Monday, May 2, 2016

a geeky rocking horse

Last Saturday, Joost and I looked at each other in slight panic: we had a birthday coming up for the son of one of Joost's friends, and we had completely forgotten to buy something for the child.

In my opinion, buying gifts for a one-year old is a headache anyway: they are too young for the really cool things, and too old for the baby-gifts. Fortunately, the father of this child has a not-so-subtle hobby: Star wars.

Well, yeah.. something like that!
So instead of doing the sensible thing and just buy a book or something alike, we decided to thrift something and turn it into something Star wars related.
So, ( with a trunk loaded with things to donate) we happily hopped off to the thrift shop!

And there we found this faded little friend:

a rocking horse! We thought it was perfect for a one-year old, but the paint was a little faded, and the wooden rockers were slightly spotted.
So, we cued the Star Wars music ( PAM PAM PAM PAMPAPAM PAMPAPAM....) and set to work!

-Quickly, as we were running out of time- I unscrewed the top part, washed and sanded it and started painting it in a light blue/grayish color (water based, so it would dry a little quicker).
Meanwhile, Joost sanded the bottom half of the frame clean.

Then, I looked for some suitable Star Wars characters online. I first thought of making an At-At, but as that quickly turned out to look like a weird, alien sea horse, I decided to make the ultimate star wars-icon: a storm trooper!

I didn't use a stencil, and just sketched it a bit as I went along, painting with a black water-based paint.

After some painting, I realized that those bumps on the forehead were really awkward, so, under the sawing machine it went!(with some additional sanding and painting to cover up the edges)

When I finished the painting on both sides, I gave it a quick layer of varnish, and was done!

This is what it looks like now!

For a regular one-year old, I think a storm trooper is a wee bit scary-looking, but this child seems to have inherited the star wars-genes from his dad (and the house is filled with those things anyway, so one extra doesn't matter, I guess?)
Even though our "quick" gift caused us to be an hour late for the party, they really loved it! :)

rock on, storm trooper!!

Well, What do you think about it? Good save, or does it belong in the museum of awkward fandom-collectables?

And I am also wondering: do you ever give or receive thrifted/upcycled gifts? I'm asking because, although I love receiving them, I always feel a little awkward giving them. Anyone recognize that? I'm really curious!


  1. Soooooooo cool! But also such a lucky thrift shop find - so perfect for a one-year-old. If I was that parent I'd certainly be thrilled with not another piece of plastic; and especially for the stellar personalisation.
    Well done! ^_^

  2. I love much more thoughtful than just buying something.

    I don't really give or get thrifted/upcycled items. I usually both get and give gift certificates. Rather than thinking it's tacky or the easy way out, I love to be able to choose what I want and splurge on something I wouldn't usually buy...

  3. For a last minute gift it was awesome.

  4. Thanks! I'm glad you like it:) I actually find a lot of quality toys at thrift shops, that nobody ever seems to buy. Quite sad actually because these things cost a small fortune when you buy them retail!

  5. I think it was a unique and fabulous gift. Hopefully, the parents will keep it and give it to the kids to pass down to his kids.