How-To: Archery-Themed Baby Gender Reveal
As you might already know, I am pregnant! Ginger Baby (my hopeful nickname for my little bean) is due mid-July of this year. My husband and I couldn't be more excited. The timing is a little tricky, with me finishing up a masters degree and Josh working steadily away on our house project. But the thing we've heard resoundingly from everyone who has "been there" is that the timing of a new baby is never perfect. At least with Ginger Baby's timing, I have a chance at both the spring turkey and fall deer hunting seasons. ;)
So far this pregnancy has been amazingly smooth. I haven't had any morning sickness (please don't hate me!) and I feel great. I'm still shooting, but trying to stick to my bow now that Ginger Baby has functional hearing. Target shooting is a perishable skill, so I want to keep it up as long as I can.
We had our 18 week ultrasound back in February and found out Ginger Baby's gender. I knew I wanted to do a "gender reveal" in a somewhat public way because we wanted to celebrate with our family and friends who live far from us. So I did what any modern woman would do - consulted the Internet for inspiration! When I found this idea from Sweet Miles, I got psyched to incorporate into the gender reveal one of my passions: target shooting!
Once I pitched the Pinterest idea to my husband, he went above and beyond to create a mechanism that would release when I completed the trick shot. His Rube Goldberg-esque concoction definitely made this whole thing way cooler. Rather than just shooting a balloon, I got to shoot a string.
That string released a counterweight, which moved an arm with gear teeth on one end. Those gear teeth engaged and opened up an iris mechanism that showed both "Boy" and "Girl." As the iris mechanism opened, it knocked out of the way a stop that was holding a spring-loaded arm down in front. That arm had a balloon on it that was filled with powder coordinating with the typical gender color (pink for a girl, blue for a boy). The arm would smack a nail inside the "Boy/Girl" area of the iris mechanism once the arm swung up, and that nail would pop the balloon and release the colored powder to reveal the gender.
Josh made the whole thing in his wood shop, using his ShopBot CNC and a bunch of other woodworking tools. He used MDF for the main iris mechanism and various other pieces of wood to build up the legs and the swing arm. He really likes this site for mechanism inspiration, and he can do some pretty nifty things on that ShopBot.
In case anyone wants to recreate any specific elements of this gender reveal, here are the specifics. I am not associated with any of these items or links. I used a funnel to transfer some of the color powder into a partially-inflated balloon, then tried really hard not to breathe it in when I finished blowing up the balloons!
- Bow: Bowtech Eva Shockey Signature Series compound bow set to a 40 pound draw
- Arrows: Beman Bowhunter carbon arrows
- Broadheads: NAP Gobbler Getter
- Balloon: 12" Gold Latex Balloon from Firefly Imports on Amazon
- Color Powder: Bharat Online Holi Festival Colors on Amazon
- String: Mason's line (for setting a level line on a stone wall...we have a bit of this laying around because of our DIY home repair project)
Now for the Video
Without further ado, here is the video! We filmed it on Facebook Live, and a bunch of family and friends tuned in to comment and participate with us! While my pride wishes that I shot the string on the first or second try, the timing couldn't have been better - because of the delay (it took me eight shots to get it!) more people got to tune in and comment on Facebook. Though the comments don't show up in the Youtube video, you can hop over to Facebook to see the interactions. It was a blast: 10/10, would do again!
Additional Photos of the Archery Themed Gender Reveal
After we finished with the video, we decided to take some photos while I'm still in a "cute" part of pregnancy. I wanted to document the gender reveal so we can share with our son sometime in the future. My friend Kelsey of Kelsey Lynn Photography did a fantastic job behind the camera. Check out her other work on Instagram and Facebook! Josh and I are SO excited to meet our little man. Ginger Baby is well loved already.
Enjoy the photos from our gender reveal and maternity photo shoot! They aren't all shooting related, but they all show our love for Ginger Baby.