Biggest Prop Order to Date! WCB for SAP

The reason I started WCB (the blog & Etsy shop) was because working for a software company in Corporate America was not very conducive to me expressing my creativity, and I needed an outlet. Even after leaving SAP, I’m still in touch with my colleagues and every so often, they reach out for a craft project, corporate style. I love when my worlds collide like this πŸ™‚

This time, the order was my biggest to date! SAP Latin America & Caribbean has a sales kick-off event at the beginning of the year, and they were going to do an activity involving a skit based on technology evolving through the decades. They reached out to me to create jumbo sized, extremely sturdy props for the attendees to use for the skits they created. The props would be in a box, which I decorated to look like space (to give the idea of time-travel), and there would be a corresponding small box with a “token” showing which decade the groups would get.

I had a couple of months to work on this, and I truly needed every second. Because I’d never done something this big, there was a lot of trial and error and a lot of winging it which thankfully worked out. Between doing the research of the technology of each decade, figuring out where to get high resolution stock images, finding the right images of the right equipment for each decade, figuring out which medium to use to make them sturdy, and if it was something thick, how to cut it… etc. Not to mention, this was going to be my biggest investment in materials as well, and I needed to make sure I’d break even – even though the good thing about working with a big company is that the budget is more flexible than for standard orders. So, in case this helps anyone else, these are the materials I went with:

  • 32 x 40 inch Styrofoam boards, purchased at Hobby Lobby
  • 16 x 20 inch pictures, printed at the Costco Photo Center (fastest printing for the best price!)
  • Spray adhesive glue
  • X-acto brand exacto knife
  • Self-healing mat
  • Large boxes
  • Spray paint
  • Small boxes
  • Laminated prints (for tokens and logos to decorate boxes)
  • New fingers, after cutting 40 props with an exacto knife…

And here are some pictures of the whole process! Keep in mind, I worked on these at night so the lighting for the photos was terrible –

First, this was part of the trial and error process. I tested out different papers and different glues, and they would crease and cause the styrofoam to curve and look terrible. This is why you have to do things with time, especially when you don’t have much experience with what you’re making.

Once I figured out the materials, I moved on to the sets of boxes. These are the big boxes that were painted like a trip to outer space, as well as the small boxes with the decade token inside and the event logo so that the groups would choose their decades at random.

And now onto the good stuff! I laid out all the pictures in columns for each decade. I pre-cut each 32×40 board into four mini boards, that came out to 16×20, aka, the same size as the pictures (#genius)! Then glued the pictures to the boards with the spray adhesive so they wouldn’t crease/bunch, and got to work with the exacto knife.

I also became highly delirious through the cutting process, and decided to have a photo shoot with the props. Don’t they look crazy realistic?! That Super 8 from the 70s was my favorite!

Also, if you think I was kidding about my fingers… But it was worth it ❀

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I heard the props were a hit at the event, and everyone had a blast doing the skits with them. I’m so happy my old colleagues support my crafty endeavors, and that I get to mix together different areas of my life πŸ™‚

Do you have a similar situation where your worlds collide? If so, share your story in the comments, I’d love to hear it!

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Carlos’ 60th Birthday Cuban Musical Props

My best friend’s father-in-law to be just turned 60 years old this past weekend! What a milestone, and such a beautiful number. I am very fond of the 60th birthday because while doing some research when I was planning my mom’s 60th turn around the sun (shh, please don’t tell her I mentioned that number, anyone who puts her over 35 goes on a kill list! haha!) I found out that in Chinese culture, the 60th birthday is sort of a re-birth. 12 x 5 = 60, and that means that by the time you turn 60, you’ve done a full life cycle around all the signs (and sub-types) in the Chinese Zodiac, so it’s a new beginning. Anyway, I digress…

For Carlos, one of the things he has most fun doing is dancing, and since he’s Cuban, salsa is probably at the top of his favorite genres. His birthday was a perfect moment to go all out, celebrate his Cuban heritage and the music he enjoys so much. Check out the props & banner I was asked to make for the occasion!

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Some bongos, maracas and musical notes represented the hobby and genre he loves so much! The fedoras & cigar were a nod to his Cuban heritage and style!

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Rhymes and banners, nothing is… smarter? πŸ˜‰

The birthday boy danced the night away and all the guests took turns posing with the props. Cheers to Carlos’ 60 Years!

