Sunday, September 02, 2012

Make: DIY Jet-Pack

I was so excited when I first came across this DIY jet-pack on Pinterest! It is a cute and wonderfully creative way to upcycle soda bottles. It was also inexpensive, something I love in a craft!

Considering that I don't have children of my own, my niece and nephews are forced to endure much of their aunt's craft-enthusiasm. I made this for my sister's son, Colin, since his 3rd birthday was just around the corner. He also went through a brief but potent Buzz Lightyear phase.

You may be wondering why I am modeling this creation, rather than my nephew. Well, right now he adamantly hates having his picture taken (he hollers "No cheese! No cheese!"). Or he is running around so fast that I can't get a clear photograph. So I strapped on that puppy and set the self-timer on my camera.

This project is straightforward and allows for much improvisation in supplies, techniques, and colors. I was able to figure it out along the way, but here is a streamlined set of instructions.

Paint two 2-liter bottles (I chose gray)
Paint a strip of heavy-duty cardboard (preferably in a color coordinating with the bottles)
Glue bottles to each other and onto the cardboard
Attach straps--I used strips of velcro so the jet-pack can grow with the little astronaut!
Cut thin strips of felt fabric, glue the ends together, and glue those ends onto the bottle caps.

Note: I used a combination of Elmer's Glue and my hot glue gun. After some consideration (of how rambunctious my nephew is) I reinforced everything with duct tape. You can use your own discretion in this.

That's it! Or is it?? Sure, you could stop now and have a plain, mediocre jet-pack. However, I decided Colin's jet-pack was lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. I saved an image of the NASA logo and inserted it into a Word document. Then, I found this great website that lets users try the official NASA font without downloading it! I copy & pasted that text-image on top of the logo. Voila! And yes, that sign is laminated--no worries about spills! I must say that I am immensely proud of this project and had to keep myself from going around Colin's party asking  people what they thought of the jet-pack.

Matthew did manage to take a slightly blurry but hilarious picture of Colin opening the gift at his birthday party. He is always making the best faces!


The overall awkwardness of this picture makes me laugh.


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