Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY Trophies

Every summer my office hosts a picnic.  The employees get a free meal and we plan some sort of event that is intended to raise money for charity.  Two years ago we threw one pie at a supervisor or doctor for every $25 we raised and donated the money to Susan G. Komen.  Last year we had a dunk tank and sold throws for $1 each or $5 to push the dunk button and donated the money to the local free clinic.  This year we got a little more ambitious. 

This year, in the spirit of the Olympics, we decided to host our very own office Olympics.  Teams of 5 paid a $25 fee to compete for the charity of their choice.  Their $25 fee went straight to their charity and the winners earned additional money for their charity.  The events were modeled after a combination of field day and my days on academic teams in high school and college.  The five events that made up our Olympics were egg-in-a-spoon carry, water balloon toss, office trivia, general trivia, and a giant team relay which included a three-legged race, dizzy bat, person scavenger hunt, and an accessory dress up which required participants to find a scarf, a bracelet and a hat, put them on, and then run to the finish. 

While the winning teams would have additional money going to their charity of choice, my fellow Olympics planner and I felt like we needed trophies and medals.  We could have gone to a party supply store and given out generic plastic trophies to the winners, but that's just too easy and I'm too crafty for that.  So I boldly declared that I would make trophies. I went online to fin tutorials but found nothing close to what I wanted to create. 
I developed my own plan and I set out on my journey planning to build my trophies out of plastic cones, wiffle balls, and action figures.  I was going to paint them gold and bubble paint Olympic rings on them. Things didn't go exactly as planned, as cones are more expensive than I'd have liked and my bubble painting skills are lacking, but I was so happy with my final, revised result.  I think they would be perfect for an Olympics party or any competition where awards are needed and cutesiness is appropriate.

DIY Trophy
What You'll Need
1 Solo cup
1 Wiffle ball
1 action figure*
hot glue gun and glue sticks
gold spray paint
mardi gras beads (optional)

What You'll Do
1.  Place your solo cup upside down on a flat surface and, using the hot glue, attach the wiffle ball to the top. 

2.  Apply hot glue generously to the feet of your action figure and attach to the top of the wiffle ball.

3.  Once the hot glue is dry (it shouldn't take long), take your trophy to an open area to spray paint.  I tend to do this on an old table outside.  I think I put on 2-3 coats, just to make sure all the crevices were covered.  Let dry and bring inside.

4.  If you're really obsessive, turn the trophy on its side and spray the inside as well.  Obviously, I was obsessive enough to do this.  

5.  At this point, if you'd like, you can be done. But I just felt like something was missing.  Enter my partner in crafting, Mandy, and just the right amount of extra mardi gras beads.  Wrap the beads around the bottom of the trophie to measure how long the strand needs to be and then cut. 
6.  Put a line of hot glue around the bottom of the trophie, just above the lip of what used to be a cup, and then attach the beads to the hot glue.

7.  Again, you could be done here, but like me, you'll probably have left over beads which can easily be fashioned into a pretty fabulous boa.  Put a dab of hot glue on the back of your victor's neck and attack the beads so they cascade over the shoulders.

At our Olympics the trophies were displayed on a table that included Olympics-colored bunting, which I was also pretty fond of.

I got a lot more positive comments about my little beauties than I was expecting and was sad to have to give them away.  But since they went to people in my office, at least I can visit them occasionally. And I alreay told my husband that when we have kids we'll have at least one Olympics themed birthday party so I can make these again.

*I wanted a figurine that could raise it's arms (in victory, of course), so I was excited when I found little parachut men.  Any action figure with swivel arms would work.