In the last post I promised to give you a quick tree craft for decorating purposes. This arose from my need to create small trees for my glitter houses and especially for the tree-yard trailer model that I built which you can see above.
All that you will need for this is listed here:
Black Bristol board. Scissors. Stapler ( not really necessary). Hot glue gun. Inexpensive dollar-store garland. Marker
For a smaller tree ,first fold the bristol board in half along it’s shortest width. Second draw a semi-circular shape that will fold into a cone (see above). I’ve drawn the cone shape in white chalk so you can see it. A black marker will do and you won’t have any white lines showing through the ‘branches’.
Using the scissors cut out the shape you drew. Roll it up into a cone shape such that the base of the tree is as flat as possible ( so it will stand properly ). Use a stapler to secure it as a cone shape and hold it ready to be glued. Next glue along the seam. Hint. I use a pen or something to press onto objects being glued so I don’t burn my little fingy’s.
Start at the top and tack the end of the garland on with some hot glue. Wrap the garland tight around the cone gluing here and there as you wind your way to the bottom. Honestly this is an affordable way to make a decorative tree which will basically cost you only a few dollars a piece, if that.
Always use cold lights- low watt LED’s for lighting around cardboard.
Someone googled and visited my last post asking why does their paint “flake” on cardboard. The only answer I can think of is that the cardboard may be coated with a waxy or oily finish. Use cardboard that does not have a water resistant finish or you can try painting ( or spraying) it with an acrylic sealer first.
The finished tree with some decorating hints below.
Last, I will leave you with a bonus photo of another glitter house/church that I built from cardboard. Not sure if I will post anymore until after Christmas so I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday. For those of you who don’t celebrate this particular season I hope you will have a safe and good time with your family and friends!
It all began when I saw this picture of a little glitter house on the net. “Wouldn’t it be cool to just build a big one,” I thought!
The redeeming thing about a glitter house is that they are intended to be cheap tiny houses in which a light was inserted through the back or the bottom for Christmas decoration. This means you don’t need to fuss. These houses were only a few inches big to begin with. If you do need some good cardboard then take a visit to the back of your local mall (shopping center) where some free cardboard may be had in the recycle dumpster. Or ask the store managers themselves. They will be glad to get rid of the excess cardboard this time of year.
These are simple shapes of course. Simply cut out the size you need and if you need to use more than one piece then use masking tape on the back side to attach the side walls. I use Jo Sonja’s all purpose sealer and paint it on with a brush first. This seems to keep the acrylic craft paint from sinking in too deeply and looking washed out. However you will have to do a couple coats of white over the sealer as a base coat. The little blue strips are cardboard as well. The ones at the top of the building are folded in half and glued over the edge for strength. I actually use white glue for gluing as well as a hot glue gun to tack everything in place. When the white glue finally dries it will be very strong.In the above photo you can see that I added some areas of snowy glitter. These are shapes of painted cardboard tacked in place with a hot glue gun. The shapes are thickly painted with a Gleams acrylic pearlescent paint. While the pearly paint is still wet I shake some iridescent snow flakes onto it and use a piece of cardboard to gently press them down into the paint. When the paint dries the flakes are glued to it loosely.
I recommend using low heat/low watt bulbs in the back to avoid risk of fire.
There is a roof on top as well. I covered this with a holiday snow blanket ( Buffalo Snow). The doors and windows have yellow cellophane ( gift basket type) glued to them from behind with strips of cardboard to keep them taut. The signs were just created in CorelDraw and then printed on glossy paper. The Coke logo was just downloaded from the net after a google image search. In the next post I will share ( as promised) how to make cheap (inexpensive) evergreen trees to go with your glitterhouse ( like in the very top photo). Plus I have a couple more glitterhouses to show you
Well it was my 24th Wedding Anniversary on Monday past. I couldn’t help but think about how it was for my in-laws when they had their 50th Anniversary in 2007. I wondered too if any one planned a party for us in 2038 if the eighties would seem as cool as the fifties. Not really sure I want to see the mullet again or broad shouldered suit coats, etc. Anyways …here are some more photos from the 5oth Anniversary which included things that I got to design and build…or paint…or print…what FUN!
My Father-in-law had been in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
So it seemed a good idea to make him a poster from the Fifties with his face (from the Fifties) on it. The original was a scan I did from a book. Next it was Taken into Corel software and the fun began. One of his wedding photos was masked and cropped as you can see on the right. Some adjustments were made to the tone, etc and then by over-saturating the image in the red I was able to get some manly skin tones in there. I think the poster was 18 X24 but I can’t remember. He seemed really taken with it! (As you can see from the video link below)
More photos on the use of prints that I designed below. The Elvis and 50ft Woman posters were store bought
The Burgers and Fries were T-shirt iron -ons that I made for some of us wearing white Tees. The Tv shaped posters were made of metallic bristol board and glued together. There are little glass mirrors glued to some and silver pipe cleaners for antennae.
