Quick & Crafty: DIY Takodana Terrarium

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Takodana Terrarium 1

MATERIALS:

  • Glass vase/bowl or cloche
  • Takodana Encounter action figure set
  • Preserved or artificial moss
  • Fake ferns, succulents, or other plants of your choice

 

I’m calling this DIY a “Quick & Crafty” project because it truly is super easy and quick to make! Maz Kanata and BB-8 are my favorite characters from The Force Awakens so I had to buy this Takodana Encounter action figure set when I saw it at Toys”R”Us. Plus, it came with Rey and Finn! What a deal!

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I wanted to display my new action figures in our home, but our bookshelf is getting full and I knew I didn’t have time to make a diorama with Maz’s castle. Then I remembered that I had a terrarium left over from our wedding! The night before my wedding, my sister, cousin, and I crafted the night away doing last minute projects, including making 5 terrariums that would be displayed at the venue. I dubbed them the Endor terrariums because we placed tiny Ewoks inside amongst the ferns and succulents.

Cacá Santoro Photography

After the wedding, I didn’t have the heart to dismantle my beloved terrariums. Instead, some ended up in a box in the garage and one was collecting dust in the closet. But no more! I love repurposing old items and giving them new life. Since I made the terrarium almost 2 years ago, I don’t have step-by-step photos. But the steps are so easy, you don’t even need them!

STEP 1: Select your glass vase or cloche. You can find great options at the craft store. I found a vase similar to this one at Michaels in the sale section.

Glass bowl vase

STEP 2: Buy your greenery. I bought the moss, fake ferns and succulents at Michaels as well.

Moss & Ferns

STEP 3: Fill the bowl halfway with moss. Then place the succulents or plants of your choice in and top of the moss. I used 5 succulents for my terrarium but sticks, rocks, and other green plants would also look neat. As Rey first said when she saw Takodana,”I didn’t think there was this much green in the whole galaxy.” So when selecting your fake plants, go green! I also added a few ferns towards the middle and back of the bowl for height.

STEP 4: Add Maz and the gang! Place your action figures inside the bowl in and around the moss and plants. No need to secure them down with anything since the figures will be pretty secure once you nestle them into the moss.

Takodana website

And that’s it! Like I said, this DIY was super quick and easy. I placed our Takodana terrarium on our windowsill and I just love seeing Maz and the gang every time I’m in the kitchen. It’s not a screen accurate Takodana terrarium but it makes me happy just the same. I think it’s the perfect way to display these new action figures! May the Craft be with you! 😀

DIY Chewbacca Doll

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Chewie Doll

I’ve been on the hunt for a Chewbacca doll ever since my daughter was born. I’m trying to brainwash introduce Luci to the universe of Star Wars, whether it’s through books, toys, or music! The talking Chewie plush at the toy store terrified her so I knew I had to rectify the situation and find her a Wookiee she could love. So, like many of my DIY inspirations, I decided to make a Chewbacca doll myself!

I found this pattern by Draw Pilgrim and it worked perfectly! Pilgrim’s pattern and instruction made this project easy and fun to do. I did have to modify a few things because I couldn’t find corduroy fabric that was the right shade of brown. The fabric was either too light or too dark; so I went a different direction and found this tan, furry fabric that looked just like Wookiee fur!

Fuzzball

I’m not going to lie, this fabric is an absolute pain to work with. My living room became covered in faux fur and the thickness made it tricky to sew. But as the doll started taking shape, I forgave this beast of a fabric.

WIP

Like I said, the Draw Pilgrim pattern made the doll-making process easy, but here are a couple tips from my experience:

I scaled the pattern to 100% instead of scaling it to fit my paper. My rationale was that a larger pattern would make it easier to cut and sew my thick fabric. For Chewie’s face, I cut and stitched it exactly as Pilgrim’s instructions stated. For the eyes, I used black buttons from Joann’s Fabrics. I used craft felt for his nose & mouth and hand-stitched them on.

Chewie Face

I ended up stuffing the legs and arms first and then attaching them to the body. Again, this was a modification because of the furry fabric.

