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Archive for the ‘Lego’ Category

We have continued an inadvertent “tradition” of having my son in a green costume each year!  He was Prince James, then Pascal, and then Peter Pan last year… and he’s the Green Ninja this year! (2019 costume overview post HERE)

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Like the Nya costume, the base patterns for Lloyd’s pants and tunic were the Blank Slate Snuggle PJ pants and Citronille Emile bathrobe pattern, respectively.  The pants were a basic modification: leave off the cuffs and lengthen the legs to compensate.  The tunic top was a different story, haha!

Because I really, really love to copy every detail that I possibly can, I convinced Husband to help me to drastically modify the bathrobe pattern to capture that really handsome-looking triangular cross-over that Lloyd’s minifig wears.  I would have tried to do it myself, but I wasn’t able to stand up long enough to make large-scale changes to a pattern like that… so I am very thankful that Husband agreed to help me!  I think he did a great job.

We cut black trim on the bias so that it would easily go around the curved parts of the modified front (mostly the flap that crosses under), and I also added black trim at the cuffs and hem.  We added snaps at the corner of the triangle, the neckline, and one snap at the hem to keep the tunic hanging properly.

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I wanted to make actual frog closures for Lloyd’s tunic, but when it came down to it, I didn’t have the right cord on hand.  Instead, I raided my button stash and found some decorative gold buttons that had been given to me, as well as a little scrap of metallic gold trim that was just right.  I attached one end simply by stitching the braid and the button to the tunic, and on the other end, I stitched the button to the braid and then stitched a snap to sandwich the braid.

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We made the gold dragon designs the same way as for Nya’s costume–hand drawn, scanned, adjusted in Silhouette Studio, and then cut with my Cameo 3; I especially enjoyed getting the curled dragon on Lloyd’s back just right…but then we decided that it would be best to mirror it, so that it would connect more logically to the dragon head on the front.

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Again, we changed out the not-really-a-real-character symbol printed on the minifig for Lloyd’s dragon symbol from an earlier incarnation of his outfit on the show.  It is also cut from gold vinyl and applied onto a circle we cut from a scrap of the same dark green fabric as his head tie and belt.

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The belt and head tie were made from fabric left from his Prince James costume, but we didn’t have enough for the leg ties.  We had a scrap of an old dark green t-shirt that was a close match in color, so we used that for the leg ties instead.  We ended up cutting out his hood from a women’s t-shirt, because I couldn’t find any other knit that was a good match!  It was nice and soft, but was a bit more prone to stretching out.

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Action shot!

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Let’s talk about Nya!  (2019 costume overview post HERE)

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When we were starting to plan these costumes, I started looking at commercial patterns that I could use to construct them.  As I looked, I wasn’t really finding exactly what I wanted, and I also knew that I had a great PJ pants pattern that I can make in about an hour that I’d use for the bottoms.  Husband and I were sitting together discussing the top, and our daughter walked into the room wearing her bathrobe.  Husband instantly made the connection, and we realized that the Citronille Emile bathrobe pattern would be just the right basic shape!

We ended up making the size 4 pattern that I’d made for her way back in 2015: we simply lengthened the sleeves and shortened the hem length to make it into a top.  I added black cuffs, added a black band at the hem, and used black fabric as the facing (in the original pattern, you’d use the same as the main garment).  In the unaltered pattern, the facing is only supposed to show around the neck, but I tacked it open at the hem as well, to show the black border all the way down the front.  I added two hooks-and-eyes to help hold it closed under the belt.

The aqua belt, head tie, and leg ties were all made from some scrap aqua knit I had on hand.  I was so excited when I discovered that it was exactly the right color– and my daughter already had an aqua shirt that was almost a perfect match to wear underneath.  I was really excited to find inexpensive dark red knit for the hood that was a nearly perfect match the the woven we’d bought for the main costume pieces.

Probably the most time-intensive parts of these costumes were the gold vinyl dragon designs.  I spent some time looking online for images or stencils that I could adapt for my purposes, but in the end, I decided that it would be easier–and more accurate– to draw them myself.

I first sketched them in pencil:

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and then I colored each one in with black marker…

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This design is for Lloyd’s back, but you get the idea!

…so that I could scan them as .jpgs and trace them in the Silhouette Studio software.  I spent a lot of time editing points, smoothing edges, and fine-tuning the shape, since we connected the dragon pieces from front to back.  Since I could only cut 12″x12″ areas of vinyl at a time, I disguised the joins by making them look like scales.

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I asked for it…I told her to look at me like a ninja…haha!