Liana’s Fabulous #BubblyForBubsie NYC Bachelorette Props

What do you do when you’re going on a bachelorette with your group of closest friends? Lots of things, but if you’re me… You. Make. Props!

One of my really close friends, Liana, is tying the knot at the end of the month and so we’re going all out with the “last fling before the ring,” all the way to one of her favorite places: New York City. Her sister and Maid of Honor, Katrina, very kindly requested I made some props for the big weekend, and of course I was very excited to make this set, being for such an amazing friend and what was promising to be a super fun weekend. The color scheme of some of the bach items was pink and gold, so I knew I’d stick to that for the props. Without further ado, some pics of the set (I forgot to do my semi professional set-up before leaving, so the pictures aren’t that great. Also, we barely got to use the props because of the back-to-back schedule we committed to haha! #BachLife

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The props were a surprise for Liana, and when she saw them she said she may be biased, but this was her favorite set I’ve ever made! I’ll take that type of bias any day πŸ˜‰ Happy wedding my dear friend!

#MyBestFriendsWedding Chapter 4: She Said YES to The Dress!

Shortest “blog” post ever! Just had to celebrate the fact that after three stores and 16 dresses, my best friend found her wedding dress today! I was ecstatic to be a part of this day for her, and of course I had to make special props for it πŸ™‚

 

Stay tuned to see the pictures of the dress and the process after her big day in late March of 2018!

Big Props Need Love Too – 80s Gala Rockout \m/

Every year, I feel like there is a theme around a certain new craft/element that keeps reappearing throughout different orders. 2015 was the character letters, 2016 was vinyl, and one of this year’s big contenders were big props. I’d never really made big props before, but it has become a staple of many orders this spring, starting with the big engagement ring, the truck car prop, and now this – totally 80s standing props!

I got a request to create some big 3-4 feet standing props for a school gala that was 80s themed, which one thing is if the people are holding the props, and another if they’re going to have to stand on their own. That’s a much scarier prospect. And so, it begins.

Since the theme was 80s, I got asked to do a Rubik’s Cube, a boombox, and the old MTV logo from back in the day. I figured the Rubik’s cube would probably be the most time consuming since I’d have to measure out and cut a lot of parts, so I started with that one. Oh and one more thing – I decided that a totally 80s thing to do would be to add glitter to the mix to make them pop!

 

The MTV logo and the boombox were pretty standard, I just drew on a poster board inspired by images I found online (logo and boombox for reference) and I used neon and pastels to go with the decade theme.

 

Once they were all done, it was time to make them stand and take some nice photos! They’re placed by my door, that’s how big they were!

 

 

 

Big props and 2017, together like PB & J!

Riding Sturdy, Chapter 3: The Big Truck Prop

For the third and final installment of this order (click here for the intro, part 1,Β andΒ part 2)- the big truck prop/photo booth station for Mateo’s fourth birthday. The inspiration for this craft were this picture and this one too.

If I’m honest, when I initially got this order, I ranked the items in my head in the following categories and order:

Category A: How hard it will be to make – 1. Ramp, 2. Truck Prop, 3. Box Trucks

Category B: Which will be the biggest hitΒ – 1. Ramp, 2. Box Trucks, 3. Truck Prop

But I really didn’t think the truck prop would stump me so hard when it came to making it happen. When I tell people that the problem with creative work is that you need to be in the mood, this is one of the examples of how that can be such a big hurdle to overcome. I can stare at something for three weeks and not know what to do with it, and then an idea strikes and I get it done in no time. That was exactly the case with this truck prop. I thought I’d make this one in a much shorter time-frame and didn’t see the challenge until it was staring me dead in the face. I began by selecting my canvas, when… I LOVE when this happens: I was staring at some big boxes in my garage that I’d purchased forever ago and have used to deliver big local orders, and I said to myself – that’s the truck. I grabbed two of the boxes, stacked them together, cut out the blank space for pictures, spray painted them and BAM! Ready! Looking like a car already (at least in my head)…

But the problem was, after getting to this point, I stared at it for two weeks without knowing where to go next. I originally wanted to make the lower small flaps the wheels, and the center flap would be sort of a (I don’t know the right terminology here so I’ll quit while I’m ahead and just show a picture of what I imagined), but the design didn’t add up in my head. So I walked away and worked on the items I had for other orders, waiting for the idea to hit me. Finally, I decided to do away with my idea of the thing I can’t explain or name, and grabbed my scissors and made a cut.

