I've been brainstorming at the dollar store again, you guys, and BEHOLD:
DIY Progress Goes "Boink."
Inspired by the time Calvin turned a box into a time machine, and this happened:
Like a lot of you I grew up on Calvin & Hobbes, and I still have all the books lined up on my shelves (right next to my Far Side collection). I've read and reread them a dozen times over, and cherish Watterson's blend of imagination, silliness, and philosophical musings.
On a professional note, Cake Wrecks and Wreck the Halls are both published by Andrews McMeel, the same publisher behind the Calvin & Hobbes books. Not only did I completely fangirl freakout over this, Bill Watterson's famously reclusive nature paved the way for me as an author. Thanks to him, the folks at AM didn't make me do TV or live radio interviews (other publishers would have), and were so much more understanding and flexible, having dealt with someone like me before.
So yeah, lots of love for Bill, Calvin, and Hobbes over here.
But enough tangents, back to the crafty goodness:
Oooh, maybe next I should make a Spaceman Spiff version, with lots of sand and rocks. :D
Inspiration hit when I found that plastic terrarium globe next to some fake mossy rocks at Dollar Tree:
Then when John and I spotted those plastic dinosaurs in the toy aisle, I knew exactly what to do.
My total out of pocket for this was about $3: one dollar each for the globe, mossy rocks, and dinosaur toys. (I didn't end up using the loose moss.) Everything else came from the backyard or around the house: bits of gravel, twigs, some walnut dust from the garage, cotton batting for clouds, and the tiniest print-out of Calvin & Hobbes on plain paper.
To make your own, start by hot-gluing the rocks in place:
You want to begin with the biggest elements, then work your way down:
That broken twig looks just like a petrified tree stump, right?
My dino had a less-than-stellar paint job:
... so I pounced on some brown craft paint to tone down the shiny green.
Here's the globe filled in with gravel and walnut dust:
(If your stones are too big, then do what we did: hit them with a hammer! Boom. Insta-gravel.)
The dinosaur was a little wobbly, so I sliced off the insides of his feet to fit the curve of the hill. Then I used small dabs of hot glue on his feet to squish him in place.
Next fold a teeny tiny cardboard box:
John did the math and drew this template for me on a piece of brown craft paper. A paper grocery bag would also work.
Write "Time Machine" on the side in even tinier letters. (That took some practice.)
At first I planned to have the Time Machine sitting in the foreground empty, but John convinced me to add a paper cutout of Calvin & Hobbes:
With them inside I figured the box should be airborne, so I made the Time Machine "fly" with a small piece of wire:
The box is so small and light there's no glue needed: just stick the wire down the back corner...
... then jam it into the Styrofoam rock.
"To the future!"
My final touch - which doesn't show well in these photos - are a few wispy clouds made from fiber fill. Hot glue is too goopy for that, of course, so instead I used a blast of spray adhesive to attach the clouds to the top of the globe.
And that's it!
Even the back is kind of cute, since it gives you a better look at the dinosaur.
You can hang this in a window or set it on a shelf, but aim for eye-level or higher, so it's easier to see in to. John claimed ours for his room, so Calvin & Hobbes live on Planet Tigger now:
This also gives you a better idea of just how small the whole thing is.
Hope this inspires some craftiness out there! Especially since tiny toys and collectibles are all the rage right now. I've seen blind bags at Disney with figures the size of your fingertip! You could also use LEGO mini figs, fold your own paper TARDIS, or even hang a little X-wing from the top with fishing line. Seriously, SO many fun geeky possibilities!
Now. let's go exploring.
Want more? Then check out the Craft Page to see all my tutorials and projects in one place!