Friday, October 12, 2012

Tutorial: How to Make a KidMation Play Shield

Passing notes today:  Mrs. Gosling

Hi Ladies!

So, I think that it's obvious by now that the munchkins are getting bigger.  And by bigger, I mean CRAZY!  I have to say that we are not an overly rough bunch but they have an insane amount of energy throughout the day and need to burn it.  They also love playing imagination (nobody has asked for video games or Nintendo DS yet, so I try to push the inexpensive, kidmation play).  KidMation = kid + imagination.  Ya like that?

I have been making them capes for years.  My sister made one for our oldest about four years ago, he loved it - end of story.  Everyone now has one.

It's quite simple--if you have a cape you probably could use a shield too, right?  At least that's the story that the kids are trying to sell me.  I bought it hook, line and SUCKER.  Our son has a captain america shield that he got for his birthday.  He really loves it but at times it becomes more of a defense tool (it's large and plastic.  I'm sure that the moms out there are getting my drift). So I thought moving forward I would try to make a not-so-painful-when-it-bops-you-on-the-head shield.  I started with simple supplies:

*Ultra Firm sewable/washable interfacing
*Cutting Mat (optional)
*Rotary cutter or scissors

First, you need to cut out all 3 circles.  I laid all three fabrics on top of each other, placed my bowl on them and cut around using the rotary cutter.  If you don't have a cutting mat and rotary scissors, you can trace the outside of the bowl and carefully cut them using the scissors. 

***  Please BE CAREFUL using the rotary cutter.  It's really quick and your fingers are really close to it.  If you don't pay attention, you will cut yourself.  I did this last summer and let me tell you something...NOT COOL.  Safety first!

Don't mind the smudges on the bowl, crazy lady in the reflection or clutter on the back counter. 

Next, I cut out the letter.  I freehanded it (because that's how I roll and the paper for the printer was in the sleeping child's room). If you are looking for a more structured letter or specific font, please refer to Mrs. W's instruction on printing, cutting and sewing printable font here.  I used a light colored crayon to write out the letter and then cut away.  Again, the fabric marker was in sleeping child's room. I pinned it to the center of my top fabric and sewed.


After, I cut a 6" strip of elastic and 2 small squares of felt.  I folded over the ends of elastic and sewed them to the felt squares.  This is for the back of the shield.  The extra felt fabric will give it a little more stability when playing and washing. 

Then I sewed the squares to the right side of the back fabric (felt).  I probably should have sewed the squares first and then attached the elastic because I had to do some Houdini work moving around the elastic, but it was fine. 

Once that was finished, I placed the right sides together and sewed them 3/4 of the way, turned it right side out and ironed.   

I took the ultra firm interfacing and trimmed it back a little to allow for the sewn seams.  You will have to trim it about 1/4" - 1/2"  Just keep trimming if it doesn't fit right.  If you cut it a little too small, don't worry .. it will be fine.  Then I placed the interfacing into the sleeve of the shield.  

Next, you fold the felt over the interfacing along the curved edge and do the same for your top fabric.  Iron, pin and sew.

Finally, take the pins out, iron the entire shield and YOU ARE DONE!  

kids play shield


The total cost for this project was only $6 and it took appr. 1 hour, 1 conversation with the mailman and 1 coffee. 

Interfacing @ $5.99/yd x 40% coupon = $3.60 + red elastic @ $3.99 x 40% coupon = $2.40 (I still have enough elastic for 8 more shields and interfacing for 1 shield)

The rest of the supplies I had left over from other projects.  If I had to purchase the fabric, the additional cost would have been about $3.  REALLY?  Everyone needs to close their computers, head to the fabric store and make one of these for every halloween costume wearing, Christmas stocking-stalking child they know.  How much fun would it be watching your little ones running around the backyard with them.  BEST part, they are soft to the touch but will hold up to almost anything and MACHINE WASHABLE. 

PS - Be careful when ironing felt.  Sometimes it will get the best of you and stick to the iron if you are the on steam setting.  Place a piece of fabric or cotton in between. 

Here it is, in all it's glory with the matching cape I made last year. 

May the Force be with You,

Mrs. Kelly Comment:  Uh, you lost me at "interfacing."  But, I love the shield / matching cape combo!  It's awesome and your boys are so hip. You know I'm a sucker for polka dots.  I smell a Christmas card....which leads me to next week's topic! 

Mrs. Williams Comment:  I love this idea.  I think I'm going to make one for myself actually.  I plan to sew on some felt letters that spell out, "No Whining,"  then every time my kids start whining, well, basically speaking, I'm going to hold it up.  Do you think it will work? 

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