Oct 2, 2010

DIY Star Wars toys

The kids are wildly into Star Wars at the moment. Have you seen the price of Star Wars toys!?! Good grief! Even second hand they are still mighty pricey unless you get lucky. So, I've been painting peg dolls and we've all been making space ships out of recycling again.

First I'll show you the ones the kids helped to make, then I'll show you the birthday present me and Paul made for our older daughter, who turned six yesterday. Me and the kids made an x-wing and a tie fighter one evening a couple of weeks ago, when I should have been making dinner. Just hot glue and stuff from the recycling bin, plus a bit of paint on top.

The x-wing was made from a small cardboard box for the body, a cereal box cut out for the wings, four corks for the engines, with pen lids on the tips of the wings and on the back of the engines. The guns coming out of the ends of the wing tip pen lids are snipped off electrical ties like the ones I used to make the insect antennae. The nose of the x-wing was made from strategically cutting a mac and cheese box and then glueing a bit of an egg carton to the end. The cork engines had a plastic lid stuck on the front of each (from a quarter machine toy container). Lastly the cockpit cover was made from a clear plastic wood screw box.

The tie fighter was made from a toilet roll tube, two cut out bits of plastic from the bottom of a black plastic Trader Joes chana masala tray (mmmmm curry!) and the middle is just a left over plastic baseball from when we did the vuvuzela craft a while back. I love the wonky little cockpit window that my four year old drew on it.

These have been a huge hit with the kids. My older daughter was particularly excited about the x-wing because the pilot actually went inside it. They were so into them that I was on the verge of helping them to turn a couple of old frisbies into the Millenium Falcon, but Carys's birthday was a week away and so me and Paul decided to secretly make her a more robust Falcon dollhouse for her present. After I made Pixie Hollow for Ffion back in March, I wanted to do something equally home made for Carys and so we decided to spend a few evenings with me painting up peg dolls and Paul screwing various thrift store finds together to make the Falcon for them to go in.

I painted up all the peg dolls over the course of four evenings, after the kids had gone to bed. They are really freaking small! It would have been much easier to use larger peg dolls, but these were the ones we could get cheaply at Michaels (didn't have time to wait for anything by mail), also I needed them to be able to fit into the doll house we were making for them. I used two sizes. Darth Vader and Chewy are made from larger 2-3/8" blank peg dolls (they came in a packet of two) All the others were made from the little 1-5/8" peg dolls that came in packets of three. Some of them had bits chopped off and glued back together in weird ways to get the right sizes and shapes. Here's the only in progress photo I took (about half way through).

The cute little faces were based on a great flikr set by Ty Lettau that I found via laughing squid, at just the right moment!

Vader and the storm trooper's masks were made by covering the peg in clingfilm/clingwrap and then molding Fimo clay into the right shape, then carefully pulling it off and baking it hard. It was fiddly, but I couldn't think of another way to make the helmets be realistic and fit the pegs correctly. Vader's can be taken on and off to reveal his gnarly face when he decides to leave the dark side. I glued on the storm trooper's helmet though.

Leia's hair is a couple of wooden beads glued onto the sides of her head. Han Solo in carbonite is a Jenga block with half of one of the peg doll's heads glued on. C3P0 had his head chopped off and replaced with a random smaller wooden head shaped thing I had handy. R2D2 was the bottom bit that we chopped off to make Yoda with another half a head glued on the top. He's teeny (only 3/4" tall). They are all painted with acrylic craft paint and have a couple of coats of satin finish Mod Podge to varnish them (Darth and the storm trouper's helmet are varnished with gloss Mod Podge) I superglued felt to Chewy's head and little felt ears to Yoda, which went rock hard once I painted and varnished it.

I still want to make Boba Fett and Jabba, maybe even a couple of Ewoks, oooh and Admiral Ackbar! There are so many characters we could keep going with, so if the kids are still into it I might make more as stocking fillers for Christmas. Anyway, here are the pics...

Han Solo

Han in carbonite
Obi Wan Kenobi
C3PO

Luke Skywalker in his X-wing flight suit.

Princess Leia.

Lando Calrissian Yoda.

Storm Trooper. It was very late when I painted this little dude and I now realise that the way I painted his boby armour makes it look like he's wearing a thong. Nice.

