Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dazzle Building a Pirate Ship!!!

In August we found out that we were going to be throwing a Peter Pan Birthday party for a four year old boy. We were really excited and they have an amazing backyard so we immediately decided that we were going to create Neverland and have all the different areas like "Pirate's Cove" and "Indian Camp." So Ashley, being the efficient woman that she is, went online to research inexpensive ways to construct a pirate ship. She discovered Mr. McGroovey's which came with very basic instructions on how to build a ship out of seven cardboard refrigerator boxes and a kit of rivets to hold the pieces together.
Unfortunately, we had some trouble coming up with that many refrigerator boxes so we used some large wardrobe moving boxes and other pretty big boxes but it totally worked out. Ashley's husband is quite handy so he helped us to measure out the pieces and we started by taping the edges and cutting the pieces with an exacto knife.
Then we pieced it together to ensure that everything fit properly. The next step was drilling three holes in each meeting point so we could attach the rivets to secure the ship. This part was challenging! Ashley would poke her end of the rivet through while I peeked in and then made sure to put my rivet in the opposite way so that they clicked and then we would both push as hard as we could to make sure it attached securely. This was quite painful for our fingers but was a great method! We did this all around the boat until we had a complete skeleton of a pirate ship. We decided that was enough for one day and moved it to the side of our yard and discussed how we would paint it.

Over the next few days my mom and I got the paint and Ashley and she started painting. First, they did the bottom half a really cool mustard color, then they taped off sections and painted black, red, and blue trim and cut out holes for windows. We used latex paint so that it would be a little more sturdy and decided to buy a little plastic steering wheel that we attached with a nail so that it would spin and the kids could pretend to drive it. They really seemed to like that touch! I used white paint on a black cloth that I cut up to look old and raggedy and made a skeleton so that it looked like a pirate flag. When we moved it over to the Congo's house, where the party was, we had to reconstruct the ship and we nailed in some ply wood for additional durability. Then we added all the little finishing touches like draping fishnet over the side, attaching paper parrots that we purchased, and blowing up blue balloons and stapling them to the side to look like waves in the ocean. Our finished product looked amazing thanks to lots of hard work!!

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