Chewie arm 2 Chewie arm

I like to make my crafts “screen-accurate” if possible. (I know, it’s a geek quirk. Ha!) Chewbacca’s bandolier is brown so I chose to use a chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon. I tried to create the illusion that the ammunition pouches were sewn into the ribbon bandolier. In retrospect, I could have just sewn the felt pieces down the center, thus creating the same effect!  Instead, I hot glued the grey craft felt pieces onto the ribbon. I hand stitched the bandolier to Chewie’s body in a couple areas, just to keep it secure. Once that was done, my Chewbacca doll was complete!

Bandolier

In the words of Maz Kanata, “I like that Wookiee.” Actually, I LOVE this Wookiee and fortunately, my daughter does too!

Luci and Chewie

Because I used buttons for the eyes, I’ve mainly kept him on her nursery shelf. When she’s a little older she’ll have fun times and many cuddles with her co-pilot, Chewie. Right now she points at him & squeals with delight. Geek parent win! An added bonus is that the total cost of this DIY was under $20! I’m so glad I was able to make a special doll for Luci to have for many years to come. Thank you, Draw Pilgrim for the awesome pattern! Be sure to visit her site to get the pattern and other neat printables. May the Craft be with you! 🙂

Chewie & Falcon

 

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Meets Day of the Dead

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Every year on May 4th, fans celebrate International Star Wars Day by throwing parties, wearing their best Star Wars gear, occasionally dancing in the street, and of course, watching the famous saga. We also say, “May the fourth be with you” because, let’s be honest, it’s such a great pun! The month of May has been an important month for Star Wars fans since the original film was released on May 25, 1977. In fact, all of the first 6 Star Wars films were released in May. (It also happens to be the birthday month of the Maker himself, George Lucas.)

Opening day at Grauman's Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

Opening day at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

I always look forward to May 4th because I love seeing all the artwork, crafts, and videos creators make in honor of this special day. This year, one of my favorite artists, John Karpinsky, has released a new Día de los Muertos collection inspired by The Force Awakens. Just in time for Star Wars Day! After watching The Force Awakens, John said he was inspired to start creating again and boy, am I glad he did! A few years ago my husband surprised me with 13 of John’s prints from his Guerra de las Galaxias collection and I’ve been a fan of John’s ever since! Here is some artwork from his previous collection:

guerra+de+las+galaxias+-+dia+de+muertos+-+john+karpinsky+-+blog-bluff

I think John’s work is a wonderful blend of American culture and Mexican culture. It means a lot to me as a Mexican-American Star Wars fan. Death can be a scary thought but Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is actually a celebration of life. The holiday is a chance to celebrate the lives of family members and friends who have passed. In some ways, it’s a holiday that unifies opposite emotions—the sadness you feel when you lose someone you love and the happiness you remember when they were alive. Star Wars also unifies opposites—the dark side and the light side of the Force—as it’s characters try to achieve balance between the two in both themselves and the galaxy. Like Día de los Muertos, Star Wars also deals with life and death and shows that if you’re a Jedi, your spirit might live on in the form of a Force ghost. Coincidentally, the belief in ghosts and spirits is also a part of Mexican culture.

 

In my mind, John’s artwork captures both the spirit of Star Wars and Day of the Dead beautifully. His work represents the juxtaposition between the dark and the light which was also a theme in The Force Awakens. John Karpinsky’s new ‘Force Collection’ is a set of prints that features the stars of Episode VII—Rey, Finn (FN-2187), Poe Dameron, and BB-8.

Rey_Day of the Dead

Rayo de Luz/Ray of Light

 

Finn Day of the Dead

El Traidor/The Traitor

 

Poe Dameron Day of the Dead

Guerrero Alado/Winged Warrior

 

Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Every time I saw The Force Awakens in the theater, the crowd laughed and cheered when BB-8 gave his lighter thumbs up. It’s definitely one of my favorite moments from the film and I love that John paid homage to it and included a special little detail.

BB-8 lighter thumbs up

I’m absolutely in love with these prints. Their colors are so vivid and it’s fun to sit and look at all the ornate details in each one. A huge thank you to John Karpinsky for sending me this set! I can’t wait to frame them and proudly display them in my home! This new era of Star Wars has been an exciting time for all of us fans and I look forward to the many new creative works it will continue to inspire. Be sure to check out John Karpinsky’s Etsy shop to see more of his incredible work and/or to purchase 8×10’s or limited edition 12×12’s of these prints! You can also learn more about John and his story HERE. May the Fourth be with you! 😀

Making A Baby-8 (BB-8) Costume!