AHHHH! This was a big deal, but after I did that, I felt like I was going somewhere. Also, notice I rounded off the top part of what would be the hood of the car. Everything was making more sense now, but I was still unhappy with the vision, and I realized what the problem was all along – what’s the one thing that makes the monster truck, a monster truck? Besides the truck itself – the wheels. The way I’d originally envisioned this, I’d end up with some really small wheels and that’s why I kept resisting the process. It wouldn’t have come out right. Once I’d cut the middle flap of the bottom out though, the next move came – use the flaps to build the wheels outwardly. And so, the monster truck prop was officially born.

By this point as you can see, I’d also added my headlights and the top lights to help me envision the rest of the road. I got my black paint and brushes out, and voila! Also, I’d forgotten every car needs a steering wheel so, magic wand wave and –

Now we’re talking! How do you differentiate regular tires from big monster-truck type of wheels? The ridges! One moment please… POOF!

Ok now THAT is looking like a monster truck. I intended to add a grill of some sort (for which I’d bought the most perfect card stock and couldn’t wait to use it), but then came the last big hurdle: this needed to stand on its own. As you may have noticed in the inspiration pieces, those car props used stakes to stand in the grass, something that wouldn’t work in this scenario because the party would take place indoors. I needed something to make it stand. I had a few ideas from the beginning (sticks, wood springs, random things in my brain…) and then I realized the best thing to do would be to use a side panel from a tri-fold board, cut it diagonally, and build it into the back of the car. Basically, this –

OMG. It worked, and it worked SO WELL! The best part was that since it was all cardboard, it was completely lightweight and portable. I’m in love.

So now, all I needed was: final coat of paint, grill, and glue everything (all the lights were taped until I decided I liked the placement). Oh and wait… It’s too blue. It needs a pop of color… wait, I know!

The level of satisfaction I felt when I saw this finished? Can’t explain. After three weeks of no action, I did the bulk of this in 12 hours during the weekend. Also – side note – I decided not to glue the flag because I wasn’t sure it would fit in the car when pick-up time came, and good thing I didn’t! The prop barely fit and the top lights had to be folded a little bit, but no biggie. As long as it fits, it’s all cardboard and card stock and can be folded back into place.

Thank you for checking out the third and final chapter of this Riding Sturdy order! I’ll do one more post with all of the final item pictures, a quick story of the pick-up and – if possible – snapshots of the items in use!

PS – my original ranking was so dead wrong. This was the hardest to bring from brain to life, and also made the biggest impression on almost everyone, both in social media and in person. You think you know, but you really never do…

It’s Officially Ordermageddon!

Friends, I don’t know how this is going to happen, but we don’t have a choice. I have officially accepted orders for three events happening on the same day, and another one a week after, meaning I’m working simultaneously on four big orders right now. I get very excited when this happens, and it’s not like when I’ve had 7-8 Etsy orders shipping out together, because those are standard sets of props for the most part… these are more like event packages. I will link back here once the events take place so you see the end result, but as of now I have:

This post is specifically about the props for the other engagement party that’s on the same day as my best friend’s. Let’s get to work!

Meaghan is a good friend from college, she’s currently living in Orlando, but her best friend Mary lives down here. Meaghan just helped Mary’s boyfriend propose to her, and now the engagement party is in the works. This is probably the simplest order out of the bunch (thank you Meaghan!) but it’s still very important to me to do it well and get it all done with time so that there isn’t crazy pressure to finish multiple orders together.

The request was:

  • A set of props in black and gold to go with the color scheme of the garden-themed engagement party.
  • A big ring frame, in rose gold to reference Mary’s engagement ring, based off of one Meaghan saw on Pinterest.

Meaghan gave me free rein on the prop design, and when I sent her the digital proof she approved so I got to work with glitter card stock galore.

After I was done with the props, I got to work on the ring. Besides making sure the final contraption would be sturdy enough, I had another issue: rose gold is just starting to become widely available in many materials, so unfortunately there were no big poster boards to use, but rather long strips of card stock. I let Meaghan know that there would be a line where the cards met on one side (the other would be covered by the ring silhouette) to make sure she’d be ok with it, and she gave me the green light.

I mixed solid card stock with glitter card stock for the “diamond” and Meaghan absolutely loved the outcome! You can see the line of the cards meeting in the bottom in direct opposition of the diamond point, it totally wasn’t a big deal, but I wanted to warn Meaghan nonetheless so she’d know in advance.

Now that these are done, let’s get on with the other three orders before I have a panic attack!