrie-Fisted” Link I grew up with!

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Concept artwork for Link in Twilight Princess.

Obviously I will share the costume itself, but in the next few posts I will share my progress in the making of the Hylian Shield. If you have any questions, please message me or add a comment. I hope my instructions will inspire other gamer girls (and boys!) to make their own Hylian Shield!

Until next time!

Hylian Shield Tutorial 1

Sketching out to-scale drawings to make the shield.

DIY, Halloween, New Artwork

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial Part 3

If you need a to-scale example of the size of the shield I showed you how to make, here you go!

This shield is just the right size for my cat, Ferdinand. He is ready to go in to battle with the most ferocious of foes! Watch out!

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial  CATHi-yah!

DIY, Halloween, New Artwork

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial Part TWO: Steps 6 through 10

Yesterday I started showing you how to make your own tiny Hylian Shield from the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Today I am back to finish up the tutorial.

Step 6: Detailing What would the Hylian Shield be without its fine detailing? A Deku Shield? There are a lot of options for adding details to the center of your shield. With this smaller shield, I chose to use a combination of materials. For the Triforce, I used some thin cardboard. For the bird motif, I used my hot glue gun to paint the design. If you are not very good at freehand-drawing, I would suggest cutting out the design from your template. This was a little tricky, but I am pleased with the results. I may try something different on the larger shield, though.

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial 8

The glue gun added a nice texture, but was difficult to control.

Step 7: Prime This is especially important if working with cardbard. The dark surface will be difficult to paint if you do not prime it.

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial 9The front after one coat of primer.

Be sure to get the front and the back. Let it dry completely between coats if a second coat is necessary.

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial 10The back of the shield after one coat of primer.

Step 8: Spray Paint Now it’s time for the fun part. Once you’ve let your coat of primer dry completely, you can add a coat of your Hammered Spray Paint. This paint is textured and does a great job of covering most surfaces evenly. I did not have any problems with my shield, but you may need to touch-up or add a second coat of paint. Be patient and let each coat dry before applying the next one.

Also, if you did cover the outside of the shield with masking tape, bear in mind that the paint will remain tacky there for a little while longer than it does on the cardboard. Be mindful of this when setting the shield down on surfaces while it dries.

Paint both sides of the shield.

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial 12Shield front after one coat of Hammered Silver paint.

Step 9: Paint and Detail. Once your silver paint has dried, it is time to add detail to the shield. I used a variety of small brushes and my acrylic paints to add the color to the front of the shield. I did the blue base first and then painted the red bird and Triforce, leaving the silver parts

Tiny Hylian Shield Tutorial 13

Carefully adding blue paint.

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Don’t forget to paint the back!

You may need to add several coats of paint. Depending on the type of paint you are using, you may also want to cover the shield in a clear gloss coat. As all of my paints were glossy, I did not do that for my shield. Once the paint has dried on the front and the back, it is time to add some hardware. On this small shield, I added a little loop to be used to hang or secure the shield. On a standard-size shield, it is even more important to add the correct hardware. This small loop will do for now, but if you make a larger shield in the future, be sure to make the straps and handle more secure.

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Brads have proven to be very useful for this project.

Step 10: Sit back and admire your handy-work. Even if you have never touched a tool in your life, this project can be easy enough for any skill level. While this shield may not be big enough to defend yourself from even the smallest of Deku Shrubs, it is cool enough to display in your home or office. Many materials are ones that you may have on-hand.

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With the leather loop on the back, you can easily hang this small shield somewhere where it can be seen!

I hope this tutorial was helpful! If you have any questions regarding the instructions or photographs please let me know. Share your finished projects too!!!

Want to see STEPS 1 – 5? Click here!