Short List for Coolest Uncle

armyI’m terrible at Christmas. It’s the busiest season of the year for most of the priests I know with everything we do during Lent crammed into 4 weeks instead of 6. So normally gifts consists of gifts cards or leaving it to my sister to pick stuff up for me. This year I had the idea to actually make my nieces and nephew their gifts.

It started with the toy soldiers for my nephew. I have seen some sets out there were the soldiers were made from a cloths pin and then customized with look the part. I decided to make the American Revolution; British Grenadiers and American Continentals, not that a three year old would know the difference. The cannons were made from PVC pipe and wood and they fire a 1 ½” cannon ball. They turned out pretty good and of course it took him all of three seconds to find the weak spot and break the firing mechanism on the cannon but that was an easy fix. He needs a little more coordination before he will be killing his foe.

AframeI also made him a tent because I’m a bad uncle and did not have it ready for his birthday the month before. His sisters got a tent as well so he will need someplace to call his own. It’s a simple A frame tent made with small trees cut down and lashed together to form a frame. It came out well but its pretty dark in there and so we will string some LEDs in there to brighten it up.

frameFinally I made my nieces a tent. I had some cloth left over from a vestment I made. Well I had a lot of cloth leftover from a lot of vestments I have made. Plus I had some pink cloth that was just too pink to really use for anything other than a girly tent. The top is made from 7 triangles sown together with trimmed with blue. I also stitched on some decorative triangles that hang down below the frame. The frame is made from wooden rods lashed together. This was pretty tricky and required more sticks than I thought but it worked in the end. The frame actually does not hang from the middle but instead hangs from the cross pieces. This helps to make the top kind of flare out and look a little more “fairy tale”. From the bottom of the frame hangs sheets of cloth that form the walls. The front walls are the same pink while the back walls are a deep ruby color. This is simply because I had this cloth on hand and I didn’t have to buy extra. I also added LED lights in side. Mostly white lights but one strand of colored lights. Three strands total which actually lights up the interior enough to see well.tent with chairinside

All three of these took a while to make but I’m happy with how they turned out. I gave them their gifts early since you really can’t unwrap a 8 foot tent. They seemed to like them and hopefully they will get some good years of use out of them.


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