army draft dodger fights the chill

January 12, 2011 § 29 Comments

I love a great challenge.  Iron Craft’s taunt, “1 year, 52 challenges…are you creative enough?”, is one I am not willing to dismiss!  I discovered the site last week, the day before the first deadline and scurried for the challenge: “Lighting the Winter Gloom”.  I hit the clearance bins that Tuesday night for white Christmas lights and they were sold out.  But I didn’t leave empty handed.  I snagged red lights, despite that my shining idea is deferred to another time.  I couldn’t submit — red lights weren’t going to work for me on Iron Craft, not with the unusual idea I had in mind.   Instead, I crafted a Valentine’s-themed wall lamp and am heartily pleased with the outcome even with my lack of submission.

Now, this week, it’s all fair game.  The challenge is: “Stay Warm” and make a draft dodger (a clever cloth contraption to keep the cold air at bay).  I read the post and my idea instantaneously dawned.  Draft dodgers fight the chill.  Army men are drafted.  Army men fight…well, the idea came together quite orderly (Yessir!  Pun intended, sir!).  These are not the type of  “draft dodgers” evading enlistment!

My army of soldiers fights the chill on this crafty draft dodger.  Of course, I have the step-by-step tutorial so you can recreate this project!

You will need:

a. A 3″ wide strip of foam, the length of your door or windowsill.

b.  Brown burlap and natural burlap.  It may seem counterintuitive to use a fabric that has a loose weave, but burlap in fact possesses proficient insulating and protective properties.  Burlapsack.org explains some uses of burlap, including as energy efficient curtains.  Convenient that it’s inexpensive.  I spent just over $1 on this burlap, and have remnants to use for small future projects.  Perfect, too, for my army barracks!

c. Beans.  I used less than $1 worth of soy, as they are some of the cheaper options.

d. A brave army of toy soldiers.

1. Cut the brown burlap to size (enough to wrap your strip of foam with an allowance for seams).  Fold in half.  Sew the length and sew one of the short ends.

2. Turn the tube inside out.  Carefully feed the foam through.  I used two long dowels to aid in this process.  Sew the end shut.

3. Sew small squares and rectangles and fill with beans.  The best way is to sew long, narrow pieces (about 1-1/2″ to 1-3/4″ in width) into tubes, then cut into shorter lengths (between 1-1/2″ and 2-1/2″).  For each piece, sew one end, then fill, and sew shut.

4. Arrange and adhere the small bean bags using a hot glue gun.  Or you can sew them on.

5. I opted to glue thumbtacks on the bottoms of the soldiers, to give them the freedom to huddle and arrange positions.

Now my windowsill is armed and guarded.  Is it snow or an oversize white flag I see blanketed outdoors?!?

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