Handmade Christmas Gift #1: Peg People Chinese Checkers

My boys really enjoy Chinese Checkers, so the hubby and I had an idea to make a board, and instead of using traditional pegs or marbles, I would paint little peg people in different colors.  The rules for Chinese Checkers are pretty simple, and it’s easy for even a 4-5 year old to begin playing with minimal assistance.  We made our first one, and brought it out to Michigan as a gift for my brother-in-law’s family.  I hope they love it!  I have a feeling that the little people may end up being used for many more things than just a Chinese Checkers game.

Hubby made the board with plywood, and used a drill press for the holes.  He made a very nice, elaborate template to line up all the holes accurately.  I think he is going to do a full story on the board/box on his blog(UPDATE:  Here’s his post on the nitty-gritty box making!)

Used the template to pre-mark holes with a small nail, then used that hole to line up the drill press

I was in charge of painting little peg people and I did the painting on the board triangles.  We decided on the following color scheme:

Black – Ninjas
White – Snowmen
Red – Pirates
Blue – Princesses
Green – Elves/Archer-types
Brown – Indians

I did about two coats of paint, and two coats of mod podge to seal them.  They are the “little boy” people that you can get at Caseys and they have a 5/8″ bottom diameter.  I used little pots or clothespin doll stands to help stand them upside-down when the bottoms needed to dry. It worked well.  I put the year and family initial on the bottom.

Painting tip for the eyes — don’t use a paint pen.  The eyes bled a bit when I used a paint pen.  When I just used a small tip paintbrush, they turned out much better.

The board is on top of a box that the hubby made, and I sewed up a little felt bag to hold the people inside the box for storage.

This was so fun to make!  Now we need to make one for our boys.  I have asked hubby to use a bit thicker of a piece of plywood, so the holes can be deeper.  It was too easy to knock over the pieces when playing with the depth that he drilled the holes on this version.  Hubby sealed the entire game/box with shellac.

Here are some close-ups of the little people:

Ready for a game!

Advent Calendar – Day 1

We have been on vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I’m still trying to get things cleaned up and organized after arriving home from the 10 day, 19-hour drive trip (through dense fog for the last 3.5 hours, fun!).  However, today is the first day of December, and J would not let me forget to put up the Advent Calendar.  He *ran* off the bus this afternoon to see what was in the pocket.  Makes a crafty mama proud to see such enthusiasm for the hours I put into that calendar!

You can never go wrong with Lego mini-figures!  I gave it a nice press with my steam iron and it looks great.  I need to make some adjustments to the floppy star though.  I should have done it last year, but never found the time.  Needs some sort of reinforcement.  If I were making it again, I’d probably reinforce it with some heavy interfacing.