Darth Vader


With his mask off.
Chewbacca. R2D2 Then you can arrange them into groups for sinister family portraits :)

Paul has written a post on his blog "Fangletronics" showing how we put together the Millenium Falcon dollhouse from random thrift store finds and recycling. So if you want to see all the bits that went into making the ship below then pop over to his post here.
It's been played with almost constantly since the kids got it yesterday. It's always a relief when something you have spent a lot of time on is well received! Phew! I think Paul did a good job making the falcon sturdy, so hopefully it'll last for a long time.

72 comments:

Joe's blog said...

THAT'S FANTASTIC!!!
Wonderful!
:-)

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

This is amazing. My oldest daughter is really into star wars characters (but does not know the films). I was disappointed because the older action figures are difficult to find and the newer versions, are well, just not the same. Your version is superb. I can just imagine the smiles on your daughters' faces!

Tricia Orchard said...

WHOA! Those are amazing! What a great idea!

Thanks for sharing!

:)

MaryAnne said...

You guys are amazing parents. "Millenium Falcon Dollhouse" - love it! And I am very impressed by the dolls, and especially Darth Vader with his removable mask!

Kelly said...

awesome! I just made my first peg dolls last week. They are solid colors with yarn for hair. I guess now I have something to work towards! Thanks!

Shea said...

You guys are so clever. I love the idea of the painted pegs. My little one would love these!

Irene ~ RE~VINTAGED said...

Just Brilliant!!

Tara said...

I am stunned and amazed. Those are AWESOME!

Rhiannon said...

This is just about the coolest thing I have EVER seen. I really think that this will be the perfect gift for my son at christmas! I'm off to google peg dolls and see what I can come up with : )

Lily said...

Ah ha ha. fantastic. I found your blog today and had to read all the posts which made my brain go a bit boggly(it took me lots of cups of tea)and to get a new post when I thought I was done is such a treat. Especially when it is as fantastic as this one.
Tiny stormtrooper shaped hats off to you! Lily
(p.s the thong suited him I think)

Jaimie said...

I'm going to be you when I grow up.

toasted said...

Oh, well done you! What an amazing amount of work and how cool they are. I especially love Darth Vader with his hat off - pff - nice festering sores!

Homesteadgirl said...

My mouth is hanging open. I can't believe this. Last weekend I let my 5 year old stay up to watch "The Return of the Jedi"...first time! Oh my god, I can't believe this crazy project you undertook, and how amazing it is. Can't wait to show my husband...we have time to pull this of before Christmas, right?
Love how you used the FORCE of creativity to outsmart the pressure to BUY craptastic toys in big box stores...will share!

M for Short said...

Love the homemade set of peg dolls. You know, I think that storm troopers would have been a lot less frightening on screen if we could have seen their thongs!!

cygnetsmall said...

So incredibly amazing. I wish I had thought of making "guys" myself -- we have a birthday party to go to tomorrow and the boy loves Star Wars. If only we had one more week!

Karen said...

Oh my goodness! You are a genius!!!!! And I've had kind of a lousy day and your comment about your "thonged" storm trooper just made me laugh out loud. Thank you! And I love your little people and the ships!

Michele said...

you're a bit clever! Well done. the detail on these is amazing. Still laughing at the stormtroopers thing (g-string) that is too funny

and those famkily portraits crack me up too

Lisa F. said...

This is so amazing. My husband and I are in AWE. I absolutely adore your blog. I want to be you when I am a mom. Thank you for so much inspiration. (I'm a kindergarten teacher...)

Nikoli said...

EPIC WIN! (x2)

child central station said...

What an amazing collection of great homemade toys!!!!!

Becky Lee Burk said...

you guys ROCK! Love love love it! I think I may have to make a trip to Michael's tomorrow :)

Care said...

Oh!!! I am dying over this one! You never cease to amaze!

kenziekylanmom said...

Those are just amazing! My son would be in Star Wars heaven!!! Greeat job.

Lindsey said...

Thanks for the kind words youz all! I counted two of you that are gonna try this and another two that might be considering it. Doooooo it! But make sure you can find your glasses first! I couldn't find mine and nearly went boss eyed painting these teeny things. Actually, if you look closely, poor Vader is a bit cross eyed too! I'm sticking to the story that he's just shocked and confused from taking off his helmet ;)

There are so many possibilities for peg doll character sets. The mind boggles.

Heather said...

