Craft Wondrous Item: Dark Brotherhood Note

skyrim dark brotherhood note

Have I ever mentioned that Skyrim was my gateway drug into video games? Needless to say it's one of my favorite video games that I still enjoy playing. Skyrim’s Dark Brotherhood quest line is one of the best and most infamous in the game, and it all begins with a mysterious note delivered to the Dragonborn that reads “We Know.” As a big fan of the Dark Brotherhood, I decided that a replica of that note might be something fun to create.

skyrim dark brotherhood

Here’s how to do it:

Supplies:

  • 8.5 x 11” white printer paper

  • Black & brown paint

  • Medium sized paintbrush

  • 3-4 bags of any black tea

  • Pen (something like a Micron or Faber Castell pen is best)

Steps:

Step 1. Gather your supplies and make some tea (really).

Step 2: Boil some water in a small pot. Once the water reaching boiling point, throw in about 3 of your tea bags, let them boil for about 4-5 minutes, then remove from your stove top. Feel free to actually make yourself a cup of tea with one of the tea bags before using them to on your paper.

Step  3: Place a few layers of paper towels underneath your 8.5 x 11” paper to avoid making a mess. 

Step 4: Once your tea bags have cooled down you should begin to discolor your paper, using the bags like sponges. I recommend dropping them once or twice for a nice darker stain/splatter effect in some places. Be sure to thoroughly cover the entire paper. 

Step 5: Carefully remove your tea stained paper from the paper towels and folder it in half 3 times. The folded up paper should easily fit in your hand.

Step 6: Take a hairdryer and dry the paper. You can also take a hair straighter to add some extra stiffness. Use these appliances with caution.

Step 7: Use your dry paintbrush and dab a bit of brown paint around the outer corners and fold creases of the paper. This step adds some extra depth to the “parchment” look of your paper.

Step 8: Once you've dried the paper it’s time to get messy. Cover the palm and fingers of your right hand with black acrylic paint. Don’t apply too thin of a layer or the handprint won’t transfer onto your paper very well. Once you’ve covered your hand in the paint, press your hand onto the paper to leave a black handprint.

Step 9: The next to last step is to add the text “We know.” I recommend writing the text lightly with a pencil before using your pen to write the final version.

Step 10: Frame your lovely gift from your local Dark Brotherhood and hail Sithis.   

Craft Wondrous Item: Skyrim Doormat

skyrimheader

Greetings dovahkiin! It’s time to craft a wondrous item. This project was inspired by my old roomie’s Skyrim quest marker she created for her bedroom door. We’re both big Skyrim fans and loved the idea of having a quest marker doormat to greet visitors at our new place. The best thing about this project is that it only took one evening to create.

I’ll go ahead and admit this project did not go as smoothly as I originally envisioned. Thanks to my mistakes, I can tell you what not to do! Let’s start with gathering your supplies.

supplies

Supplies: 

  • A doormat (it should be a solid color with no designs)

  • Black acrylic paint

  • White acrylic paint

  • A small paintbrush

  • A sponge brush

  • A printer

  • Paper

  • Xacto knife

  • Cutting board

  • Painter’s tape

  • Fabric medium (if you intend for this to be an indoor rug)

paints

I made the mistake of trying to use spray paint, so please disregard the can of it on the above photo. The biggest downside to using spray paint instead of acrylic is that you will get fuzzier edge and it doesn’t absorb into the carpet as well.

step1

Step 1: Print out your quest markers. We used this one. You’ll need to print out 2 copies (one will be used as a stencil for the black paint and the other will be for the white paint.) Next you’ll need to carefully use a xacto knife to cut away the entire shape on stencil #1 and cut away all of the white on stencil #2.

*If you want this to be an indoor rug I suggest mixing your paint with fabric medium so that it will be soft and washable.

step2

Step 2: Carefully center stencil #1 in the middle of your rug and tape it down with painters tape. Once you’ve gotten the stencil placed correctly, you’ll paint a thin layer of black paint by dabbing with the sponge brush. When the entire shape is painted in you’ll want to let it dry for at least 2 hours ( just to be safe.)

step3

Step 3: Remove stencil #1. You should have a nice clean, black quest marker shape now. Now you’ll tape down stencil #2. Take your time and try to line it up as perfectly as possible. After it’s been securely taped you’ll dab on the first white layer of paint. Wait another 2 hours or so for this to dry.

Step 4: Remove stencil #2. At this point your quest marker should be nearly complete. Go back over with a paint brush and touch up the paint so that the black and white are fully saturated in the rug. Wait a few more hours for your final layer of paint to dry and your project is complete!

*If you’re worried that your new Skyrim welcome mat will be ruined by the rain or general wear-n-tear we recommend sprayed a layer or two of matte acrylic sealer.

skyrim doormat
skyrim doormat2

Congratulations on completing your quest! Now set that nifty project outside of your front door to guide your visitors to their destination. Give yourself +10 XP for a job well done.

Craft Wondrous Item: Steampunk Gun

Dragoncon is quickly approaching and there's no time to waste. One of my cosplay goals for this convention is to do an original steampunk character. I'm still working on the overall concept of what this character is (currently she's something between an hunter and occult researcher), but I knew I wanted to have a weapon. When Budd and I saw a Nerf crossbow gun at Target I knew immediately I wanted to use this for my cosplay. I read a few tutorials online that other people wrote about their process of “steampunking” a Nerf gun and decided to have a go at it myself! So please enjoy this walk-through on my creative process, and hopefully it will inspire or assist you in your own steampunk endeavors.

Nerf.jpg

Supplies:

  • Nerf Gun

  • Primer Spray Paint

  • Metallic Spray Paint

  • Paintbrushes

  • Matte Mod Podge

  • Matte Acrylic Sealer

  • Small bottles of black or metallic acrylic paint

  • Decorative gears, etc

  • Dremel sander

  • E6000 or other strong holding glue

Prep:

  • Make sure you have some newspapers or something to set the Nerf gun on while you spray paint

  • Have a well ventilated area to spray paint.

Steps:

1. Use dremel sander to sand off the Nerf logos.

dremel

2. Spray your primer (white is best) and allow to dry. Using a primer makes it easier for all the following coats to paint to stick.

primer

3. Spray your primary metal color. (This will be the color you want the majority of the gun to have.)

metalpaint

4. Use paintbrush to paint all the other areas a different color. I used black and painted it in places that seemed logical where the paint wouldn't be copper. Originally I bought black spray paint and painting tape to do this part, but using the brushes allowed me to have more control and less mess. You could even use multiple colors in these areas, depending on the look you want the gun to have. It took about three coats of black to cover up the copper completely.

paint

5. Once those coats of paint are completely dry you might want to add some age to your gun. I just using a paint color called “Worn Penny” instead of mixing up colors to get a dirty, worn look. If you use a regular paintbrush be sure not to leave brush strokes. Try to be a dabbing motion or better yet, use a sponge brush to get a more natural antique.

paint2

6. Next we add about two coats of Matte Mod Podge. I watered mine down a little bit so that it was easier to paint.

7. Now add a coat of matte acrylic sealer to insure the gun won't be sticky and your paint job is protected from all the banging around that can (and will) happen at a convention.

finishedgun

8. The final part is to add on all the decorative objects. I went with something simple and used E600 to glue a few gears and a compass onto the sides to to give it a mechanical appearance.

Now you can sip some tea, ponder on the wonder of steampower and admire your new gun. Cheers!