Merchandise Monday: Self-made LOTR Signpost & Jewelry Box

You know what I love more than purchasing fandom related merchandise? Creating fandom related merchandise. Whether it being a seasonal greeting card, or a quick fanart, I love getting inspired by my fandoms. Most of the times, I use pen and paper to get creative, but occasionally, I want to get crafty. A while ago, I’ve done a miniature Lord of the Rings signpost for my bookshelf (with the help of my dad) and re-painted a wooden box I’ve got from a local arts & crafts store.

I’m afraid, I don’t have any real DIY for both items, but I’ll try to explain as best as I can how I did it down below.P1110409


While the LOTR signpost serves not function whatsoever, other than decorative purposes, the wooden box holds some of my smaller Tolkien collectibles. Now, neither of these two items were my original idea. If you’ve spend any time on Pinterest, you’ve probably stumbled upon similar DIYs before.

The desire to make a geeky miniature signpost has been on my mind for a while and with the help of my dad, I’ve finally made one. We used various, differently sized pieces of wood you can get from any department store, nails, wood varnish and white acrylic paint. Now, I could’ve cut the wood to the right size without the help of my dad, but he is a hobby carpenter and gets stuff like this done more accurately. We had no particular measurements in mind and just worked with the wooden pieces we found in his workshop. Then, I picked a varnish and acrylic paint of my liking, after everything was assembled. Just a tip for you: after you assembled the signpost, take some sandpaper and make sure every cm or inch of that signpost is smooth before you paint it. After the varnish and acrylic paint dried, I took some Mod Podge and covered everything with a thin layer.


The wooden box was a lot easier to do. I purchased an inexpensive wooden box from a local arts & crafts store and painted it with the same varnish as the signpost. Again, before painting it, I smoothed out the wood with some sandpaper. As for the decorative elements, I’ve looked through my Tolkien books and decided to copy some of Tolkien’s original design elements for The Hobbit. Once again, after the varnish and paint dried, I added a thin layer of Mod Podge as a protective layer to it.

LOTR box before and after

As much as I love my other, bought merchandise items, there is something special about creating and receiving hand-made geeky stuff.

What was your most recent geeky DIY? Is there an unique DIY you’ve stumbled upon the internet that you’d like to share? Leave us a comment down below!


MERCHANDISE MONDAY | My New Zealand Tolkien Haul

It has been a while since we did a Merchandise Monday, so there is a lot to catch up with! For those who don’t know, I’ve been to New Zealand from mid-October 2016 until end of December 2016. Of course, I’ve visited Hobbiton, Weta Workshop and other Middle-earth related movie locations. Also, of course, I’ve added stuff to my Tolkien collection because obviously. Duh.

However, I’m rather proud with myself because I managed to keep my haul to a minImum…..unlike my first trip to New Zealand in 2009 where I bought, what felt like, half the Shire.

My Mini New Zealand Tolkien Haul

Tolkien NZ Haul2

‘No Admittance’ Sign Replica

You have no idea for how long I wanted that ‘No Admittance’ sign. Ever since I watched The Fellowship of the Rings in cinemas in 2001, I wanted to own a replica of it! Now, I’m a very proud owner of one. I framed it and put it up on my wall alongside other Middle-earth related images near my Tolkien collection. With a cost of 20 NZ dollar, it was, in fact, the most expensive souvenir purchase I made in New Zealand.

Tolkien NZ Haul

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Map

Now, this was not a purchase, but rather part of the Hobbiton Movie Tours ticket you get. Still, I’m loving this little map of Hobbiton so much. It is such a lovely, but unexpected, treat. Part of me wants to frame it, the other part of me is too frightened to do it.

Hobbiton Movie Set Key chain & Postcard

Ok, now you’d think “She has been to Hobbiton and all she got was a key chain and a postcard?!” Don’t get me wrong, there were countless amazing things available at the Hobbiton souvenir store. In fact, there were so many amazing things that I was overwhelmed and couldn’t decide and ended up running through the store aimlessly, but excited. Also, my time was running out (the tour bus was leaving soon), so I had to settle for something quick.

A Dwarven coin from Smaug’s hoard from Weta Workshop

When I went to Weta Workshop, I faced the same dilemma as in Hobbiton. There were so many amazing things in the souvenir shop that I was too overwhelmed to get something fancy and ended up buying something small and simple. Still, I truly love that coin!

So, how’s your Tolkien collection going? Anything new or exciting you added in the recent past? Also, if you could go to the Hobbiton Movie Set and Weta Workshop, what would you get? Leave a comment down below!