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Squirmy!

Even before Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in theaters, BB-8 was a star. His cuteness and big personality were undeniable, even though we had only seen him briefly in the film’s teasers and trailers. When he wheeled across the stage at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, he rolled right into the hearts of Star Wars fans like myself. So for my daughter’s first Halloween, I decided to pay homage to that adorable little ball droid and make her a BB-8 costume!

bb-8_14e2ad77

Making the costume was a bit of a challenge but in the end, I’m happy with the way it turned out! I used fleece white fabric for the bodice and the panels were created using craft felt. For the sake of time, I simply glued the panels onto the fleece bodice. I added detail using a gray fabric marker.

BB-8 Bodice

The trickiest part was making BB-8’s round soccer ball shape. I lined the costume with the same fleece fabric and then stuffed the bodice with poly-fil stuffing. I sewed elastic at the bottom which gave the bodice a more round shape.

BB-8 Elastic

For BB-8’s head, I used a styrofoam base and decorated it with different colored craft felt. His antennae are toothpicks!

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The best part about the costume was that it still fit 3 months later! After all my hard work, I wanted to get the most mileage out of it so little Baby-8 made a cameo appearance in my We Got Enemies video!

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I can’t believe how much Lucia has grown since last October. I’m hoping it will still fit for her first birthday. I would love to see Baby-8 one last time before we transition to a toddler Rey costume! 😉

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If you make your own Baby-8 costume, I would love to see your creations! Please tag me on Twitter or Instagram @JenniferLanda. Happy crafting!

How to Make a BB-8 Wreath

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The Hothidays are here which means it’s time to deck the halls with all things Star Wars! For this year’s festivities, I was inspired by The Force Awakens newest droid, BB-8. Whenever I see that little ball whizzing across the screen, it always brings a smile to my face. BB-8 kind of looks like Frosty the Snowman, which makes him the perfect decoration for this holiday season. To make your own BB-8 wreath, here’s everything you’ll need!

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I’ve joined the dark side.

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Website 1

Okay, okay. So I’ve only joined the dark side for the fashion but how could I resist when they have beautiful cape dresses like this? This dress is part of the new Her Universe collection at Hot Topic! They also have a BB-8 and Boba Fett bomber jackets, a sleek Darth Vader faux leather jacket, and a gorgeous Princess Leia dress coming in December. Thank you Ashley Eckstein for giving female Star Wars fans a way for us to express our love for that galaxy far, far away. ♥ Check out the full collection HERE!

Website 2

 

 

What’s Wrong With The Star Wars Holiday Special?

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Wookiees

What’s wrong with the Star Wars Holiday Special? I tackle that question in the first episode of my new podcast, The Jedi Beat! I’ve always been a fan of the wackiness that is the Holiday Special but I wanted to learn more about the history of how it was made. What were thinking when they decided to make half of the special in the Wookiee language, Shyriiwook? Joining me on this episode is my hilarious friend and writer/author, Bonnie Burton! She wrote a fantastic article in defense of the holiday special and she also brings a special insight since she worked at Lucasfilm for 10 years. Join us on this journey back to the summer of 1978! Listen to the episode HERE!

Star Wars Celebration Costume Roundup!

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There is nothing like Star Wars Celebration. Where else can fans gather once a year to experience all things Star Wars? From panels with Star Wars heroes like Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher to having a seat at the Mos Eisley Cantina, Celebration is heaven for any Star Wars fan. One of my favorite aspects of the con is seeing all the epic Star Wars costumes. It’s truly a place where creativity, craft, and originality abound! I couldn’t capture them all but here are some of my favorite costumes from Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim!

 

EMPEROR PALPATINE AND HIS IMPERIAL WALKER

Emperor

This cosplayer glued foam pieces to a walker, thus creating this clever Imperial Walker.

Imperial Walker

 

LIL’ WAMPA

A ferociously cute take on that infamous creature from Hoth.

Lil' Wampa

 

BOBA FETT & TRANDOSHAN 

Apparently bounty hunters don’t like having their picture taken…

Bounty Hunters

 

LYN ME AND GREEATA JENDOWANIAN

Jabba’s dancers bask in their moment of freedom from the Hutt.

