My dissertation was submitted and I had nothing better to do than sit and wait (right, and if you believe that I have an entire “to-do” list you can complete for me!). So, over Thanksgiving I decided to start working on some Christmas gifts – many of which I had purchased supplies for LAST year! This year’s “fun” gift was family sets of marshmallow shooters with shields!
Supplies (for one shooter):
- 12-inch length of 1/2 inch PVC pipe (sprinkler/plumping pipe)
- One – 1/2 inch end cap
- Two – 1/2 inch elbows
- One – 1/2 inch T joint
- Craft glue (I like Tacky Glue)
Cut the PVC pipe into three pieces 2” long, and two pieces 3” long. My original intent was to cut these by hand with a small saw…luckily, I ran into my neighbor at Lowe’s and when she found out what I was up to, she volunteered her husband and his nice, FAST table saw (we bartered 3 shooters in the deal!). What was I thinking??? I did cut one piece by hand, and it took me as long to make one cut as it did for T.H. to do about 20!
It is also important to get two smooth edges (one for each end, since invariably big and little people pick them up and “shoot” out of either end). Even though the table saw made pretty smooth cuts, I still used the sand paper to “finish” off the edges a bit.
Lay out as shown in the picture below.
Starting with the mouthpiece end (top right in picture), use a paint brush, Q-tip, or foam applicator, to brush a SMALL amount of craft glue around the edge of the connecting end (of course, if you put the glue on the wrong end, just flip it around – if it is smooth enough!). You may need to add a few drops of water to the glue to get it to be “brushing” consistency. Insert the PVC piece into the elbow and wipe away any excess glue. Repeat process for each PVC piece and connector. I let the shooters dry overnight before putting them away to start on the next project – the body armor.
*The PVC pipe comes in 5’ lengths – with careful measuring/cutting, I was able to get enough “little” pieces to make 5 shooters out of each length – if your pieces aren’t exactly 2” or 3” it is no big deal!
*You do not want to do the pipe cutting inside – we made a real mess on my neighbors’ patio!
*I made 18 of these shooters for less than $20, including a new bottle of Tacky Glue
*Play rules include “No aiming at heads” – Marshmallows travel at high speeds when shot!
*After the initial gift giving/opening, these shooters have been consigned to outside play only (see picture below – marshmallow stuck on INSIDE of living room window, found FIVE days after Christmas!)
*I think these would be fabulous fun for a sleepover, couples wedding shower, family reunion, etc. You would certainly “break the ice” quickly!
Supplies for One Shield:
- ½ yard fabric (all one color, or assorted scraps – I used flannel, mainly because that was the only pink camouflage I could find)
- ½ yard of 3/8” wide grosgrain ribbon
- 12” of 7/8” wide grosgrain ribbon
- 1/2 yard of Heavy-duty interfacing
- Polyester fiberfill
- Embellishments – optional (e.g., buttons, silk flowers)
Since I made enough of these to outfit an army (or at least a large squad!), I started by cutting out a number of solid color pieces for the backing. Then after cutting out an assortment of full pieces from the coordinating fabrics, I cut them into smaller pieces and did some mixing-matching – this means your finished front piece will be a bit smaller than the backing (because of the seams) – just trim to match (I’m all about making these projects fun and easy – not precise and perfect!).
All seams were about ¼” (give or take!). Sew the two small pieces together – iron the seam and sew on a piece of the 3/8” ribbon (I used a zigzag stitch for this). Sew the top piece to the bottom and repeat ironing and ribbon. If you’re going to add buttons, an initial, or any other embellishment, now is the time!
Baste the interfacing to the inside of the solid back piece (or, if you were smart and actually bought iron-on interfacing, iron that stuff on!). Flip it over and on the outside, place 7/8”
ribbon for “grips”. See picture below for placement (I forgot to take the picture of the back as I was making these, so just used an extra piece of the interfacing … do NOT sew your grips onto the interfacing – because then they would be INSIDE the finished shield!).
Stitch ribbon in place on each end (where the pins are in place).
Now, placing right sides together (after trimming the back piece to match the front piece), stitch the two pieces together, leaving a small opening so that you can stuff the pillow “shield”. Trim the seam, and then turn inside out. Stuff the shield and then top stitch to finish (and close the opening).
Once the “battle” got heated, we were laughing so hard I had tears running down my face! Too bad I forgot to make myself one!
Wishing you and yours a healthy, safe, and Happy New Year!