Monday, July 28, 2014

Rach Makes A Number 5 Birthday Decoration

I was so excited when my daughter was about to turn 1. I got a little carried away with the decorations and party stuff. One of the things I wanted to have was really beautiful invitations. I got some ideas at pinterest and was inspired by the below photo.

I decided that instead of multiple letters I would do a giant number 1. Below is the final result. I loved how it turned out for invitations. (Who doesn't love a little girl in a tutu!)

I used the giant 1 as a party decoration and then gave it to a friend to use for her daughter's first birthday. It has now been to 4 girls first birthday parties and got destroyed by a little brother at the most recent one.

My friend asked if I would make another for her godson who is about to turn 5. His party is an angry birds theme. This project is really cheap to do but packs a big punch for party decorations. I also figured this would be a great thing to share with everyone on my blog.

All you need is a box, some tape, mod podge, some kind of paper, an x-acto knife, some scissors and a disposable paint brush. Any type of tape will do. You just want it to be 2-3" wide. You could use duct tape, painters tape or masking tape. When I did the 1 I used masking tape but this time I used painters type because I found it quicker.

First break down your box so it is flat. Choose the largest side and sketch your number on it. Ideally you want the width of the numbers to be about 4-5" wide.

Make sure if you are doing a number with a rounded bottom like the 5 I have done that you make the bottom of the number flat so it will stand properly. You can see here I used the bottom of the box as the bottom of my 5.

Then cut out your 5. I find that the x-acto knife works great for the straight edges and heavy duty scissors works better for the curves. By the way this piece of cardboard is about 24" x 12" which will be the size of my completed 5.

Once you cut it out you want to place it on your other piece of cardboard and trace it. Then cut out a matching number.

You will also want to cut out the edge pieces. I use the flaps of the box for this. Each flap was 8" wide so I cut them down them middle to get a bunch of 4" wide pieces of cardboard. Length doesn't matter at this point. 4" wide will be the depth of my completed number. If you want to make it thicker you would just make this piece wider.

Now you should have 2 cut outs of your number and a bunch of side pieces.
You will see here that there is some blue tape on my 5. I accidentally sliced the 5 in the wrong place. No big deal. I just put tape on both sides to keep it together.

Next you want to create your 3D number by attaching the sides to the 5 cut out. Put some tape half way on the edge of the long strip.
Then attach the other half of the tape to the 5. I didn't do a good job putting the tape on here so I just attached another piece to make it wider.
You want to start at a logical place for the number starts or ends. Here you can see I started at the end of the 5 with the plan to work around the edge. Attach the tape and bend your long strip of cardboard around the 5, taping as you go until you run out of cardboard strip.

To attach the next piece of cardboard strip, you want to place tape on both the bottom edge and the side edge like shown in the below photo.
Attach it to the existing piece of cardboard edging along with the edge of the 5. Tape it on the inside to make sure it holds well at the seam.
Keep adding tape and your board to the edge of your 5. When working around parts that are rounded it is better to cut slits in the tape to help smooth it out. Especially if your circle goes in like the middle of my 5.

Once you finish one side of your 5, turn it over and attach the other side in the same way.
Your 5's are not going to match exactly but that is ok. You can fix that with a little bit of tape.

Just keep taping as you go around like you did with the other side.
Slit the areas where it curves.
Now you should have the 5 completely taped together and it should even stand up on its own. The next step is to add the paper and make it look nice.

When I did this for the number 1, I used tissue paper. You can use anything you want here - scrapbook paper, print outs from the web, wrapping paper. Because I used tissue paper the first time, I painted the number white before moving on. The brown of the box would have shown through the tissue paper otherwise. For the number 5 I used wrapping paper so I didn't worry about painting.

Wrapping paper is great because it is cheap and has large pieces. I actually borrowed this roll from a friend because I was having trouble finding it. You don't use a ton either. I probably used 2 1/2' of wrapping paper.

Lay out your wrapping paper on the floor and place your 5 on top of it. Trace around the edges of your 5.

Remove the 5 and cut out the 5. Do not cut out the 5 using the lines. Instead cut out about 1" from the lines.
Apply mod podge to the top part of your number.
Lay the wrapping paper down and make sure it is straight. Adjust as needed. Mod podge is pretty giving until it dries.
Apply more mod podge and smooth out the rest of your paper. I just use my hands to smooth out.

Now you want to take the overhang you have and mod podge it down to the sides. As you do this you will to mod podge under the paper and on top of the paper. You will also want to do a coat of mod podge on the whole front as you go to protect it.
Remember to cut slits in rounded edges as you go so the edges go down smoothly. This process is very similar to when you did the tape.

Once you are done with once side, let it dry about an hour or so the mod podge is clear and it isn't sticky to the touch. Once dry turn it over, and do the other side. Remember the number should be a mirror image this time. Again just place the bar side down on the paper and trace around it, then cut out about 1" from all the edges and attach the same way.

Let dry. Once both the front and back are done, you will want to do the sides. To give it a finished look I cut out paper that was just a little bit narrower than the 4" side of my number and just mod podge this down. Mod podge on the box, then the paper and the more mod podge. Work your way around. You will probably need to stop at one point and allow it to dry so you don't mess areas up. Mod podge is very sticky and if you set the wet side down on something, it may glue to it. This would result in either newspaper on your on number or some of your wrapping paper left behind. Best to let it dry before turning it.

 Now you have your finished 5! It would make a great centerpiece for any birthday party dessert table. You could even create two for a 25 wedding anniversary. Just think of the possibilities!

Giant Number

Large box
2-3" wide tape (painters, masking or duct)
Mod Podge
Themed Paper

X-acto knife
Disposable paintbrush

  1. Sketch a number on the largest side of your box.
  2. Cut it out using your x-acto knife for straight edges and scissors for rounded areas
  3. Cut out a second number by placing it on the cardboard, tracing and cutting it out.
  4. Cut out strips of cardboard for the edges
  5. Attach strips of the cardboard to the number with tape. Cut slits in the are where it curves.
  6. Attach the other side
  7. Smooth out any bumps and add any more tape if necessary
  8. Trace the number onto the paper and cut out leaving a 1" border all around
  9. Apply Mod Podge and smooth paper on the front of the number
  10. Add mod podge on top to coat
  11. Repeat for back after allowing to dry
  12. Attach strips of paper along the edge just a little bit narrower than your sides
  13. Allow to dry completely before using

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