Monday, May 5, 2014

Arrow of Light Award

When I became Cub committee chair for our Pack, I got a huge folder (and about 5 boxes) with cub info, decorations, ideas, crafts, and lots of training manuals.
In the folder I found a pattern for an Arrow of Light Plaque. I sorta disregarded  it because I didn't want to set a president of making the awards. But then I couldn't help it. I love to make things, and I love to take on a challenge.

So I'm going to share with you what I learned. Because it was my first time using a band saw and my first time using a scroll saw. Definitely a learning curve. By the fourth plaque it took me a third of the time that I spent on the first one.

Here is the template.
The template explains the process, and it is the only thing I had to go off of. So, if all you do is print off the template, you should be able to make the plaque. I've put pictures of my process and a few tips and helpful things I learned.

I used poplar wood, it was about $16 for the piece I bought. Be super accurate when you cut out the template, and I found it useful to use double sided tape to affix the template while you trace it onto the wood. I also used a ruler because I printed the template on regular paper- so the tracing was a bit wonky if I didn't use the ruler on all the straight edges. If you print it on a heavy card stock, you may not have this problem.

 I used a jig saw to cut between each plaque before I started cutting the actual arrow image out. That way I wasn't working with a super long piece of wood.

 I had never used a band saw or a scroll saw before. I had no instruction, just borrowed the saws from a friend. So as I went I watched a few youtube tutorials and did my best. I got faster with each one. I used the band saw for almost all the cuts, and then the scroll saw for the arches between the sun rays and the little areas I couldn't reach with the band saw. Cutting took about 3 hours for four plaques. Don't get discouraged if your cuts aren't really straight. None of my cuts were very straight, and unless you are looking for it, you can't really tell in the final product.
 After I finished cutting them, I painted the black area on with craft paint. This deviates a little from the instructions that say to print out the boys name and info on paper then modge podge it to the board. I didn't want to mess with that. After that dried, I used a paper towel and a can of Walnut Stain that I already had in my garage. I rubbed each piece evenly with the stain and then I rubbed the arrows with the stain.
 The arrows were pretty easy. The stone arrowheads were in the jewelry department at the craft store. They were about $4 a piece. The feathers were also from the craft store. You can get as creative as you want with the arrows, I kept it pretty simple.

 After the stain dried, I painted on the pack number and the boys name with white paint. Maybe a little more work, but I liked the look better than modge podged paper. Last, I sprayed the plaque with a clear coat of varnish (spray paint can- it's at any craft store or home improvement store).

 To attach the cup hooks, I put the template back on and drilled a pilot hole right through the paper. That made it easy. I used double sided tape again to keep the template in place.

 So the boys could hang up the plaque, I added this to the back. Not the best solution, but it worked.

That's it! I did all three (I cut out four) in about 6 hours (that included lots of interruptions! I have 3 kids).