Minion Lawn Darts

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About: The answer is lasers, now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX

Intro: 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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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"

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.

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...

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    79 Discussions

    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. ;)

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    dthornburg combs

    3 years ago

    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.

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    Tinker_001

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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 )

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    JayefuuKiteman

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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

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    KitemanJayefuu

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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?

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    Taranach

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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!

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    Ulsha

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    ned103rys24

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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.