Shannon Berrey

Giant party props

Friday, February 15, 2013


Yesterday I shared our reception to honor our Lady Mustang Coach. Today, I wanted to show you how I made the giant photo covered '25'.



Because I had close to 100 photos of team and game photos, I needed to come up with a way to display as many as I possibly could. I thought this 3 dimensional '25' {for her 25 years years of coaching} would be a great collage backdrop.   

I know it looks like it is solid and heavy -- it's not. It literally weighs about a pound! You can pick it up with 2 fingers. So, even though it is big, it is incredibly easy to move around.



When I worked as a visual merchandiser many moons ago, we used huge sheets of foamcore for our displays almost weekly. Even years ago, it was really really expensive per sheet. I found a great alternative at Lowe's. We bought {4} 4 x 8 pieces of insulation board. The front is white and the back is covered with a super thin piece of silver paper. These were $7 a piece.



With a Sharpie, I sketched out a number 2 and a number 5 on the white side. Using a box cutter, I cut them out, This stuff cuts really easily but it does leave little pieces of foam everywhere.

Then I flipped the numbers over and traced them backwards onto the other 2 sheets. This way, the white side was on the outside of the front and back. 



I figured out that the depth of the numbers would be 15" deep. To connect the fronts to the backs, I used strips of cardboard that I cut to be @15" long. I folded tabs on each end and hot glued them all to the inside silver side. Then I laid the back of the 5 on top and glued the cardboard tabs to the inside silver side of the other side. It's a little tricky and is definitely a 2 person job. Now the front and back are loosely attached.



The sides were made out of poster board. Using a yardstick, I drew a line down the middle lengthwise and then cut them. I used around 11 sheets total. Then, using a hot glue gun, I glued them end to end, overlapping about 1/2".




We stood the numbers up and starting at the top, I taped the edge of the posterboard strip to the front and back side of the number using masking tape. There are no pictures of this step because it takes  4 hands to do this. It was tough at first, but we found our groove after a few minutes. 





I also ran the poster board underneath {on the bottom} to give it added strength. After it is all taped, it is really stable and has no problem standing on it's own.

Half of the pictures I had were on a jump drive and the other half were printed images. I took them to Staples and made copies of everything. I used mostly 8 x 11's, some were enlarged to 11 x 14's and there were some smaller 4 x 6's. I used around 100 photo copies.

I laid them out and slowly, like working a puzzle, began filling all of the white board with the pictures. To adhere the photos, I sprayed the backs with a thin coat of Professional Performance Loctite Spray Adhesive.



I learned that a normal craft spray adhesive doesn't work. I used it to adhere a few pictures and the next day they were curling off. After switching to the Loctite, they weren't going anywhere. I am pretty sure that if you accidentally cut off an appendage, a little squirt of this stuff and you're reattached. serious stuff.     

I covered the fronts of the numbers with photos first and then worked my way around all of the sides. Any white areas that were left, I filled in with scrap pieces cut out of extra copies.





This project takes some time, so get caught up on Downton Abbey or find a Sarah Richardson Marathon while you glue. And put down loads of dropcloths because the glue overspray travels and you will find yourself stuck to the floor {I'm just guessing...}.  

This idea could be used for a graduation party where you make a '2013'. They would also be fun for a Sweet '16' party, or a sorority could make their letters ... lots of options! 



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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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