GRAPPLING HOOK! A DIY Tutorial
As I say every year, I need Dragon*Con in my life. The guests, the panels, the excitement, and, of course, the many fabulous cosplayers and costumes! This year, my husband and I were Dipper and Mabel Pines from one of our favorite TV shows, Gravity Falls. We love it so much, we did a podcast episode on it!
Unlike most of our cosplay excursions, these were some of the easier costumes we've created. Dipper's hat and journal were from Etsy, and I already had a purple skirt, knee highs, and ballet flats lying around. Even the sweater went easier than expected, with a few eBay searches for neon pink turtleneck sweaters and a great DIY video guide (and free patterns!) for Mabel's shooting star sweater here. But, no matter how long I searched, I couldn't find any guide for making Mabel's signature grappling hook.
So, I set about to make my own, and after so many excited people wanted my picture with the grappling hook (because no other Mabel there had one), I wanted to share with you how I did it so your Mabel Pines costume can be complete too!
To Make Your Very Own Grappling Hook, You'll Need:
- A gun! (fake, obviously, but realistic)
- At least two plastic coat hangers, preferably black
- Stiff paper packaging (ex. a cereal box)
- Foam packing material (jewelry box insert
- Scissors, tape, and a hot glue gun
- Wire cutters (heavy duty, enough to break cleanly through your hangers)
- Paintbrushes and black paint (acrylic or latex will work- I used a latex semi-gloss to mirror the dull sheen of a gun)
*Note: the more components that are already black, the less work and painting you have to do.
1) Cut a rectangle out of your cereal box to roll into a tube to place around the gun's muzzle. You'll want the uncoated side on the inside, as paint will have a hard time sticking to that. Use the tape to secure it on the inside.
*Note: Depending on the thickness and length of your gun's muzzle, you may be able to use a toilet paper or paper towel roll for this step.
2) Now that you have a tube, trace the end of the tube onto another piece of the cereal box, and cut it out so you now have a circle that will completely cover one end of the tube where the grappling hook will be inserted. Use that circle shape to cut the same sized piece out of your foam insert.
3) For the grappling hook, use your wire cutters to cut out three equal pieces of curved plastic. Cut each hanger in half along the bottom rung, and then again right before the indentation for clothing straps.
4) Arrange and glue the three hanger pieces together along the long end, with the shorter curved ends fanning out into the hooks. Use as much glue as you like along the seams too - you can paint it later.
5) Poke a hole through the center of the paper and foam circle pieces from step two, through which the grappling hook will fit.
*Note: You'll want the paper tube around the muzzle to be long enough to cover the muzzle and at least a fourth of the grappling hook gun, so that your prop is stable and holds up to constant waving. Put it together without glue to make sure it looks right, and use another circle of foam inside if you're concerned about the grappling hook jiggling within the tube.
6) Place the tube around the muzzle and secure in place at the trigger by overlapping the corners and hot gluing them together.
*Note: You do not need to put glue on the gun at all, just on the pieces surrounding it. This attachment will be completely removable and remain intact, and thus able to go onto any prop gun you may need.
7) Place the foam circle inside the tube at the other end - glue to the inside of the tube as desired - and glue the paper circle on top of that. Again - use as much glue as you need to secure it at the seams.
8) Insert your three-hanger grappling hook through the holes in the paper and foam as far as you'd like. On mine, the ends are resting against the end of the barrel where the bullet would exit, for added stability. Trim down this portion of the hangers as needed for correct length, and once you're happy with it, hot glue it up.
9) Finally, the sharp points on the grappling hook are nothing more than cut out and folded bits of cereal box, hot glued into place around the ends of the hooks.
10) Give everything that needs it at least two coats of black paint, and you are now all set to take on Bill!
Happy DIYing, and feel free to comment below with questions, clarifications, or to show us how your grappling hooks turned out!
I'm so glad that my first novel ColorBlind is finally published! Whether you love your Kindle's compact versatility, or the comforting feel of a paperback in your hand, you can read my first novel in either form. It is my hope to see my novel in local bookstores around the southeast, and your purchases and reviews are what make that a possibility for the upcoming year. I love reading every review I receive, and I would now like to invite online reviewers, those that share their love of books with others on their blogs and websites, to review ColorBlind for free! I'd love to hear what you think, so if you, or someone you know, is an online book reviewer who likes books about magic, romance, and fairy tales, please share this post and click the picture above to request a free copy of ColorBlind!
*Please keep in mind - this offer is only for those who are actively reviewing books in some capacity, whether online or in print. To everyone else who just loves good books, I of course welcome your reviews wherever you purchase a copy of my book, from Amazon to Barnes & Noble. It is also not a solicitation for a favorable review - just because I give you the book does not mean you must give it five stars. As with all my projects, I appreciate your honest feedback on my work, and I hope you do enjoy it.*
I'm also on Instagram now! I like to save my Facebook page for the big stuff, but on Instagram, I share behind-the-scenes snippets of my life, from sketches of in-progress work, to my cats and their amusing antics, to art around town. I've only been on it for a month, but it's already so much fun to show you what's happening with me, and playing around way more than I should with the filters, so follow me for more pretty pictures!
What You Need to Read in 2017
I do love the recap articles that come out in January, detailing what were the best movies, songs, books, or games that came out the previous year. They give me a look into new stories I might not have seen yet, but I feel they do a diservice too - just because they were the best 2016 had to offer, doesn't mean they even grace your top twenty-five-of-all-time list. Not to say new books and authors don't deserve your attention, but maybe there are books from years past you've never heard about that deserve your love too. With that in mind, and in no particular order, presenting: The Books You Should Read This Year, INCLUDING Extra Options, starting with...
