Introduction: Minion Lawn Darts

Picture of Minion Lawn Darts

What better way for small children to spend a sunny afternoon than throwing large pointy things around the garden?

Throw in some Hollywood branding and a dash of illegality, and life is perfect.

I was astounded to find that, in a country where only freaks and weirdos don't carry handguns, the sale of lawn darts has been banned on health and safety grounds.

Naturally, I had to make a set.

Even more naturally, as soon I saw the shape, I knew they had to be styled after the Minions from Despicable Me!

Step 1: Materials and Tools.

Picture of Materials and Tools.

To make the basic darts, all you need are two-litre soda bottles, six-inch nails and some sort of space-filling glue (I used hot glue, but a two-part epoxy would do just as well).

All you need tool-wise is a sharp knife.

To Minionise your darts, you will need blue and yellow paint (I used Brand X auto paint), a black marker, and a print-out of a pair of Minion goggles. To protect the print-out, I also used a spray-on clear lacquer.

Step 2: Trimming Bottles

Picture of Trimming Bottles

For aerodynamic balance, the bottles need to be shortened.

I found, after a bit of experimentation, that shortening the bottles by about a quarter worked nicely.

Step 3: Adding Points

Picture of Adding Points

The six-inch nails need to be poked through the bottle caps.

How you make the hole is up to you (I just drilled it with the point of a blade), but you need to make it a tight fit around the nail.

When you push the nail through, don't push it all the way through, leave about a third of an inch projecting inside the cap. Fill the cap with your space-filling glue, and screw it straight onto the bottle. When the glue sets, it will hold the nail rigidly in place.

Step 4: Finished, Part One.

Picture of Finished, Part One.

You now have a working set of lawn darts, and you can stop reading this instructable here if you want.

Go outside, and start throwing your darts.

If you want to make Minions, read on...

Step 5: Prep for Painting

Picture of Prep for Painting

This strp depends on what paint you are using. You may need no prep at all, you may need several steps.

I just lightly scuffed the surface of the bottles with sandpaper.

Step 6: Skin

Picture of Skin

Minions are mostly yellow, so paint the whole bottle yellow. Depending on your paint, it may take more than one coat.

Make sure you allow the paint to dry properly between coats, and especially before moving on to the dungarees.

The nails make a convenient holding point.

(At this point, the weather was fine, so I pinned out a sheet of plastic on the lawn to do the spraying)

Step 7: Dungarees

Picture of Dungarees

To paint the dungarees, I used newspaper to mask off most of the Minion, and prayed the blunt end blue.

After a couple of coats, I cut a rectangle out of the edge of the newspaper to spray the bib.

In hind-sight, I should have cut out the bib at the start, and sprayed the whole dungarees at once. I should also have taped the edges down with masking tape...

Step 8: Goggles

Picture of Goggles

You could draw your goggles on, but I have no art skills, so I downloaded goggles that I found online, already scaled for turning soda bottles into Minion bowling pins.

Print them out, cut them out, then glue on the bottles.

Unfortunately, the strap part of the print-outs was not long enough to go right around the bottle, so I had to add an extra strip of paper, coloured in with Sharpie.

Step 9: Detailing, or "Hiding a Multitude of Sins"

Picture of Detailing, or "Hiding a Multitude of Sins"

Time for the marker pen!

Start by drawing in a small smile.

To me, that was enough, but you could also add hairs, dimples, or even hands. Go with your gut and your artistic abilities.
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Because of my poor choices at the masking stage (newspaper instead of proper masking tape), the edges of the dungarees on a couple of the minions were tatty - sprayed blue paint, and stuck-on newspaper.

Using Sharpies to add an edge to the dungarees hid a lot of the mess from a casual glance.

Step 10: Finished, Part Two.

Picture of Finished, Part Two.

There you are, now go play!

I find that a high, over-hand lob is best for ensuring the Minions land point-first, but if your lawn is very dry, they wont stick in at all. Take them to the beach instead.

How you play is up to you, and depends on your situation - size of garden, size of players etc. Try laying out a hula hoop as a target, or just aim for a particular patch of dead lawn.

Obligatory disclaimer:

Six inch nails may not be very sharp, but they will hurt when falling from a height, or encountered unexpectedly. Keep an eye out for passing toddlers and pets, and don't try throwing them straight up in the air above a crowd...

Comments

Treasure Tabby (author)2014-06-01

Love this really cool idea. Got ta recommend this for a bore free summer for any family.

