Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hello Chanel, La Deuxième Partie

It always happens. I start working on a project and I've settled on the way the finished product is going to look (and how to get there) and then BAM. A brand new idea creeps into my head and I have to stop and reassess the whole thing. Thankfully, this typically works out in my favor.

This is exactly what has happened with my lego purse project. As you may recall from my first post about the purse, I settled on a design and just had the final phase of spray painting and gluing left to complete.

But I started thinking about it again. And questioning it: Are people going to think it's a lego purse? Is it lego-y enough? What if I made the entire purse out of legos? Is the first design a statement enough? Friday night I set about designing a second purse. I'm still fully committed to completing the first one (it's way more simple than I thought). Now I have options.

Here is the initial design for purse two:

The rectangles make up the front and back of the purse. They'll be connected by a small box of legos that forms the space for my stuff. This design is actually smaller on the inside but I think it will pack much more of a wow when I actually use it. As I was putting the initial pieces together (and by together I mean just held together temporarily so I could move them around), I decided I'd need a hinge of some form to connect the boxes together and allow me to easily open the purse. I also figured I could use legos as a clasp - one side would be the flat piece and the other would be a connector piece of some form.

A more important realization came with the second design: I needed more legos. A second trip to the Lego Store in Potomac Mills was on the horizon and this time I took my brother with me. Legos are a joint toy for my brother and I. We both enjoyed playing with legos as children and have continued that into adulthood (clearly). Scott and I discussed the second purse and my ideas at lunch. He seemed convinced that a lego hinge (the kind you might use on doors in a house) would work for the hinge part. He even sketched out a rough design and shopping list for us. Lego design is a very real thing in my family. My dad even chimed in a few times with supportive comments and a tip or two.

The Lego Store didn't have any hinges but I remembered that I had some in my bag of legos at home so I ended up just getting two more containers of parts (with a discount because I'm part of the Lego Club now - don't be jealous) and a large building plate. I told the cashier what I was making and she thought it sounded cool.

The only thing left to do while at my parents' house was to spray paint the pencil box for purse one and the building plate for purse two (it only came in gray and blue). I don't think I've spray painted anything since high school theatre work days. I now understand the allure of spray painting. It's fun and easy and gives you a sense of control (if could also be the fumes). My dad even has a designated space in the backyard where one can spray paint if needed. It's like a little altar to spray paint. I used Krylon Fusion which is a spray paint for plastic. I opted for a satin finish (mostly because that's what they had). It wasn't particularly windy which was a good thing. Tip: don't spray paint on a windy day.

When I got home, I started gluing the pieces of purse one together and assembling purse two. Purse one is definitely the one to go with if I want to be able to carry more than my phone and ID. The pencil box is roomier. I still have to sew and attach the lining for the inside of the box; I think I might create a little interior pocket on the upper portion of the box for my ID.

Onto purse two. A lego building plate is surprisingly easy to cut with an X-ACTO knife (and of course, I have one at home). If you cut into the plastic and then bend it, the piece will snap off easily. I still have to go back and touch up the edges with paint but I figured I'd save that until the end. I glued two pieces together so I could create the design on the front panels and the interior box on the other side. Lego hinges are not meant to be used in this capacity. I had a few different types in my big ol'bag of legos and none of them worked to hinge the two pieces together. I think I need to buy a regular metal hinge which means I will probably need to drill into the plastic to attach the piece. I'm going to have to borrow power tools from my dad if I have to drill into the legos. I'm hoping that when I find the hinge I can attach it in some other way and a drill will be unnecessary.

I'm pleased with both designs. Both are approximately the same size as a regular clutch purse so neither feel cumbersome to carry. Purse one is lighter given that it has the smaller amount of legos in the design. Purse two is more of the fashion statement. If I can get the hinging to work it would be a very cool accessory to have. Granted I won't be able to carry much but what does one really need at work prom?

I have lots left to do in order to complete both of them but I think it's doable. Now you know what I'll be doing next weekend.

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