Twi'lek & Greeata Jendowanian

 

DEATH TROOPER

By the end of Star Wars Celebration, I felt a little like this guy.

Death Trooper

 

WICKET THE EWOK

This cosplayer took a more feminine approach to her Ewok costume. It’s Yub Nub chic!

Ewok

 

BABY EWOK

In other Endor news…you can’t repel cuteness of this magnitude.

Baby Ewok\

AT-AT WALKER

This costume was operated by two cosplayers on stilts inside the AT-AT’s legs. It was pretty incredible watching the AT-AT slowly walk through the crowd. The best part was when a tiny Luke Skywalker (attached to a tow cable) lowered from the belly of the AT-AT!

AT-AT

 

HARLEY LEIA AND JOKER FETT

A fun mashup of Star Wars and Batman’s villains, Harley Quinn and the Joker. The only person who doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself is Bat-Jabba.

Harley & Joker

 

RAINBOW DASH TROOPER & PINKIE PIE IMPERIAL OFFICER

Even in the Galactic Empire, friendship is magic.

MLP Troopers

 

BABY REBEL PILOT

The Rebel Alliance’s secret weapon? Adorable baby pilots.

Baby Rebel Pilot

 

THE SOLO FAMILY – HAN & LEIA (RETURN OF THE JEDI COSTUMES)

Because it’s never too early to introduce your child to the awesomeness of Star Wars.

Leia & Han with baby

 

LUKE, MINI LEIA, ARTOO MAMA

Families that cosplay together, stay together.

Luke, Artoo, Leia

 

LEGO WICKET (EWOK)

Ee chee wa maa! This giant LEGO Wicket is going to haunt my dreams.

LEGO Ewok

 

SUPERHERO MANDALORIANS

The Justice League, Star Wars style.

Superhero Mandalorians

 

OBI-WOODY KENOBI

Move over Buzz Lightyear, there’s a new “space ranger” in town and he wields the power of the Force.

Woody Kenobi

 

FEMME TROOPER

The Mos Eisley Cantina set was well-guarded thanks to the awesome, Amanda Jean.

Amanda Jean Trooper

 

MUPPET TROOPERS

I first saw the Muppet Troopers at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. Needless to say, I screamed like an Animal.

Muppet Troopers

BARF FROM SPACEBALLS

Actress Milynn Sarley is so beautiful, she makes Barf look good!

Barf

 

SHORT STORMTROOPER

Doesn’t everyone deserve the chance to join the Empire?

Short Stormtrooper

 

GEEK CHIC MOM & DAUGHTER

If you don’t feel like wearing a costume, this is the perfect way to make a Star Wars fashion statement.

Star Wars Mom & Daughter

 

HANNA SOLO

A stylish and original take on Han Solo’s costume from A New Hope, complete with a Chewie backpack!

Hanna Solo 1 Hanna Solo 2

 

PINUP REBEL PILOT

Clothing Designer Linda Heredia fights the Empire in style! She handmade her Rebel pilot jumper and her helmet purse was custom made by a friend.

Pinup Rebel Pilot

DIY Comic Book Wall Art

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I’ve always wanted to have a Wes Anderson gallery wall.

The Royal Tenenbaums

While I wouldn’t fill a wall with Margot Tenenbaum drawings, I do love how you can create a cohesive look using a variety of frames and colorful images. Since we’re moving to a new home next month, I’ve begun envisioning my dream gallery wall. I have a lot of saved artwork that I plan on framing but I wanted to make something extra special for our new place.

 

I was inspired by a DIY I saw on Pinterest where you transfer a photograph onto a block of wood.

woodprint_mini

Using wood as the canvas and frame gives the image a rustic gallery look. I figured if you could do it with photographs, why not comic books?

 

So using wood blocks, paint, and color copies of some of my favorite comic book images, I made my own Comic Book Wall Art pieces!

Wall Art Blog

These pieces were super easy to make and the total materials cost was under $10! Once I finish my gallery wall, I’ll be sure to share some pics with you. In the meantime, if you want to make your own Comic Book Wall Art, I made a DIY video showing you how! Happy crafting! ٩(^ᴗ^)۶