You know when you're hosting a party for the we'ans and you want to throw them lads out onto the trampoline for a while? I wanted them to be able to play a mock Quidditch game complete with brooms but the idea of putting four seven year-olds out on the bouncer with wooden sticks seemed like a bad idea. Like in the history of bad dad-ideas this would have been up there with the baddest.
So I got in my head that foam-noodles might suffice, and I designed a quick version that the boys were super happy with and won't put an eye out, or impale a pal. Now that it's done, I thought you all might want to take a peek at what went into it; it was dead easy.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
- 1 skinny foam "Pool Noodle"
- 1 flexible imperial measuring tape
- 1 thick felt marker
- 1 carpet knife
- 1 straight-edge
- 1 roll of electrical tape
- About 10 minutes
Step 2: Initial Measurements
- Create a mark that is 3 inches from one end of the noodle.
- Create a second mark that is another 8 inches from the first mark.
Use the pictures to guide you. To recap you should have two marks; First at 3 inches, second at 11 inches.
Step 3: Prepare Your Template
My noodle (the foam one) is about nine inches around. I marked off every one inch starting from the first mark all the way around. Then did the same for the second mark. Using the straight-edge I connected the dots.
Step 4: Cutting
Using the carpet-knife I carefully followed along each of the lines I had made, ensuring that I cut all the way through to the hollow center for the full length of the line. It was necessary to go over each of the cuts at least twice.
After cutting each of the lines, the next steps are key to getting the signature curl to the broom:
- Create a cross hair about 1 inch from your cuts (about 12 inches from the end you started at)
- Rotate the noodle so you are now looking at the 'bottom'
- 2 inches from the end (opposite ends of the cut from where you put the first cross-hatch) create a second cross-hatch
- Cut into both cross hatches so you can push your finger through
Step 5: Preparing the Bristles
You now need to use the electrical tape to create compression within the noodle.
- Start by getting a length of electrical tape equivalent to about 12 inches (enough to cover the length of your cut and poke through the cross-hatched holes you've made.
- Spin the tape so that it creates a nice rope that isn't too sticky.
- Push the end of the tape through the first cross-hatch you made (the mark further up the broom)
- Pull the tape through until you have enough to be able to pull it through the second cross-hatch
- Fix the tape roll to the noodle
- Pull the tape through the second cross-hatch; at the same time you want to push the two ends of the 'broom' together.
This step can tear the noodle! I use the upper (or lower) branch of the "+" to provide additional support
Step 6: Compressing the Bristles
- Having pushed the two ends together wrap the tape around the first cross-hatch (pictured above) to fix that end in place.
- Tear the tape off here.
- Use the tape roll to fix the other end of the tape to the base of the broom (pictured above) to fix the second end in place.
Step 7: Customizing
I liked to use the felt marker to extend the 'bristles' to the end once I've finished. I also created a pseudo-saddle as the Canadian in me couldn't avoid thinking of the broom as just a modified hockey-stick.
I've named my brooms "Clean Sweep - Mark 1" and "Nimbus 1250" but you can name yours whatever you want.
Step 8: Supporting Resources
Here's a quick video of the whole process (time lapse set at every 2 seconds and then slowed down using Youtube's video processor)