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We cut the dragons on my Cameo 3 from Cricut vinyl that I got on a very good sale; we deliberately did not use the iron-on (HTV), which was about 3 times the price (after all, these are just costumes…)… but it would have worked much better.  I knew I wasn’t using the appropriate kind of vinyl, but I was dismayed at how poorly this vinyl stuck to fabric.  At the end of a day of wearing these costumes to school, it was definitely and obviously peeling off.

If we ever have the kids wear these costumes again, it would not be hard to re-cut these designs (now that I have them!) from high-quality HTV and replace the peeling vinyl.

On Nya’s back, we decided to use her symbol, rather than the unidentified character that appears on the 2019 Legacy minifig (see Lloyd’s post for a reference photo!).  I cut it from the same gold vinyl and applied it to a circle cut from a scrap of matching aqua woven.  I used fusible web to attach the circle to the top’s back.  I didn’t have any energy left to satin-stitch the edge!

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Now, how about some action shots?!

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sassy Nya, giving Lord Garmadon a “look”

 

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As you may have guessed from my son’s birthday party posts this past summer, he and my daughter are Lego-crazy, and especially Ninjago-obsessed.  So this year, it was not a hard decision for them to choose Lloyd and Nya for their costumes!

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And as usual, I went crazy with the details.  I love cosplay, and each year, these costumes are exactly the excuse I need to give it a try.  If you’re familiar with Ninjago, there have been at least nine seasons of the show, with different outfits for the ninja in each one– and then there are different Lego sets with different outfits for the ninja!  In order to limit ourselves, I decided to create costumes that are modeled after minifigs that my son owns: we chose to use the 2019 Legacy versions of Lloyd and Nya.  (It turned out that this was a very good idea, since I found it hard to find good images of the backs of minifigs online!). In future posts, I’ll show the minifigs with the costumes so you can see how we copied/adapted the details!

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I am especially proud of these costumes this year, since I am recovering from ankle surgery, and I just started bearing weight on that leg last week (so I’m still on crutches).  It’s also because of that pesky surgery that Husband and I don’t have costumes this year… I love dressing up, but these costumes were almost more than I could handle, so I’m glad we made the decision not to even try for ours The vast majority of these costumes were completed within the past two weeks.  Husband and I worked together to create them– Husband was awesome at doing all of the cutting (since I couldn’t stand to do it), helping with the reengineering of the tunic for Lloyd (more about that in a later post), and on top of all of it, fetching and carrying for me so that I could work on them as much as possible.

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we have aqua leg ties for Nya; I just forgot to put them on for this photo!

Another thing I’m proud of is how little we spent (at least in actual money– I don’t even want to consider the cost in hours!): the main fabrics (green and dark red cotton/poly wovens, and the dark red knit) for both costumes were approximately $15 total, and the rest of the fabrics were ones we had on hand (either scraps or fabrics that had been handed down to me in the past).  We bought vinyl for the dragon details, which was about $4, and I used a $3 green t-shirt to make Lloyd’s ninja hood.  I had all the right colors of thread on hand already (amazing!), as well as the snaps, hooks and eyes, etc.  So the total we spent on materials was around $20!  Husband also bought their light-up “energy blades” (yes, they are technically lightsabers, but for this costume, they’re energy blades, ok?) for safety after dark, but since they will play with them after Halloween, I’m not counting them 😉

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I’m going to write a post for each of the costumes, showing them in more detail, but I wanted to include some basic information here:

pants pattern: slightly modified Blank Slate Snuggle PJs (I lengthened the legs and left off the cuffs.  I really love this pattern, it is a real TNT for me.)

jacket pattern: modified Citronille Emile (bathrobe) pattern (modifications will be covered in subsequent posts; they were extensive for Lloyd!)

hood pattern: DIY Balaclava freebie pattern/tutorial from Make It & Love It

dragon vinyl designs: I sketched them myself, adapting the images printed on the minifigs.  I scanned them as .jpgs and then used Silhouette Studio to turn them into cut files.  I did a LOT of point-editing work, and with the invaluable help of Husband, we created cut files that were useable on an actual human.

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Lego party: food

We had some tasty food for our Lego birthday party!

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We set up the island in our kitchen to hold the main “feast,” where we tried to do a little bit of theming to go along with the party’s theme.  Husband made a napkin holder and a utensil holder from Duplos, and we had fruit kabobs skewered on sword toothpicks.

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However, one of our favorite food ideas was these ninja cheeses–made from partially opened Babybels!  (We found this idea on Pinterest and LOVED it!) . The eyes are edible cake decorations.