If you're kids were meant to be in bubble wrap then this fun project is not for you.

If he or she runs with scissors then you know the obvious. ;)

Howto246 (author)2015-03-26

fun

Kiteman (author)Howto2462015-03-26

Absolutely!

Mr AbAk (author)2015-03-06

Nice Project....

Kiteman (author)Mr AbAk2015-03-07

Thank you!

dthornburg combs (author)2014-11-18

yard darts were modified to have a LG blunt end due to injuries.I was nine when one didn't go where it was suppose to and inserted under my left eye.these r dangerous.just modify with ers not nails.

Tinker_001 (author)2014-07-27

I know this has been up for a while but if you have issues with the glasses staying attached, You could tape them to the inside and then paint over them (kind of like decaling/painting a remote control car body). That way the pain is shiny all the time. (here's a link to the write up I referenced when I painted my first one

http://tinyurl.com/p5wkv5k )

Kiteman (author)Tinker_0012014-07-28

Cool, thanks for that!

Jayefuu (author)2014-06-10

I know someone that would love these!

Kiteman (author)Jayefuu2014-06-10

So make them a set, hit the "I made it" button!

Jayefuu (author)Kiteman2014-06-10

Did you not find they were a bit light? Would some concrete or stones glued in the end help at all?

Kiteman (author)Jayefuu2014-06-10

They work fine with a lob or toss.

Extra weight might make them point downwards more quickly if you can't throw them well, I guess?

It might help with hard ground as well?

Taranach (author)2014-06-07

I came up with this awesome idea for a game... It was called "Rock"et... you - threw a big rock up in the air and tried to drop it into a hula hoop... But paranoid litigious people got really scared because these could go over a fence and kill your neighbors and so they had to stop making rocks..... GROW UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU DO!

Kiteman (author)Taranach2014-06-08

Haha!

Ulsha (author)2014-06-06

Great instructable. I loved lawn darts as a kid and feel was sad when over paranoid vendors and parents got them yanked with so many, admittedly at times questionable, but fun toys from the past.

Kiteman (author)Ulsha2014-06-06

Thanks!

rys24 (author)2014-06-04

Great Idea. Give kids "darts" with sharp nails and let them throw it!!!

ned103 (author)rys242014-06-05

I love this, definitely making some. We had Lawn Darts as kids and never got hurt. Of course, we also had parents that took the time to teach us and observe us. Not like most of todays parents where they just send their kids out and say, "Good luck." Or just plop them in front of the TV with a controller in hand. The TV is not a baby sitter and it's not societies responsibility to raise them for you.

Kiteman (author)ned1032014-06-06

Bravo!

Kiteman (author)rys242014-06-04

Properly supervised, of course.

Radicalone (author)2014-06-04

I don't think this is a "bad" or "irresponsible" project, but I wouldn't make it or recommend it to anyone I know (especially if there is any chance that they could wind up in the hands of children). I am a risk/reward person, and the risk of injury seems to far outweigh the potential for fun.

You could employ the same basic skills via a ring or beanbag tossing game without the possibility of a visit to an emergency room. In fact , it seems to me the only attraction to this project is that they are inherently dangerous.

Kiteman (author)Radicalone2014-06-04

Beanbags lack precision - they bounce and slide on landing.

But, these only pose any sort of hazard if they are thrown towards somebody with a degree of force.

Radicalone (author)Kiteman2014-06-04

I agree with both points.

But I would sacrifice the accuracy of sharp, metal projectiles for the relative safety of soft, fabric beanbags or light, plastic rings considering this is only meant to be used for fun.

That's just me...

Kiteman (author)Radicalone2014-06-04

Ah, well. At least you're not panicking about them killing folk with every throw.

vbanaszak (author)2014-06-04

There is a simple way to keep from being injured by lawn darts and that is.....don't stand your stupid a_s in front of them. People need to take responsibility for their own stupidity and let the rest of us who have some common sense enjoy ourselves.

Kiteman (author)vbanaszak2014-06-04

Bravo!

wold630 (author)2014-06-03

LOVE these!!

Kiteman (author)wold6302014-06-04

Thank you!

tesserae (author)2014-06-03

Haha! Knew it. 450 people die falling out of bed: from now on people, go to bed wearing a helmet,elbow and knee pads and a mouth guard. This is getting ridiculous: I am 66 years old, and I do wonder how I ever made it this far without the nanny state telling me what I could or could not play with. But then I had parents who were smart enough to watch over me and not coddle me, (yes both my parents worked and we were 5 children in my family, all lived to adulthood.)