Actually Today is their wedding anniversary. Hard to believe this all took place 5 years ago! Happy Anniversary Barb and Brenton!
Continuing with the 50’s Anniversary theme, for which I had the pleasure of designing set decorations, I’d like to show you a few of the smaller decorations I had designed and created. Again this was a load of fun for me in trying to create a fifties feel on a small budget but it can be done!
I wanted a clock with lots of chrome. Very Shiny! The actual clock-face was designed with CorelDraw and based on the logo I designed.In the left photo you can see there were two clocks. The bottom was my first choice and it didn’t seem shiny enough even after spray painting chrome finish on it ( which I wasn’t sure would hold up anyway). The cost of one of the clocks was only 12 dollars at Zellers ( I think). The other wasn’t much more. The display on the right is now in storage in my studio.
Quest for things Fifty
The internet was a great help. Perusing thousands of photos and articles allowed for a taste of 1957 and it set my imagination on fire. My wifes Dad was in the airforce and so that info would also be a great help. What was launched in 1957 ? Answer: The Sputnik. The space race was on between Russia and the U.S.A.. This fact lead to America putting the first man on the moon- Neil Armstrong (r.i.p.)
So here was a great opportunity. Take a look at Russia’s Sputnik below.
How to Build a Satellite
There were only several of these decorations made so as not to overtake the theme. Essentially the sputnik is a ball with 4 long antennae. The ‘ball’ was made with a styrofoam ball seen above and bamboo skewers which both were purchased from a dollar store. First paint them with acrylic white paint such as Decoart or Americana. You will get better reflectivity with the metallic paint if you undercoat with white first. Also the latex (acrylic) paint will protect styro-foam from harsh chemicals such as acetone that will virtually eat the foam…not good. You can brush on gold acrylic paint on the skewers. Then brush on a silver paint (acrylic) on the ball. Next (outside- do not breathe in fumes) spray a chrome finish on the ball. Put a dab of white glue on the sharp end of the skewers and then when all the paint is dry shove the sharp (glued) end into the styro-foam ball at equa-distances. There you have a Sputnik. The other material is simply silver pipe cleaner, christmas beads and small ‘disco’ balls bought from a dollar store.
The print-outs of Sputnik which I made on the computer have since faded some from the bright sun I get in my room. It’s amazing what you can do though with a just a 40 dollar printer! The decorations proved fabulous and you can see i made some mini-sputniks to be a little thematic that were used around a small window/counter.
Here’s some more photos for you! More next time!
Here are some more of the resource photos that came in handy.
It was my wife’s parent’s 50th Anniversary and I was happy to do the art and decorating based on a fifties theme. As discussed in the first part of this post “One of the Funnest Things…” I thought it best to use colour and branding to give the whole event a “feel” as though we were in 1957.
After deciding on the basic colours and designing a logo of sorts, it was now time to build something that would actually iconify (is that a word? ha) the event. So the idea came to me to build a transportable mini-set or display that would be an actual dimensional piece and add to the ‘realness’ and the fun. The above is what I came up with in CorelDraw. Below is the actual piece in the hall made from masonite and a pine frame then painted.
The diner display sign used small Christmas lights with a flashing bulb unit. Not quite neon but still it was effective.
The laminate counter top is really an illusion. I created this by using a rag rolling technique. First the masonite was
primed and then a light grey acrylic house-paint was rolled on with a fine sponge roller. Then I twisted a rag, dipped it in a darker colour paint. I did a brief test on some spare masonite (hard board) then I remember basically drawing in a deep breath and then just going for it. This is how it turned out. Most people thought it was real laminate. Also the top dark grey layer was part glaze and part paint. For the chrome moulding around the upper edge, well, it’s just woden decorative molding first primed white and then spray painted chrome.
The model cars were made by my youngest son and I. They seem to add to the 50’s ambience.
The sign was made of masonite as well and hand painted and lettered. I did print out the font to help as a guide. I still get a kick out of it. The last main element was the diner clock. ( sorry for switching from past to present tense, so much).
I bought the clock at Zellers for around 12 dollars, removed their paper clockface and replaced it with I designed on the computer.
Visit again and in the next post I hope to show you more pictures of the event plus some of the decorations I made,etc
Take care! K