Saturday, March 13, 2010

She's Crafty

After seeing those craft blogs earlier in the week, I resolved to make something. Good thing I had fun, because it took rather a while to do. It would be way easier to buy something instead, and cheaper probably too. But since saving money and time wasn't the point, it was a good project.

I needed a purpose for the project. My mom's birthday is coming up so I thought I'd make her something. After looking through some of my craft stash, I found these funky sheets of foam, and decided that instead of running out to buy felt, I'd use the foam, and work in layers instead of sewing up something to stuff. Then I decided I could make a birthday card. It worked!

monkey tree frog card, foam on cardstock

There you have it: Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like a tree, a frog, and a monkey made out of foam, by your kid who is 30 years out of preschool, right?

Details on construction if you

The yellow cardstock was the color that went least badly with the other colors I wanted to use, and it seemed cheerful, so yellow it was. The tree was because mom likes trees. The monkey was because I found a cute monkey online that I thought I could draw myself. The frog because I can't resist the frogs and there were any number of craft patterns.

At least I have learned enough since preschool to know that things work out better if I make a pattern first, rather than trying to cut freehand from the final material. Here are some doodles I made from things other people made (monkey and tree) and then the patterns I made.
doodles and patterns

Then I arranged them to see how they fit before I started cutting. At this point I hadn't yet decided to add a frog.
layout with tree and monkey

And I'm not sure that pink is the best choice for a monkey, but I used the brown for a tree trunk and the pink called to me. I traced the pattern inexactly with an exacto knife after searching all over the condo for it. I thought it might have gotten moved during the recent organizational fits, but it turns out I'd moved it for the cookie party and put it somewhere "safe" - something that often means I won't find it again for years - but I managed to stumble across it.
monkey pattern and pink foam tracing

The next thing to do was figure out how to attach things. Craft/white glue usually pisses me off and winds up not sticking to anything but wood and paper. Contact cement seemed over the top. Then I got the idea to use some clear silicone kitchen caulk. I'll have to see if the card arrives in one piece or not to see if it's good long term, but it worked really well in the moment.
used silicone caulk for foam adhesive

The caulk is designed to stick to non-porous surfaces that a lot of other things won't stick to. This stuff in particular dries clear and somewhat slowly. It gives some time to allow repositioning. It did dry to the point where it wasn't sticky if I left it uncovered, so squeezing some fresh from the tube for each set of parts was needed. Also it could be rolled off cleanly too if it was in the wrong place. It seemed to hold.

And in the end, I made this card. From this angle you can see the dimensionality of it. I find it inordinately cute, and am glad I added a frog. The leaf cutouts were also amusing - the foam would compact temporarily which allowed me to get it into the cutter.
monkey tree from card

It has already been mailed out, but if you can think of a clever birthday message for the inside, better late than never.

1 comment:

CrankyOtter said...

It seems like a good time to mention that my mom received the card in good shape. She asked if I'd bought it at the dollar store. Um, no.