Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pinterest Post - Stuffed Ninjas

About time I post about some of the Christmas crafts I made last month. My favorite project? A stuffed toy weapons project based from this popular pin on pinterest. It's a pillow fight, get it?

Since my nephews are pretty big into things like Yu-gi-oh and Pokemon, I decided to hone in on the ninja stash. So, that means ninja stars and nunchucks for all. 

For fabric, I had an old bed sheet that needed new purpose. It was a little worn through, but since I quilted the designs, that provided plenty of reinforcement so the toys will (hopefully) stand up to a solid, little-boy pummeling.

A couple quick google image searches and I had two fun ninja star designs and a simple idea for a nunchuck. I cut stencils into paper box lids, which kept the spray paint contained when I was transferring. Fun trick? I used toothpicks stuck into the corrugated cardboard to suspend the center holes on the stars.

I used regular standard cheapo black spray paint to transfer the design. This should be fine as these toys won't get a lot of washings. (Though, I imagine they are pretty machine washable.)

Cut matching batting for each piece (there are two matching stars/chucks per stuffed part) and machine quilt a quarter inch outside the stencil design. Initially, I tried a black thread for the quilting, but I much preferred the monochromatic look. It adds dimension and strength but doesn't make it look busy.

Once the quilting is done, sew the right sides together, leaving a 2 in. gap to turn the toys right sides in. Use a pen or chopstick to straighten out the seams. If the seams are too bulky, or not evening out, you might try scoring them (cutting little snips in the excess fabric) at 1/2 in intervals.

For the nunchucks, I used a heavy wool yarn. Single crochet the "chain". I did a little research on the dimensions of nunchucks. The branches (the stick part) are supposed to be about the length of the user's forearms. The chain is supposed to be about the width of the user's palm below the fingers.

Making the nunchucks is a more integral process than the stars. The chain needs a lot of reinforcement. I'd say 4-6 go-overs is probably enough. The fabric, batting and yarn will make this bulky work. If you're anywhere near as impatient as me- be prepared to break a needle. You will sew, reverse and stuff the chuck and close the whole shebang from the chain end.

Once you stuff the stars you can either machine stitch or hand sew to close. I stuffed the nunchucks so that they felt sturdy and kept shape when flailed around. The stars I left a little lighter, since I didn't want them to break things when they take flight. (Because, you know, they will fly across the room, ALOT.)

I'm not big on gender divisive toys, usually. But I also don't think my 3 year old niece stands a chance in a nunchuck battle with her 3 big brothers. She's a real girly girl. She loves princesses so much. I totally cannot relate, I was such a tomboy. Anyways, little Lily got a fairy princess wand from Aunt Sarah for Christmas. Wand of massive cuteness instead of weapons of mass destruction. I just kinda tossed it together from some sweet little scraps and some lace.

And it had to be well-stuffed and highly reinforced as well. Just because she's cute and girly doesn't mean that this little girl isn't going to be waving her wand around at mach speed. And I've already witnessed a battle between a ninja and a fairy and the fight wasn't so mismatched.

I got to watch the kiddos open their gifts the morning of Christmas Eve. In seconds the wrapping paper was strewn about the room. There were only a couple wide eyed and mouthed moments before the first battles began. It was a major success. Even Isaac, the 8 1/2 year-old, gave the gift rave reviews. Welp, there's nowhere to go but down from here. Guess I'm sticking to books and socks from here on out.

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