Totally Groovy ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ Back-To-School Crafts

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Go back in time for back-to-school with some ’70s (and ’80s) inspired ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ crafts. Image: Lisa Tate

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was released on Blu-Ray and DVD this week, just in time to say goodbye to summer.

Parents who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s can appreciate the love Peter Quill (Star-Lord) has for all things retro. Not to mention, he had an awesome mom who set him up with great taste in music.

Here are some simple back-to-school Guardians-themed, kid-friendly crafts to make anyone excited about headin’ back to work.

Just don’t forget the tape.

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Prismatic stickers, cut-out images, and decorative tape give plain 3-ring binders that Trapper Keeper vibe. Image: Lisa Tate.

Neon Sticker Binder Frame

Back in the late ’70s, every kid needed a cool Trapper Keeper with an image of a sports car, rainbow and hearts, unicorn, or whatever else they could find plastered on the side of a vinyl folder. By the ’80s, only “nerds” used these (so they say). There must have been a bunch of us nerds out there because variants of Trapper Keepers are still available today.

That totally awesome retro look can be recreated by inserting a collage frame in any three-ring binder.

Find a bright-colored piece of sturdy scrapbook paper. Using a ruler, cut a rectangle hole out of the center, leaving about a 1 ½” frame around the edge, or make it slightly askew for more space on the corners.trapsteps

Line the edges with rainbow or striped decorative tape. Add some prismatic stickers with stars or planets on it, along with some stickers or cut-out images of Guardians characters. Grab a sharpie and “doodle” additional images, names, or comments. Add your favorite photo or drawing and slip it in the plastic cover of a binder! Sweet!

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Pet rocks make good study companions, especially ones with a little attitude. Image: Lisa Tate

Yondu’s Pet Rock

The pet rock has been around since 1975 as the perfect no-fuss pet. By 1976, its creator, Gary Dahl, sold more than 1.5 million of the little buggers before the craze faded.

Find a small garden stone and paint it blue.  Using plain craft glue or a glue gun, draw a small line down the center top. Attach the ends of some red yarn along the glue line. Let it dry, then trim it to make it even. Carefully unravel the yarn pieces with a toothpick or pin to give it a fuller “mohawk” hair cut. You might need to do a little final trimming or shaping after this.

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Turn a pet rock into Yondu by gluing a line of red yarn across the top of a smooth blue-painted rock. Use a toothpick or pin to fill out his hair. Images: Lisa Tate.

He’s fine on his own as a little companion for a study desk, office, or dorm, or you can give him a little “home” by spraying a small, fake bird nest or moss (found in floral sections of craft stores), and painting it black, grey, or silver.

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Custom made Star-Lord wear for the rocker in all of us. Image: Lisa Tate.

Star Lord AC/DC-Inspired Print

During the end credits of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, fans can catch a glimpse of one Star-Lord’s AC/DC tribute doodle.

Even though AC/DC doesn’t appear on either of Star-Lord’s Awesome Mix Tapes, these rock and roll legends formed in Australia in 1973 had a place on many a Sony WalkMan mix tape of the ’70s and ’80s.

One of the more rebellious ways to show off punk or metal sensibilities was to write or draw patterns in bleach on an old pair of jeans or a shirt and hose it off to make a custom “tie-dyed” look.

This stencil method is a little tidier, but it still creates a neat rock and roll pattern on a black t-shirt, tote bag, bandana, or other item. First, print out this template inspired by Star-Lord’s doodle on a piece of card stock, and cut out the letters.

Work outside where it is well ventilated. Fill a small spray bottle with half water and half laundry bleach.  Place the template on the item and gently spray the exposed surface. Spray straight down, if you can. Too much of an angle will cause more of bleach to seep too far under the pattern. Let it sit in the sun for a bit. Add some detail by splattering silver or gold cloth paint over the completed image.

If you’re working with a shirt or tote bag, place a piece of cardboard in between the layers, so the bleach does soak through to the back. Let it dry, and then rinse it with warm water. Wash it one time before wearing or using it.

Use either the outside of the template or use the cut-out letters for a “reverse” pattern.  By the way, this template also makes a  great pumpkin stencil.

For working with younger crafters, avoid the bleach method, and use a white or silver tube of cloth paint or gel pen to trace around the inside of the pattern.

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Three ways to make an image: all with unique custom effects. Images: Lisa Tate.

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take on the galaxy—or school year—without a conquering attitude.

Quill reminded us in the first Guardians of the Galaxy we come from a “planet of outlaws” like “Billy the Kid, Bonnie & Clyde,  and John Stamos.”

What more motivation do we need?

Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. In addition to serving as Associate Editor for her local arts and entertainment guide, El Paso Scene, she has been a regular contributor to the site ihogeek.com and maintains her own blogsite at lisathegeekmom.wordpress.com. She and her husband, writer/photographer Rick, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.