1. The Princess Bride
For those who've seen the movie and read the book, try Cary Elwes' As You Wish, where he shares behind-the-scenes stories about his experience in the making of the film. Plus, the book jacket on the hardcover edition can be reversed for a cool poster.
2. A Monster Calls
by Patrick Hess, Siobhan Dowd & Jim Kay
Need to Recover?
The Monster at the End of this Book will make you smile, but only if you read it aloud in a Grover voice with exagerated arm movements, with young children laughing nearby if possible.
by Robin McKinley
Need More Robin McKinley?
4. The Sculptor
by Scott McCloud
More Like This?
Blankets is a coming-of-age tale about a boy and his first relationship. Set in winter, the illustrations are lovingly crafted, almost zen as some points, and creates a great backdrop for this emotional tale. Again, mature themes present throughout.
5. I Am The Messenger
by Markus Zusak
Most are introduced to Zusak through his highly acclaimed work The Book Thief, and yes, it is as good as everyone says. The story of a girl during the Holocaust, told from the perspective of Death, is unflinching and utterly human - it is a must read, must own book.
6. Bradbury Stories
by Ray Bradbury
Want a Longer Tale?
Try The Halloween Tree, which has some of the classic Bradbury themes - childhoood, small-town life, adulthood and death - in a story about seven boys saving their friend's life, while woven into the origins of Halloween. Fueled by pure sugar excitement, a perfect tale for the holiday.
by Jeff Smith
7. 5 Bone
8. The Bloody Chamber
by Angela Carter
For a Younger Audience
For those looking for a return to the darkness of fairy tales, but less explicit themes, I recommend Valiant by the amazing Holly Black. Urban fantasy at its finest, it blends our modern world and faerie skillfully with a cast of unique and empathetic characters.
by Elizabeth Kidder
Hello 2017 - I Am Ready.
And yet, every time the new year comes, I'm excited and happy, not just because of nebulous future goals, but because I can look back and examine a definite period in my life. Yes, I love weirdly organizational activites - I eat my Skittles one rainbow at a time so no one color runs out first, and measure a good vacation by how many piles of miscellaneous brik-a-brak around my house finally disappeared. But it's a good way to start the new year - to see what you accomplished, and what you can still achieve.
To that end, here are a few things to consider this January, amidst pumping yourself up to go the gym three times a week and substitute a whole meal for granola and kale:
1 - Decision fatigue is real.
This is a fairly recent discovery for me, but I'm sure you've all felt this before - all your carefully constructed to-do lists you form in the morning fall flat and un-checked by nightfall. Your important, big decisions should be made in the morning, when your brain is strongest at it, because the more decisions you make thru the day, the less thought-out and impactful they'll be. Check out Cracked's video on it for some helpful tips on fighting decision fatigue, but what most impacted me was not fretting small decisions. It's inspired me to redesign my days, whether working or not, and that taking a break with an episode of Steven Universe or Gilmore Girls is not a terrible waste of time, but neccessary recharging of your brain's batteries. Decide, do, and don't regret.
2 - Keep your resolutions secret.
Some of you may have heard a wrote a book that got published this past year - no big deal, except, it is a huge deal. Writing a novel, writing a good novel, was a seven year task for me. Editing and publishing took the better part of one year alone. And I shared this journey with no one except my very closest friends. There are a few reasons for this - I could trust these people to give me good critiques and advice when I showed them the novel in-progress, of course, but the biggest reason I kept it hush-hush was that telling everyone around you you're going to write a novel, learn how to play guitar, start a podcast, lose twenty pounds, or whatever time-intensive task you wish to complete, gives you the mental high that you would get by actually doing what you said you would do. The more you tell others and get positive feedback on your decision, the less your mind feels it actually needs to work on this task, because you've already gotten the appreciation without having to actually do it. So, if you do make a year-long resolution, only share it with the close few that can help you make it happen. When you actually achieve it, that's the time to share with the world. By the way, read ColorBlind - complex relationships, immersive fantasy world, just the best writing.
3 - Learn what made last year great, then replicate.
As an artist, every new year I have to go back thru piles of invoices, receipts, and calendars to get everything ready for tax season. This puts me in the unique position of travelling back in time and remembering all the things that happened over the last year. Even if you don't have to do this, I recommend it. I travelled again through the trips I took, photos of people I met, my art on display, the kids I taught. Social media, to me, is served best as a recounting of years past, a digital scrapbook and I encourage you to try it too, even if 2016 was terrible for you like it was for so many. You'll find and remember the good moments, no matter how sparse, and then you can find it again. Your hiking trip where you found a beautiful leaf on the path, game night with friends you don't see so much, that movie that touched your mind and heart - all these things can be recovered and retried in the new year, along with new fun things you'll remember in 2018.
I look forward to more art and more fun in 2017, and I hope you all take this sentiment to heart moving forward:
READ COLORBLIND TODAY!
This Week: Logos!
The logo for Make My Wedding Work was a fun design project, because I got to play with the shape and rhythm of the actual letters. Acronym logos can be tricky, but I just couldn't say no to those repeating M's and W's.
If you'd like to know more about these logos or the businesses mentioned, feel free to Contact Me!
Announcing: The Title!
Dogwood Arts Festival
Wine And Canvas