Friday, July 19, 2013

Simple Water Fight Shields

Any chance you noticed the cutie new button in my sidebar??
I am a new contributor for The Ribbon Retreat!!!! I'm so excited!! You could tell from all those exclamation points, right? Usually one is it for me- multiples is a big deal :) I have really loved communicating and working with Michelle, the blog coordinator there- she is awesome! So this post originally appeared on The Ribbon Retreat Blog- such a simple, but fun, idea...

Today I'm sharing a seriously simple idea that has been really fun around our house this summer... water fight shields! See, here's the thing: I love playing with my boys in our yard, but I don't always like being on the receiving end of their water fights. Or hearing them fight while their trying to have fun with each other, either. My six year old declared he needed a shield for water fighting and this is what we came up with! 

A lightweight round pizza pan (I got ours at Dollar Tree)
Waterproof silicone and basic silicone gun
Cutest ever 1 1/2" ribbon from The Ribbon Retreat :)
(could you die over those adorable little rockets- so stinkin' cute!)

First, measure your ribbon to create your shield handles. I cut strips of ribbon 9 1/2" long for my youngest's (who's barely four) handles, and 10 1/2" strips for my six year old. I also made larger ones for myself and my stepsons that I cut 12" long strips for. Remember to cut two of each length. 

Quickly melt both ends of each strip of ribbon to avoid fraying later. Then, lay one end on top of the other and stitch over and back again to create a loop. I used a zig zag stitch- seemed like it'd be more secure. 

With all of your sets of ribbon sewn and ready, now we can attach your shield handles. I debated what to use to keep these handles really attached to the metal of the pizza pan. (Otherwise known as: asked my husband what would be best.) :) I originally tried gel super glue and it didn't work very well at all! I've worked with silicone before and it's worked great, so I knew I could trust it again for this. My boys have had these totally submerged in our blow-up pool and they've survived it no problem. 

Before I put any silicone on the ribbon, I just kinda eyeballed where I wanted my handles to go. It is smart to put your handles toward the outside of the pizza pan- that way there will be enough room to slide an arm through and use the opposite handle to hold on to. It also seemed to work better with the handles on the back of the pan.

I got this silicone tube and the $3 gun to use it with at Walmart. Both you'll be able to use many more times beyond this project too- bonus! 

With the silicone tube inside the gun, squeeze a bead of it back and forth across the stitched side of your ribbon loop. This is easiest if you put your hand inside and spread it tight. Be careful not to put silicone on an entire half of the loop so that you'll still have room for your kiddos arms inside :)

Then just press your ribbon loop, silicone side down, against the metal. This takes a bit of pressing and smoothing, but isn't hard at all.

Then begins the waiting game. The silicone will stick great, but it needs to dry for 24 hours before you use them or get them wet- that was the hardest part for sure! Waiting and little boys don't go too well together!

But once they're dry, the fun begins! Have your kids loop their arm through, grab onto the opposite loop handle, and they're set to defend themselves in a good water fight! We were able to hold the shield in one hand and still pump our water guns with the other- they worked great!

Super simple project, but one that will help you make memories and have fun with your kiddos! Not to mention maybe keep you from hearing more fighting than laughing while they play with each other :)

Thanks for having me, Michelle and all of you awesome ladies at The Ribbon Retreat!



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