Your blog is so inspiring! Every idea is so darned unique! I think your blog has made it to the top of my favorite list ;) Thanks for the inspiration :) Oh - and my little girls and I did your stained glass windows - such a great idea - I love that it isn't permanent - i never would have thought of using a window in that way.

Chantal said...

Ohhh my goodness. This is very cool. Very, very, very cool and very clever. Also the only blog post my husband has ever taken the time out to look at (this includes my own blog!) Great effort!

Kebeni said...

i am just gobsmacked! these are awesome

MTVath said...

Clap Clap Clap! This is so wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

Plummy said...

OMG. This is the MOST FANTASTIC THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. When I have kids I will aspire to be just like you. This is exactly what I would have loooved as a child and what I will love to make as a mom. :D

The Butterfly Nest said...

Oh. my. gosh. Those are awesome. If you sold those on etsy, you would make a killing.

Lindsey said...

I think the Falcon Doll house is fairly unique, but there are a few other star wars peg dolls out there. I've seen a han and leia wedding cake topper pair for sure.

There's no way I'd be able to put anything like this on Etsy. It was a total labour of love spending a weeks worth of evenings making this for my little girl. It just wouldn't command a price that reflected the amount of time involved, plus I don't think being sued by George Lucas is very lucrative (for us or him!) ;)

N. said...

I found your blog through another one (don't remember which) and I have to say that you are AMAZING! You're creativity knows no bounds! Thanks for sharing your creations and giving us all some inspiration.

Love the storm trooper thong. hahaha

Green Bean said...

Love this! You guys are amazing. And have totally inspired me for this coming holiday season. Hmm, which Star Wars character to start with first.

Ticia said...

Note to self, don't show super cool peg dolls to my kids unless I plan on making it right then.....

whiskerchase said...

My husband and I love your ideas! I was thinking about making some peg dolls for Christmas presents but now I know I will. Your Star Wars set is the bomb! You did an awesome job and your kids are crazy lucky to have such creative and talented parents.

lisa said...

These are so stinking cute and cool! I want some!

Wendy said...

This is one of my favorite things I've ever seen! Thank God for the Internets.

Michelle Cummings said...

this is the best! My 6 year old son lives and breathes star wars! This will be a fun craft for me to make him for Christmas! Thanks for the inspiration!

Charlie said...

These are really fantastic! I really love the Han Solo in carbonite!

Scott said...

These are great - got to agree with previous comment, Hans Solo in carbonite is hilarious! Scott :-)

Jennifer said...

this is super awesome, as are all of your crafts. i have been totally inspired, and just started my 6 yo's daughter's 'wizard of oz' set last night for her birthday...

which brings me to my question. how the heck do you get such tiny detail on the things? did you paint with a toothpick? please do share anything you can about how to do it more cleanly -- i got what seemed like very skinny paintbrushes and it feels like i'm trying to paint with mittens. help a crafty wanna be out, and i'll send you photos... :)

Eden Folwell said...

Those peg dolls are amazing. I didn't know you could buy blank ones. My kids are not in a Star Wars phase at the moment, but my daughter would love some babies for her barbies. They all seem to need children right now and she never has enough. Thanks again for the inspiration!

Lindsey said...

Hi Jennifer, I used four different brushes, one that was quite big for pasting on the mod podge and base colours, two medium sized one and one teensy weensy one that I had from back in my model painting days. Some of the delicate lines on them are actually drawn on with a pencil (one of the propelling pencils, so the tip is really narrow). It was verrrrry fiddly, but worth it.

Hannah said...

I hate Star Wars but this has almost made me want to watch it....

fabulous :~)

Naes Draw said...

Oh NO! Now I want to do my costume pilot and R2 like this.

Very cool and I like the detail.

One thing I might have done is get small bits of wood for R2's legs, but otherwise wow!

StarWarsFanDad said...

Holy smokes! This is some very talented work. I have to admit, at first I was like, "Homemade Star Wars toys..meh.".

Then I laid eyes on the Darth Vader with removable helmet. So cool! The Millenium Falcon was awesome too. Great ideas, especially when you have younger Star Wars fans and need to worry about the choking hazards of small pieces on many of the Star Wars action figures.

Awesome work and I am totally blown away!

krakit said...

Lindsey,
May I post your photo of your
Princess Leia in this thread
on the October Toys / Toy Break forum?

maria said...

