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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Table Top Angy Birds

My two youngest kids and I built a table-top version of Angry Birds! It's loads of fun and doesn't cost much to make! The materials needed are hard Styrofoam, balsa wood, pingpong balls, paint and Sharpies. Here's a quick how-to on making it:
For the project we purchased a large sheet of about 1" thickness hard Styrofoam and balsa wood boards from a craft store. The first step was to decide on the length of our blocks and how many we wanted to make.
Next the blocks were cut out. I used a hand-held jig saw, but a coping or other hand saw would work just as well (the jig saw just makes the process much faster). After the blocks were cut we set about painting them. We tried to simulate the wood, stone and glass blocks from the game.

And here they are! The blocks finished and *almost* dry! While these were drying, my middle boy took on the task of creating the pigs and birds.
Our pigs and birds were made from pingpong balls. In the first picture of this post, you can see all of the birds/pigs we have so far. In the closeup above, you can see where we hot-glued some black beads to the bottom of the pigs to create their hooves and give them the ability to stay put until they're shot at.

With all of the components made, it could then be enjoyed!!!
The only thing I don't have pictured is the sling-shot, which I made from a piece of cereal-box cardboard, a few bits of tape and some rubber-bands. The slingshot is hooked to the tops of two dinner chairs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tabmaile Tutorial

I've decided that I'd like to provide a detailed tutorial for those who wish to learn the basic tabmaile weave. If you've made European 4 in 1 before, the process is nearly identical. If you're completely new to chainmaile, it's a very simple pattern that you should be able to pick up fairly easily.

First up, materials and tools:
To make the weave, you'll need a bunch of soda tabs (surprise!) and 5/16" Jumprings. I recommend using 16ga stainless steel rings. The only tools you will need are two pairs of pliers.

The first step is to open one of your rings like the picture above.

Next, loop it through the bottom holes of two tabs like so.

Then take the ends of that ring and thread the top holes of two other tabs onto them.

You can now close the first ring and add a second. After adding the second ring, place the right-hand side of the ring through the bottom hole of a new tab.

Then thread the top hole of another tab onto the same side of the open ring. You can continue this pattern to the right (or left) as long as you wish to create your first row.

For the purposes of this tutorial we'll limit the row width to three tabs. To start the second row, loop a ring through the bottom hole of the two lower leftmost tabs.

Close the ring and loop another through (just like when we made the first row :) )

And now, add the final tab and close the last ring. You now have a 3 by 3 patch of tabmaile! Like standard European 4 in 1... each ring passes through 4 tabs and each tab has 4 rings attached to it (when a tab/ring is located away from the edge of the sheet). Now it's time to start collecting silly amounts of soda tabs and create all sorts of fun stuff with them.

Feel free to leave a comment with a link to something that you make! I always like to see how others use similar techniques to create different items.