May the 4th Be with Your Crafting!
Star Wars Day is upon us again! (And once again I have nothing to wear . . .) For a long time, my love of Star Wars had waned. The more popular it became, the more "meh" I felt about it. But The Force Awakens really helped light a fire under that fandom again, and now I find myself with no Star Wars related clothing or jewelry to wear. So why not make something? Since I work in an office, I figured a nice jewelry piece would be perfect. (Why aren't T-shirts considered professional attire, again?) While I was at it, I also decided to make a couple of custom stamps for paperwork and future craft projects. First up was getting the logos. After finding them on the Internet, I sized images for the Rebellion, Empire, and First Order to what I wanted (you can do this using GIMP or even MS Paint, and some printer programs may work for you). Then it was off to the craft store! What You'll Need Small balsa-wood circles (you can customize your logo size to make sure it will fit on the wood; mine was about 1¼ inches) Necklace backing (such as this one) Chain (or cord, ribbon, etc. to hang your charm on) Paint (white and orange for the Rebellion and black and white for the Empire and/or First Order if you're trying to be accurate, but the best part about making your own stuff is that you can customize the colors!) Mod Podge Really good glue (I tried a brand from the Dollar Store, and so far it is working really well) Detail knife Small paintbrushes Foam brush Thick cardboard or other cutting surface Pencil Q-Tips Scissors (optional) How to Do It You have a couple of options depending on your drawing skills, time, and favoritism of one group over the others: you can either cut out each logo as a circle the same size as your balsa wood and Mod Podge the whole thing on or you can trace or freehand draw your logo onto the balsa wood and paint it in. I opted to use a stencil for the rebels and Mod Podge for the Empire and First Order. No matter the method, you'll start by painting your circles with the color you want to use as your base---for me, this was white in all cases. Even if you want to Mod Podge your logo onto your balsa wood, I still suggest painting the circle to match your base color first to avoid any wood color bleeding through. Wait for it to dry and check that it looks how you want; you may want to do a second coat to make sure it's completely opaque. Before proceeding, make sure your last coat of paint is completely dry. If you'll be Mod Podging your logos onto the circles, cut them out. Use the foam brush to get a good coat of Mod Podge on the circle, then place your logo and let it dry. If you want to trace your logos, carefully cut them out using the knife and then use a pencil to do so. If you're confident in your drawing ability, pencil the logos on freehand. Then, using your small brushes, paint the logos your chosen colors. You may need to do several coats, depending on your base color. Let the paint dry in between coats to make sure you don't smudge anything. There are several ways you can customize your logo from here. You can use brown or black paint and a dry brush to make it look worn and dirty. You can use the stamp described below to double up on your logos. (printed Empire logo with the rebels on top!) You can use blood-red paint for a dramatic smear. Or you can add glitter to make it shiny. After you're finished, use either the Mod Podge or another sealer, if you have a preferred product on hand, to protect the surface. Use the glue to adhere the necklace back to the back of the circle according to its directions, using a Q-Tip to wipe away any excess glue that tries to spill out. Wait until it cures, then slip it on your chain and you're ready to go! Bonus Craft: Emblem Stamp For this, you'll just need one sheet of foam. Either use a cut-out logo as a stencil or freehand draw the logo onto the foam. Then, using scissors and/or your knife, carefully cut it out. Cut out an additional square or circle from your foam sheet and glue the foam logo to it---this will be your backing. Using a brush and paint, brush a light layer of paint onto the stamp and use where you want. Below, I've made a handkerchief just a little bit cooler! Wear your new gear with geeky pride, and May the 4th be with you!
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