This is so amazing - the Star Wars geek in me wishes you were my mom. :)

Christine @ Origami Mommy said...

Aah - so wonderful! We have peg dolls here and paint them - last year we did a couple of Harry Potter themed ones - but this is fantastic.

katie said...

Wow, how my 3 1/2 year-old would love to spend a day at your house with all these action figures!

Love the originality and detail!

pam said...

OK then! YOU are officially a genius!

Your Star Wars figures totally rock!

Kimara said...

Seriously Fantastic! Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas, but this is off the charts awesome. I'll be linking on Facebook.

Amy's Stocking Stuffers said...

This is utterly inspiring! Thanks for sharing these with us. :-)

Tabitha said...

Wow my 10yr daughter just asked if I could make those for her and her brothers. How awesome is that. I love it when you don't have to go with flow of everyone else for toys and gifts and the kids love it. Thanks for sharing you have a wonderful talents. I am now a follower. I wanna see what else you come up with. LOL

Kathy said...

How fantastic, such a wonderful job and so creative. Love it!

Kathy said...

Wonderful idea and so creative. Love it!!!

Meg said...

I just found you and I am in awe at how amazing these are! You are so creative and patient to do all that!

I'm sure your kiddos are thrilled!

Megan

Brenda Pinnick said...

You're the best Mom ever!!!

Junksterchick@gmail.com said...

WoW! and WoW again! I love these and will share these with my boys (who are now 22, 20 & 16) They love star wars and the comment about the thong was hilarious!!! You are so creative and it is nice to see that you don't need alot of money to entertain you kids... the best part they helped out and it is just awesome. Nice job - will be checking your site for more inspiration.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

These are fantastic! I'm married to a Star Wars collector (he's a stormtrooper, too), and beleive me, I know how expensive those toys are! The cost of vintage is insane.

Seriously, I'm blown away by your creativity and ingenuity. And here I was so proud of my Leia and Han Solo Christmas ornaments I made a few years ago...

Sarakenobi said...

it's so funny that I stopped over here because I found your pixie hallow post awhile back but I'm not sure I commented. I too made Star Wars peg people a few weeks ago *beginning of October* and have been attacked with requests to make more for friends. but this Millennium Falcon is exactly what I needed -- I'm making a fairy house for my niece but was at a loss for something to put the Star Wars pegs in. (I am making a skyscraper for the super hero pegs.

I LOVE YOURS SO MUCH!!!! (more)
but here are mine :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45011248@N00/sets/72157624932851215/

Amanda said...

I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I linked to this post today from Copycat Crafts. :) Copycat Crafts features all sorts of great knock projects just like this one and we wanted to say thanks for the great post! Your feature can be seen from our home page and you can get to it directly here
http://www.copycatcrafts.com/make-your-own-star-wars-toys/

If you would like a "featured by" button, you can grab one from our right side bar. Thanks!
http://www.copycatcrafts.com/

Caroline said...

Just wanted to stop by and thank you for the inspiration for a gift I made my son. He asked for Doctor Who stuff and, as we're not in the UK, it is a little hard to come by Doctor Who toys fit for a 3-year-old. So I took the inspiration here and, while not nearly as good as yours, made some great action figures for him. Thanks!

Caroline

(Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the pictures of the dolls I made him:
http://caroline-thinking.blogspot.com/2010/12/merry-christmas.html )

Robyn said...

I am FINALLY done with mine!!! Pics on my blog. http://craftwithme.blogspot.com/2010/12/merry-christmas.html

daperfectmix said...

wow! that's freakin awesome! Amazing job! lol, love the storm trooper thongs!

RedSewingBox said...

I love them, they are awesome! Nice work.

Nienie said...

WOW what an amazing idea! I hope you don't mind if I share this idea on my crafting blog, it's such a priceless idea! wooden pens! And I looovee starwars. I thought of crocheting the figurines, but I need a little bit more crocheting practice!

Love from the Netherlands

Jenn Erickson said...

Your Star Wars toys are incredible! So wonderfully done and sure to be treasured by your children forever!!

The Fox and the Polar Bear said...

oh my word - they're amazing!

Karen said...

im speechless - really wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

vader looks like marvin the martian with his mask off

Annette {This Simple Home} said...

Your peg people were a great inspiration for me. I made a set for my kids!

You can see my set at http://www.thissimplehome.com/2013/04/star-wars-peg-people.html if you are interested.