Merchandise Monday | Evenstar Necklace

Tolkien Week 2016 has begun, so it seemed only fitting to share a piece of of merchandise from my Tolkien collection!


I very much identify as a hobbit, so unlike many girls, I never had a deep desire for Arwen’s Evenstar necklace from The Lord of the Rings. It was never something I would have purchased for myself. Then I received a subscription box with an Evenstar necklace, and I fell in love!

The first week I had it, I wore it every day, and I still wear it quite often. I love getting comments from fellow fans on my daily travels, but my favorite thing is watching the sparkles on ceilings and walls when the light hits the crystals just right.

Have you ever received a geeky gift that you never even realized you wanted? Share your story in the comments!

To see our previous Merchandise Monday items, check out our Merchandise Monday Category!

Merchandise Monday | Merlin 2012 Annual

I recently did a rewatch of the Merlin television series (thanks Netflix!), and that prompted me to dip my toe into the fandom surrounding it. I discovered that there were books, action figures, and special annuals for the series that I was completely unaware of.


A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and ordered the Merlin annuals on Abe Books. However, the thing about Abe Books is that you never quite know what you’re going to get. I’ve had friends order books—looking for a particular edition—and the one they were shipped turned out to be a different edition than what was advertised. Since the Merlin annuals actually have quizzes, crosswords, word searches, and more, I knew there was a good chance that I would receive a book that had been written in. But I was also getting them at such low prices that I couldn’t complain.


My first shipment arrived containing the Merlin 2012 annual, and I started going through it page by page. When I first noticed writing, I shrugged my shoulders and was only slightly disappointed. Then I realized that I loved it! The kid (or grownup, who knows?) who had the book before me really knew their Merlin lore and had much keener eyes than I do; without their help, I don’t know that I would ever have found the differences between the very similar photos of well-loved scenes.

The thing I loved most was reading their answers on the Knight of Camelot quiz. I felt like I was getting to know them! I often picked different answers than they did, and it was interesting to compare myself to this person from the past who probably lived across an ocean from me (all of the books were sold by UK sellers).

I’ve scanned the pages below, and I hope that if you are a fan of Merlin, you will join in the fun and share your responses in the comments. The book’s previous owner turned out to be the most like Gwaine, while I am a combination of Sir Leon and Lancelot. What knight are you?

Merlin2012Annual_Page22 Merlin2012Annual_Page23

Eventually, the other three annuals arrived, and I was both happy and sad. I was happy that they were in such good condition, but also a bit sad that I didn’t get to share the book with a mysterious friend.

Do you like getting used books with scribbles from past owners in them?

To see our previous Merchandise Monday items, check out our Merchandise Monday Category!

Merchandise Monday | Minas Tirith 3-D Puzzle

If I’m being honest, I’ve been wanting to do a post on this next bit of merchandise ever since we Travelling Geeks decided to do Merchandise Monday. I had been holding off until I finished it, but I realize that I have made so little progress, that I might as well share it now! (Who knows? Maybe a little bit of constructive peer pressure will spur me on to completion!)


I remember seeing the 3-D Lord of the Rings puzzles in stores years ago, but for some reason, they never sparked my interest. However, my friend Britta recently sent me some LEGOs, and it put me in a building mood, so I thought it would be fun to try one of them.

These puzzles tend to fetch a high price online, but I found someone selling this Citadel of Minas Tirith for only $10! I snatched it up and couldn’t wait to begin. When it arrived, I realized that it had never been put together, so there were many of these small pieces with pink dots and lines that needed to be removed as they were not part of the final puzzle.


I thought I would be a good architect–one who does all the necessary prep work before pushing ahead on a project–so I took at least an hour and a half to track down all of the unnecessary pieces and remove them. (See those two plastic bags in the first photo? Those are all of the discarded bits!)

Well, I was going to have something to show for my first day, so I found The White Tree and the surrounding green pieces that make up its monument and, though I should’ve gone to bed earlier, I pieced it together and felt accomplished!

So here’s the thing…no one told me that Minas Tirith is the hardest of the LOTR 3-D puzzles. And the “instructions” count on you having figured out a lot of the puzzle before even offering any help. I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten a bit farther. But not much. Some of the ground work and roof bits and towers have started to come together, but I’m a long way from finishing.

You know what I wish? I wish that you, our fellow readers (and many of you are Tolkien fans), could come over and we could do a LOTR movie marathon while putting together this puzzle! Like Frodo and his quest, I can’t finish this alone!

I know that dream is unlikely to come true, so in the meantime, you can make me feel better by telling me about fandom projects that you started but had trouble finishing. Or, EVEN BETTER, give me hints and tutorials on how to finish this puzzle!