Kiteman (author)tesserae2014-06-04

Thanks for the support!

Lawn darts were discontinued because of all the injuries to children and adults alike take a look at the new lawn darts and you can see there are no sharp ends. It's nice you kids did great but I had friends with injuries as well as drunk cousins who hurt others with this kind of dart. All it takes is one moron to decide to weight these things. why not redesign it to be safe for all ages.

Kiteman (author)lovetokeepmoving2014-06-04

Can you read the other comments I've made about "all the injuries"?

Anybody capable of surviving the process of making these should be able to use them without fatalities...

packrat (author)lovetokeepmoving2014-06-03

I mean no offense by this, but maybe someone should have taken the lawn darts away from your stupid, drunken cousins. Drunks do stupid things, the sober around them need to take responsibility for not keeping an eye out for them and the innocents.

That being said, lawn darts *are* dangerous, just like guns. But lawn darts don't have licensing or waiting period requirements, they just require common sense and good judgement. Oh, wait, that applies to most everything, doesn't it?

capnbob (author)2014-06-03

We had lawn darts when I was a kid, but of course it was a simpler time then. We had parental supervision and enough sense to wait until no one was downrange before throwing, and litigation was far less common as well. These look very light compared to the old ones, but in the USA even minor injuries often result in lawsuits, more's the pity.

Kiteman (author)capnbob2014-06-04

They are light, and relatively blunt as well.

Thanks for your comment.

mephisto1969 (author)2014-06-03

These look like fun. Unfortunately my yard is too small. But the idea of the self watering bottles is a good one cause I have a few of those spikes laying around. My daughters would love them cause she's a Minion fanatic. Can't believe all the 'don't make these, they kill' comments. Ban your guns people like we did in Aus or haven't you noticed guns kill people. Oh that's right, guns don't kill people, people kill people. With that mentality, Lawn Darts don't kill people, etc, or maybe there should be a Lawn Darts lobby group like the NRA. You can have my Lawn Dart when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Kiteman (author)mephisto19692014-06-04

Haha!

thormj (author)2014-06-03

Well... one of the reason lawn darts were problematic was the instructions-- my kit had 6 darts (3 blue and 3 red), and a red and blue hoop. For fairness and quick judging, you were supposed to stand *by your hoop* as your opponent threw, and vice versa (so you could alternate tosses).

Kind of the William Tell method of archery instruction <!>.... We put the hoops in the field and both of us shot from the same point behind the firing line!

Kiteman (author)thormj2014-06-03

In the same events as catching the javelin and heading the shot?

sheripres (author)2014-06-03

I voted for you! I loved playing with Lawn Jarts! I got hurt more from Horseshoes. Never failed; they would roll off the spike and hit my toes! Yes - I was a youngerster in the late 70's, but they were GREAT times! I am making these! Thanks and good luck in winning!

Kiteman (author)sheripres2014-06-03

Thank you!

Post pictures when you make them, I'll send you a patch!

Remag1234 (author)2014-06-03

To all you Nay-Sayers: Let's ban Spoons, Forks, Soft drink cups/bottles etc., paper/plastic wrappers especially those for potato chips, pretzels, chicken McNuggets, Big Macs and all the other STUFF. There is an increase in Diabetes in Children & Adults from eating too much and junk foods. Let's not forget Automobiles, those suckers kill thousands every year and let's ban People as they kill hundreds every day.

Kiteman (author)Remag12342014-06-03

;-)

Lorddrake (author)2014-06-03

Another Fine Ible Kiteman. Don't mind the nanny-state comments. Some people can not deal with a world that is not completely covered in bubble wrap and foam padding.

I remember playing with Jarts before they got banned. good times .. goooooood times :)

Kiteman (author)Lorddrake2014-06-03

Thanks!

believeinfluffy (author)2014-06-03

Well... I think it was a creative idea. :)

BTW, have you seen those plastic bottles, perforated with small holes, and people fill them with water and leave them on the lawn to water certain areas/plants slowly? (I have seen it here in Aus) - anyway, my point being - that they could be painted like you have done too! :)

Kiteman (author)believeinfluffy2014-06-03

Thanks.

That sounds an interesting idea.

jmwells (author)2014-06-01

Well done as always.

Kiteman (author)jmwells2014-06-02

Thank you!

skepticaljay (author)2014-06-01

I like it! I do sense some hate comments comming though.

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Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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