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The dessert table displayed some more Lego mold prowess on the part of Husband: we made a bunch of Lego Jello– some with basic brick molds (affiliate link), and some– and this is the really awesome part– from an awesome Jello kit that molds interlocking blocks (affiliate link)!  They actually work, and it was so cool!  (these blocks form the cars in the photo below).

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We made cupcakes: B requested strawberry cake with chocolate frosting.  He also wanted the Ninjago golden weapons on them, which were going to be beyond my capabilities, especially that week… so we compromised and used edible gold stars from a cake dec mix.  Each cupcake was topped with a brick that we molded from another silicone mold–that makes smaller bricks– that I bought at Michaels.

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The birthday boy’s cupcake was at the top of the cupcake stand, and his cupcake had 5 gold stars and a “5” candle, of course!

B really wanted to be involved in the party prep, and so he helped Husband do some of the candy melt molding!  Husband was amazing– he did so much molding (Jello, candy, and crayons) for this party, and he always worked out the best method.

 

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For a fifth birthday party, you gotta have games!  Since B loves both Lego Nexo Knights and Lego Ninjago, we created a little storyline that involved both of them throughout the activity part of the party.

As the kids came in, they used Lego-shaped crayons with some coloring pages that I printed — there were Nexo Knights and Ninjago pages available!

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Once all the guests had arrived, we moved onto the first official “activity”– a craft to create their own Nexo shield.  Each kid got a white cardstock shield background and chose a colored digital border to glue onto it.  They used the Lego crayons to draw a Nexo power onto their shield, and when they were finished, I used a glue gun to attach the cardstock to a cardboard base, into which I had threaded an elastic wristband.

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We got a cool group photo at the party, but these are just the shields that my own kids made…

Now that the knights were prepared for battle, we told them that globlins had invaded our backyards, and we needed them to use their Nexo powers to defeat them!

Husband (and I helped, just a little) blew up 60(!!) red balloons and added globlin grumpy faces to each one!

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When it was time for the game, he released them onto the grass in the backyard, and the kids “CHAAAAAARRRRRRRRGE”d around the corner of the house to do battle!  It was amazing and hilarious.

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And it lasted for about 30 seconds! Haha.  After their victory, the kids made quick work of picking up all the balloon bits from the yard… Now that they were victorious Nexo Knights, it was time for the next phase– Ninja training!

I made each guest a personalized “ninja headband:” I used the font called “Shanghai” and cut the names out of vinyl using my Cameo.  I simply used blue painter’s tape to transfer the letters to 1.5″ wide white satin ribbon.  It was my first vinyl project, and now I’m hooked!

 

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Look at those awesome ninja moves!

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Husband found some suction cup throwing stars on Amazon, and he printed pictures of eight Ninjago villains, which he then mounted inside a poster frame.  The kids took turns “fighting” the villains!

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Finally, we sent the kids on a “ninja hunt” around the ground level of our house.  We printed tiny (about 1.5″ square) pictures of each of the six Ninjago ninja so that each kid had to find a complete set!

All in all, I think the kids had a good time with all of the games… and then we ate!

At the end of the party, the kids got to take home a goody bag that included their personalized ninja headband, their Nexo shield, a little set of Lego crayons, and a small Lego kit (the kind that come in the little packets).

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Lego party: crayons

For his fifth birthday, my son requested a Lego-themed birthday party!  And, as is our wont, Husband and I went all-out!

The party was a combination of general Lego goodness plus Nexo Knights and Ninjago theming.  As we browsed Pinterest for ideas, we quickly decided that Lego brick molds were going to be an important factor!

One of the first projects we did was to make Lego crayons.  The kids used some of these to color and work on a little craft at the party, and we also gave each kid a set of eight as a party favor.

I didn’t realize until we started working on this project just how many crayons I had stashed away!  We used almost exclusively Crayola crayons, and we spent a good long while one Saturday morning peeling off wrappers to prepare them for re-melting.

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V was particularly helpful with the peeling and sorting, and once we’d finished that step, we used an old cutting board to chop each color into tiny bits in preparation for the melting and molding.

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We got our molds from Amazon (affiliate link), and the blocks were a great size for crayons.  We liked the rectangles the best, but it was fun to have other shapes, too.

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We baked the crayon bits at about 300 degrees Farenheit until they were smooth and melted… it took a different amount of time for different colors!

In the end, we had red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, black, peach, white, gray, and brown crayons, and because we didn’t separate out the different hues in each color family, we had lovely marbled crayons as a result.  I thought the pink and the green were especially beautiful.

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They’re so pretty… let’s look at some more photos!

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