DIY Avengers Party Items

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Today, my oldest son turns nine. Nine. I had to repeat that, because I can’t really believe it. I can’t believe that a hot June night, after having walked over 5 miles earlier that day with my wife to try to induce labor, I was finally a father. At the time, I didn’t even know what impact that would have on me. It was, and continues to be, profound. The amount my heart can swell with pride and love on a daily basis, because of him, was previously unimaginable. There are definitely times I must be tough on him, but he is really turning into such a great young man, and I couldn’t be more proud.

Happy Birthday, Alan!

Since we already had plans this coming weekend, we decided to have a small birthday party for Alan, with a few friends. He wanted an Avengers-themed party, so our crafty minds went to work to bring that to life.

My wife started cooking up (literally) some great little recipes, all Avengers themed. I wanted to make a menu sign for all of the items she was preparing, so I turned to some design software (Affinity Designer as of late) and my Glowforge. I put together a quick mock-up with a free svg file I found that said “Avengers” and then had some of the popular characters in silhouettes below that. (The Hulk juice was delicious, BTW. I know you were wondering.)

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TOOLS & MATERIALS

Jump rings - https://amzn.to/2WNFqZ7

Key rings and lobster clasps - https://amzn.to/2JYblQK

Glowforge Basic - https://glowforge.com/?gfs=referral_page&kid=GwnI7W

Jewelry pliers - Harbor Freight for about $5

Acrylic - Glowforge store (must have account with them/own a Glowforge to order from them)

MAKING THE KEYCHAINS

Next, it was on to the keychains. I was originally going to make these out of some type of nice plywood, since those engrave nice (See photo above for reference). However, I thought it might look cool to use some clear acrylic that I have, since the engraving shows up quite white. That’s ultimately what I went with, and boy I’m glad I did!

I used 1/8” Proofgrade clear acrylic for the keychains. I purchased some Avengers icons from someone on Etsy, brought them into Affinity Designer, mocked up a circle with a smaller circle at the top for a keyring hole, and then sent it to the Glowforge. Proofgrade material is from Glowforge itself. They sell materials that are high quality and within specs of their machine, so they are quite easy to use. Plus, they guarantee them. If something goes wrong, they’ll troubleshoot and ultimately give you credit for the cost of the material. I’ve had to do this once, and sure enough, something was messed up with the cut and they gave me a credit to purchase more material.

TIME FOR SOME LASER ENGRAVING

I fired up the Glowforge, put in a small piece of clear acrylic, added the first file, and clicked “print.” It’s not actually printing anything, but that’s what they call a “job” for the laser…a “print.” None of the individual keychain designs took too long to engrave and cut out…maybe a little over 4 minutes each. Typically, you would want to do a mirror image of your design and engrave from the backside of clear acrylic. That way, from the front side, it will be smooth and read correctly. Other than the Avengers’ “A” logo, none of the designs really needed to be flipped, as they worked either way. That was nice to not have to think about.

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I had quite a few designs, but ended up making two of the Hulk and two of Captain America. I figured those were popular enough, the kids wouldn’t mind.

ASSEMBLING THE KEYCHAINS

I gathered a few different components for these keychains, and they were all pretty easy to come by. I don’t know about you, but when I’m searching on Amazon for some things, I become paralyzed from so many options that are thrown at me. I’ve got a materials and tools list above, if you would like to reference, and I’ve linked to the exact things that I used. I’ve linked to my referral link for the Glowforge, so if you’re considering getting one for yourself, you can save some money. I’m not linking to the Proofgrade material, because if you’re not already a Glowforge customer, you cannot purchase it.

How do you assemble one of these anyway?

To assemble the keychains, take one of the round acrylic pieces and a jump ring. Grip the jump ring in your pliers from the side, and get another pair of small pointy pliers to grip the other side. You might be temped to pull apart the jump ring where it is split, but don’t do that. It will not ever really go back together well if you do this, and it will not hold in a strong way any longer. What you want to do is kind of twist…one of the pliers goes away from your body and one toward. That creates kind of an open, twisted jump ring.

Put one side of the jump ring into the hole on the acrylic piece, and then take your pliers and rotate the jump ring back together. Wiggle it a bit until you get the two ends to meet up well.

Then, just thread all of that onto a key ring and put that key ring onto one of the lobster clasps. That’s it, you’re done!

HOW TO BE THE COOL DAD

If you want to be the cool dad, custom laser engrave some Avengers keychains for your son and his friends. They’ll likely put them on their backpacks. My son has about 1,000 keychains on his backpack now, and he just loves collecting them.

Thanks for following along with this one! I am wanting to start posting more on the blog, but not just tutorials or build projects. i will still be doing those, but want to add in some more posts about my life and things that are happening around me. I’d love to know what you think of that idea, so please drop me a note below and let me know if that’s something that interests you.

See you next time…

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