Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Project Wednesday: Paperback Pumpkins

I've been so excited about decorating for Halloween!  Usually, I don't really get that into it.  I let Victor and the kids go to town with the fake spiderwebs and such.  Maybe I still will, but for now, I'm trying out a few new projects.  Like the one I'm going to share with you today!

Today's project is:  Paperback Pumpkins

Cue the music for the Beatles' Paperback Writer because that kept going through my head as I made these.  Unfortunately, I could only think of that opening part "Paperback writer... writer... writer!"  Almost as annoying as Hailey's incessant whistling of the same 10 notes over and over again.  Almost.

I've written a simple tutorial for you.  These are really quite easy and quick to make.  You'll just need some old books, a pencil, scissors, hot glue, and a stick from your yard.  When I mean easy, I really mean it.  Now, your hands might complain that I'm not 100% truthful here.  And I'll admit, all the cutting did take a toll on my carpal tunnel afflicted hands, but they seem to have survived.  I just shush them and keep on going anyway.

It doesn't take long for you to go from this:
To this:

To this:

In fact, I left my house for the thrift store to find books at 11:30 and was home and completely done with three pumpkins by 2:00.  It might have been faster had that rude lady not cut in front of me in line at the thrift. Don't worry, it was sweet karma when she realized her blouse was hiked up over her belly, showing off her girdle.  Heh heh heh.  Did I say that out loud?  Why, yes I did!

I was so lucky to find some cool books at the thrift.  A copy of  The Hound of the Baskervilles was my favorite.  Perfect for Halloween!  And of course The Wind in the Willows.  Not Halloween-y but had cool illustrations.  I capped it off with a classic Boxcar Children mystery, another great illustrated one.  I grabbed a bigger hardcover but then realized about halfway through my first book that I would not want to be cutting through all those pages.  I'll have to use it for something else, I suppose.

Anyway, on with the tutorial!  Here are a few notes:
  1. A thicker book, although more work to cut through, will yield a fuller pumpkin.
  2. Try to make your template relatively flat on the bottom.  It will stand up better.  My first one {the photos for the tutorial below}, I made too rounded and it's kind of floppy.
  3. Be careful as you are cutting or your pumpkin will grow bigger and bigger as you go.  I stopped about halfway through and started from the back to meet in the middle.
  4. For the little curlies at the top, I saved the leftovers and cut some strips of paper to curl up.  You can wrap them around a pencil, or if you are careful, slide your scissors gently along them like you would curling ribbon.  
  5. The most important thing to know {especially if you are a perfectionist like me}:  Repeat after me, "It doesn't have to be perfect... It doesn't have to be perfect..."  If you think it has to be perfect you will go crazy.  I think the rough and uneven pages look great!
  6. You can color the edges of your pumpkins with an ink pad {before you glue the front and back together} or a light dusting of spray paint {after you've finished it}.  I liked mine au naturel.
  7. Add some ribbon or raffia or whatever to make them more fancy!

Click on the tutorial image to open it larger.  Right click to save it!

If you make some of these, post a picture on your blog and then a link in the comments section, below!

Before I let you go, I just had to share a picture of Samantha and her big project for school last week.  You might remember that she chose to make a diorama of an ancient Greek theater.  She also made a Powerpoint presentation with notecards so she could present her project to the class.  Yes, she's only in 3rd grade.  The project is 99% Samantha's creation.  I tried my best to stay completely out of it.  It's not exactly how I would have made it, but she loves it and that's what really matters.  I did help paint it with some crackle finish so it would really look ancient.  She was just running out of time and I can slap some paint on the outside of a box as well as she can.  We're both glad it's done!

You can see she's got everything labeled with BasicGrey stickers and die-cut tags.  All the paper except for the bright stuff on the back is BasicGrey, too.  We dug through everything looking for old stone looking paper.

On Friday, I went in to help out with the 3rd Grade Olympics.  It was so much fun!  Samantha won two bronze Medals!  She was disappointed that they weren't gold, but considering only a few kids actually got medals, I told her she did an amazing job.  She got her first medal in the "High Dive" event which was rolling a tennis ball down the playground slide and getting it to land in a basket.  Sounds easy, but it actually was pretty hard.  Sam was very serious about it, calculating where to place the ball at the top of the slide and how hard to push it to start so it didn't bounce too high on the end.  She also won a medal for "Rhythmic Gymnastics" which was really interesting.  She mostly spun around in circles and then did the splits.  I think she won for the splits.  All in all, it was a fun week for my big girl.  I'm so proud of all she accomplished!

Time to get crafty, people!

Linked at:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I love this idea, so cute!!

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