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A Dad Gets Crafty with CleverPatch Christmas Presents – Day 1: Super Mario Bros. Piranha Plant

I’ve got the crafty bug!

The wonderful arty peeps at CleverPatch sent me a box full of craft goodies to try out and review. In case you haven’t heard, CleverPatch is a MASSIVE online craft and art store which, very importantly, is 100% AUSTRALIAN OWNED! That’s a big thumbs up from this dad. Their catalogue is overwhelming. If you can think of something crafty, they’ve probably got it in stock (click here to find out).

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What an awesome gift to receive before christmas! Flower pots, mugs, candle holders, painty markers… But in the spirit of festive giving, I’ve decided to test run these craft goodies by creating some extremely nerd-tastic presents for friends and family.

Every day this week I’m going to turn my Crafty Dad talents on a different item from the CleverPatch box.

Today is day onestar shaped dish (click here to view) & mini terracotta pot (click here to view). Otherwise known as:

The Super Mario Bros. Piranha Pot Plant & Power Star!

One of the most popular presents to give someone you don’t really know, or don’t really like, is a pot plant. If I received one, I’d do my best “gee, thanks for the life you’ve just given me that I’ll probably forget about and kill” smile and then stick the thing on a window sill until I have to throw out its brown remains.

So I asked myself a question. What kind of pot plant would I like to receive? Easy. A razor-toothed Piranha Plant from the ever-awesome Super Mario Bros video game franchise!

This cool post from Hanging By A Silver Lining gave me the inspiration to create a man-friendly pot-plant-as-a-gift (click to see the original post).

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Here’s the itty-bitty mini terracotta flower-pot sent to me by CleverPatch. It’s big enough to plant something small like herbs, a cactus or maybe a succulent. Which is part of my big plan – choose a plant that a fella can’t easily kill.

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The key to everything inside the package are these cool paint-marker pens. One set is for Glass & Porcelain, the other for Ceramic & Terracotta. These terracotta markers work like any old texta and then just need to dry for 24 hours. Easy!

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So easy, in fact, that I enlisted my curly-haired christmas elf to do the dirty work. One green paint-marker, one tiny terracotta pot and one art-excited toddler.

I do need to make it clear that these pens are supposed to be for kids three years old and over. However I let Little E have fun with them, whilst he was under the watchful eye of Phenom-A-Mum!

The pens aren’t really made for colouring in I’d say; more for drawing with. You can see each individual line drawn, just like when colouring with textas. But the terracotta markers worked well for this pint-sized application.

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Cats. No help whatsoever when you’re getting crafty. Or doing anything else. Great if you want your clothes covered in hair though. They excel at that.

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Time for the Piranha Plant! Take a good-size styrofoam ball and cut out a big wedge, so that it ends up looking like Pac-Man. I used a box cutter to make the cut and then a large kitchen knife to get down deep enough.

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The outside of the plant needs to be bright red. Cartoon style bright. And then black inside the mouth.

To make painting easier, jab a wooden skewer up the plant’s proverbial. Otherwise you’ll do what I did and paint yourself into a corner. Why does Phenom-A-Mum wait until I’ve screwed up to give me her sage advice?

Cut out a bit of coloured scrap paper for the tongue. I had some leftover purple felt which looks cool.

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WARNING – A red ball on a stick looks a little like a shiny apple. Or that’s what Little E thought. He took two bites… the first must’ve tasted okay!

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Craft foam is my favourite arty thing there is! Love this stuff (sorry… I think I have to hand in my Man-License after saying that). Cut out two big lips and lots of circles. I measured the mouth of the ball with a tape measure, to get the lips right.

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Hot glue gun those foam bits on, and then add some foam triangles for fangs. CHOMP! Looking so nerdy rock n’ roll.

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Now, buy a little succulent plant from your nearest garden centre and pop it into the green flower-pot with some succulent/cactus potting mix (this is sandy and drains well so that the plant won’t rot).

Phenom-A-Mum’s gardening tip: Put a piece of fine plastic mesh in the bottom of the pot, before shovelling in the potting mix. This will allow drainage, whilst stopping the mix from falling out of the little hole in the bottom of the flower-pot!

Finish the pot by using the CleverPatch paint-markers to draw on some 8-bit style black and white lines. Two of each; one thick vertical line and one thin vertical line.

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Pull out the skewer and replace with three green pipe cleaner suppositories. Also known as chenille sticks, if you’re too fancy and rich to use old crappy pipe cleaners. WTF?

You now have the world’s most awesome Plant Pot Gift! Totally retro chic, and tough enough to survive even the most garden-useless fella (aka me). It’s a little bit real plant, and a whole lot brilliant Nintendo flashback. A gift for anyone born in the late 70’s/early 80’s!

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Think that I forgot that this was a Christmas post? Crazy reader. you! Take everything I’ve just told you and add some of CleverPatch’s Clever Glitz:

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Just squeeze this over the red areas of the Piranha Plant head, and watch it sparkle (you may need to use a paintbrush to cover the area properly).

[Drum roll]. Ta da! Sparkly Christmas bauble-esque Piranha Plant! Just pop the normal head off of the stalk and replace with this Christmas variant until January 5th (Twelfth Night).

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Overall, the CleverPatch ceramic and terracotta paint pens were great. So easy to use and mostly mess free (except when a 2-year-old is involved. His yellow pants are now very green). And the little flower-pot was a standard solid terracotta item.

I didn’t think I’d find much use for the Clever Glitz, but it really added that Christmas shimmer. Again, easy to use and no mess. It washes out of hair and clothing quickly too (that was me, not Little E!).

Hang about, you say? Really? Who says that anymore? What about the star shaped dish? Wow, that is a lot of questions in a row.

Honest answer. Hrmm. Well, I kinda had an Epic Craft FAIL.

Start with a nice, shiny, clean star shaped dish:

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Then add some bright yellow using the CleverPatch Glass & Porcelain paint pen.

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I have never been good at colouring in. Should have just given it to Little E to colour; couldn’t have turned out any worse than this pre-school effort! I had lots of visible lines, and then ruined it all by trying to go back over it after it had dried – WARNING! Don’t try that at home. It will end up looking like this!

Perhaps I need to ask CleverPatch for a tutorial on how to use the Glass & Porcelain paint pen.

I managed to mess up the simplest of all the crafty concepts for this week. Even with the eyes painted on, I don’t think this little one will be gifted this holiday season. He’s just so ugly.

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You can check out Day 2 of this nerd craft week by clicking here.

How have you spiced up a pot plant? Have you ever received a pot plant as a gift? Did it survive until New Year?

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David Hawkins

Half nerd, all Dad & Founder of Big Kid Little Kid, the go-to blog for Awesome Dads. David is on a personal mission to become a more awesome dad to his two sons and teach them all the facets of being a major nerd. NES-off anybody?
  • Bonnie Furzer

    Ok – I seriously need the piranha pot plant!!!

    Do you ship to Perth 😉

    • David Hawkins

      I think it would be cheaper to make it yourself! If I can do it, you sure can!

  • Awesome creation! Now do Skylanders 😉

    • David Hawkins

      Ooh, I love Skylanders! Sweet, putting them on my to-craft list. Let’s see what I can come up with…

  • WoW! that is super cool what a brilliant idea, thanks for sharing and thanks for joining in the Digital Parents Blog Carnival for December

    • David Hawkins

      Thanks for checking out the post Rhianna! My wife is in love with this pot plant, which is a big win for all things geek chic. Thanks for hosting the Blog Carnival. I’m looking forward to discovering more great blogs!

  • Love this project – thanks for the crafty inspo!