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!

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Riding Sturdy, Chapter 3: The Big Truck Prop

For the third and final installment of this order (click here for the intro, part 1, and 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 hit – 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!

DPhiE Turns 100! #DPHIE100

And for that, the C in WCB stands for Centennial today 😀

I can’t recall if I’ve written much about DPhiE (Delta Phi Epsilon, my sorority) on the blog, but I can summarize it with the following:

  • 100 years ago, five women who were shunned from joining other sororities due to their religious beliefs, banded together to create a non-sectarian organization, welcoming women from all walks of life who were looking to uphold the values of dedication, pride, excellence, justice, sisterhood and love. In 2007, that organization welcomed me to their Alpha Gamma chapter at FIU, and today my career and my circle of friends has been shaped almost exclusively by that experience.

I have so much to thank DPhiE for – giving me confidence in myself to reach for high opportunities, exposing me to people from all kinds of backgrounds, improving and cultivating my skills (something I’d realize the value of once in Corporate America), and just an overall exponential growth that would’ve otherwise been unlikely to happen without my immersive experience in it.

As my sisters all over the world get ready to celebrate 100 years of sisterhood and all that it means to each of us, headquarters is hosting a couple of events, for which they reached out to me to create a set of custom, jumbo and glittery props to liven up pictures. I also made some of these for the bi-annual convention, so behold, a purple and gold parade of your dreams!

I had a blast designing these, and I do have a special attachment to them because of what DPhiE means to me. The pictures honestly don’t do the shine of the glitter justice, but trust me when I tell you that coupled with the camera flash, they’re BLINDING! My favorites to make were the DPhiE 100 with the centennial written in cursive in front (cursive font is Magnolia Sky for anyone interested), and the white iridescent circle with the 100 in the middle of the dot triangle. That was the new DPhiE logo, and I got to bring it to life with endless glitter. #Obsessed.

I also got some shots of sisters enjoying the props during the event:

The “throw what you know” hand sign in perspective (bottom right picture) is EVERYTHING! Love seeing the props in action by real unicorns ❤

Hope you guys liked these props and to my sisters all over: Happy Centennial! YITS!