EW's Special Coverage

Style & Design

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'Parks and Recreation' prop master Gay Perello's five favorite pieces of the year

(Page 3 of 5)


3. Ron’s barbeque tool pouch

The first episode of Season 5, Leslie goes to Washington D.C. Meanwhile, the rest of the characters have the annual Employee Appreciation BBQ, organized by Ron Swanson.

Anytime you can make a Ron Swanson prop, it’s a good day. Ron Swanson, master of the grill, has to have the proper tools and something to be able to store them. I emailed Nick Offerman and asked his opinion on a box or a leather tool roll. He thought tool roll would be right up Ron’s alley. I had recently met a jewelry and purse maker (coincidently, at a BBQ) who specialized in working with leather. I gave her my drawings, and she said, “Sure, how’s elk hide?” Perfect! I ordered some vintage BBQ tools from Etsy and got to work on the aging of the pouch, using cooking oil, sandpaper, and elbow grease.

Nick was pleased and unfurled his tools like an old pro.

There isn’t any dialogue about a tool pouch, nor was it even scripted, however, I think those character props are just as important in storytelling and sure are a lot of fun to make.

NEXT: Super-sized Sweetum’s soda cups

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