This past winter in my weekly sewing classes, the kids wanted to make something Star Wars. (The classes take on a whole different attitude when they include boys!) It only took a few minutes to come up with the idea, but why not make a "lightsaber" that they can actually hit each other with and not get hurt. This is a super easy project, that kids love!
May 4th and 5th, are highly regarded holidays around our house. My kids can't wait to go downtown to the annual Revenge of the Fifth Lightsaber Battle. They have been plotting details and their battle strategies for weeks now. In honor of May the Fourth and Revenge of the Fifth, I've prepared a DIY Lightsaber tutorial for you.
Wool felt grey and black for the hilt and blue, green or red (Jedi or Sith?) for the blade
a 30" piece of yarn or string
one 5"x5" piece of grey felt for the hilt
one small piece of grey felt to cut into a circle to cap the hilt (we will cut this out a bit later)
one 13"x5" piece of colored felt for the blade
two 1/2" x 5" strips of black felt
four 1/2"x 2" strips of black felt
Begin by threading a needle with about an 18" length of thread. Stitch each black piece of felt to the grey hilt. Sometimes it helps to use a glue stick and glue each piece first. Let it dry for a couple of minutes, then stitch over it.
Next, sew the button between the two longer horizontal strips.
After you have stitched the button and each black strip, place the right sides of the hilt and blade together, pin and stitch.
Turn over and stitch across the hilt, make sure to tuck the previous seam toward the hilt and topstitch across.
It's coming along nicely, right? I told you this was easy. Almost done.
Take the piece of yarn or string and lay it down the middle of the blade. Fold the lightsaber in half lengthwise and pin. When pinning, begin at the hilt, making sure to evenly line up the black strips. After pinning, take a pen and draw a nice curve around the top of the blade. This is going to be your stitching line. Begin stitching at the bottom of the long side of the hilt. Using about 1/4" seam allowance, sew straight up toward the top of the blade. When you get to about 2" to the top, slow down and stitch around the curve that you drew. Make sure that you stitch over the yarn. Back stitch to secure and trim your threads. Now trim the felt closely around the stitch line being careful not to cut through the stitches.
Tie a slip knot in the yarn, right above where you just stitched. Grab the yarn on the opposite end and pull gently. As you pull you will begin to turn the lightsaber right side out. Fun, right?
Once you have it turned, you can cut the yarn. Now it's time to stuff.
Using small bits of Poly-fill, begin to stuff. A chopstick or eraser side of a pencil makes this much easier. As you stuff, roll the lightsaber against the table, like a rolling pin. This will help to keep the stuffing from looking lumpy.
When you are satisfied with the firmness and shape, its time to close the hilt. You may call it quits and just stitch right across the top or you can cut a circle and hand stitch that piece to the bottom of the hilt and close it nicely. I like to use button and craft thread for this. Its a bit thicker and tends to withstand play a bit better.
Ta-da! You did it!! Now you can give it to your child and let him go for it! (If you are going to give this to a child under 5, you may not want to use the button)
Let me know if you have any questions.