Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY Pirate Costume: Pirate Telescope

My son, like most, is enamored with pirates. He occasionally grabs a hanger and pretends to be Captain Hook. He thinks Peter Pan is a pirate too. He loves that new show Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Yeah, so guess what he asked to be for Halloween this year? A pirate.

I'm not one to go to the store pick out the first costume I see and say alrighty, pirate, check! I don't like the hard plastic swords, I don't want him to wear a big golden hoop on his ear, and what pirate doesn't wear an eye patch? Just my opinion. I wanted to do something different, something a little out of the ordinary. I decided to DIY with the pirate look.

My first project was making him a pirate telescope. He just loves those things and I keep passing by paper towel roll after paper towel roll thinking about all the neat projects I could do, so I figured it was about time. Here is how to make your own pirate telescope.

  • Paper Towel Roll
  • Scissors
  • Thicker Cardboard Roll (a carpet roll, etc.)
  • Coping Saw (for thick card board roll)
  • Marker
  • Clothes Pins
  • Tacky Glue
  • Black Craft Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Ribbon Leather pieces in two shades (or other fabric)
  • Gold Paint (enamel paint is great)

Step One

Cut your rolls to size.  I did this with both the coping saw and the pair of scissors.  You need four tubes about four inches long each. Each of the three rolls you will cut from the paper towel roll can be cut length wise to aid cutting. They will be inserted inside of the large thick roll, and then be made to smaller diameters along the length of the telescope.

Step Two

Begin to glue the tubes to the right diameter. Stick one of the paper towel roll pieces inside of the large thick cardboard tube. When you get it just right, take the marker and mark your spot on the side of the tube to be glued. Add the glue to the inside of the tube line the other edge of the tube to the marker line. Then take the clothes pins and clamp each of the edges. Continue to the third step while waiting for each one to dry.

Step Three

Paint each of the tubes black. This will help any gaps in the covering to blend in with the design and create a seamless look. I suggest painting one to two inches inside of each of the end tubes.  My son was happy to help with this part!  Just set your little one up with a paint brush or foam brush and a little spot of paint.  I like to cut up plastic shower curtains to use as catch alls during art projects.  The black craft paint will clean up with a wet rag as will those fingers or whatever else your little one might get the paint on!  Be careful for clothes though, the craft paint may be more permanent on clothing.

Step Four

I attached ribbon to the end of each of the ends of the paper towel rolls to be inserted into the larger tubes. I felt like the fabric would make a firmer hold and take up any gaps between the tubes. The final tube, the smallest, didn't have space for the ribbon; I tested them all first to be sure they would all fit. I then glued them all on with tacky glue.

Step Five

I chose to use leather to cover each of the tubes. I have tons of small pieces of leather from a design job I used to have. A brown fabric with a yellow fabric could work or a black fabric with red fabric. Shoot, you could even go with scrapbook paper! After the glue was securing each of the tubes into their correct sizes, the black paint was covering each tube, and three of the four had ribbon, I covered the remaining exterior tube portions with the leather using the tacky glue.

Step Six

On the ends of the tubes that are showing, use the paint brush to paint gold paint on each of the edges. The darker the colors you use for the fabric, the more the gold will pop. I definitely think that having some strong metallic color in between each of the sections helps to make it look more dramatic and the sections more defined.

Step Seven

Yea! Now you get to put your pirate telescope together. As soon as it's all dry, you can put the tacky glue on each of the ribbon portions and attach them together. Try to find a drying surface that can support each of the segments, but at least support the smallest segment otherwise it might skew when drying.

Ta dah! Your pirate telescope is finished! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial; I'd love to hear your feedback and hear how your project goes.

Ciao bella!


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