Saturday, June 11, 2011

How To Make A Lightsaber

At Disneyland, they have a store where you can build your own lightsaber for $20. I'm sure that it's a truly awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and that's why Amelia was begging for two. Why did she need two lightsabers? Because it's no fun having a lightsaber duel with just one. Duh.

Unfortunately, $40 is a little steep, even for the signature weapon of the Jedi order. Still, I can't deny my daughter anything, so I started searching for ways we could make our own lightsabers at home for less. Most of the online instructions that I found sounded really cool, but were expensive in their own right. They also involved use of a drill, hacksaw, and vibrating motor, none of which I'm letting my five-year-old destruction machine touch for many, many years.

Then, I discovered Krylon Glowz paint at Michael's.
For $7 a can, you can add a colorless, glow-in-the-dark coating to any surface. And the lightsaber workshop was on! Here's what you need:
  • 1 can of Krylon Glowz
  • A Few jars of poster paint
  • Empty wrapping paper tubes
  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Silver Duct Tape
  • Inspirational Music (I suggest the original Star Wars Soundtrack or "Yoda" by Weird Al Yancovic)
We made a paper mache mix of one part flour to two parts water. (I also threw in a couple of tablespoons of cinammon, so our lightsabers wouldn't smell like newspaper). Then, we ripped the newspaper into strips, and paper-mached the wrapping paper tubes. We didn't paper-mache over the top of the tubes. That way, they made a cool "whoosh" sound when we swung them around later. While we waited for them to dry, I asked Amelia what color she wanted her lightsaber to be. She said she wanted a pretty pink lightsaber, just like Darth Vader's:
I tried explaining the difference between pink and red but, honestly, I could see her point.

When the lightsabers were dry, we painted them with poster paint and coated them with the Krylon Glowz. They dried in about an hour. By then, it was getting pretty dark outside and they really started to glow. We gave them quick handles with silver duct tape and dueled until bedtime.  

If you wanted to make a whole bunch of these for a Star Wars party, you could skip the paper-mache step and just paint the wrapping paper tubes, but they'd fall apart a little faster. Of course, at less than $1 per saber, you can always make more.

1 comment:

  1. SO impressive! I think it'll be awhile before we have any Star Wars fans here, but I'm bookmarking this for when we're ready!