Sunday, February 5, 2012

Baby shower craft night

I will admit... I don't love shower games. I don't hate them either.  When I throw a shower I like to keep games to a minimum or non-exsistant. I decided to try something different and have a craft baby shower.  There was some prep work (of course), but the craft was fun, not too time consuming, and anyone could do it!  We made art for the nursery- it was inspired by all the baby rooms I've seen that have the alphabet in wood letters of all different fonts hung on the wall.  I didn't have the time or money for that craft, so instead I came up with this variation:

Gluten Free Food, beautiful and delicious!

I painted an old, large frame that I had in my garage.  I picked mustard because I wanted the look to be vintage/old fashioned looking.  I cut a piece of thin plywood to the dimensions of the artwork cut-out in the frame, but I cut it just barely smaller than the actual dimensions in order to leave room for the fabric and batting that would cover the plywood.  I cut a piece of muslin and thin cotton batting to cover the plywood, I left a 2 inch overhang (or more) on all sides.  
I had to iron and iron and iron the muslin to get all the wrinkles out!
Starting from opposite centerpoimts, hot glue the fabric down.  Pull tight!  Work out from the centers, check for smoothness on the front as you go.
Smooth as butter!

My frame didn't have the tabs to hold the artwork in, I used small nails hammered into the frame and supporting the artwork in place of the tabs.
The base of the project is now ready.  Not too hard, and I happened to have everything but the paint color on hand!
I chose 26 different scrapes of fabric, with lots of solids.  Too many patterns would look too busy (next time I think I might even use more solids).  I lined them up in order of how I wanted them on the picture.  I measured the canvas size and divided it by 26 to see roughly the size of each letter (mine was about 3.5 inches).
Now the part that took the longest... Cutting the fabric.  I wanted the letters to be all different sizes, so I cut some up to 4 inches and some as small as 2 inches, and everything in-between.  I wanted there to be at least 6 really large looking letters.  The hardest part was adding the iron-on interfacing. I used light-weight heat-n-bond.  If I hadn't wanted to waste as little fabric as possible, then I could cut larger swatches of fabric and a bunch of 4 inch squares of iron on interfacing.  But I cut them all to size in the first place and cut the interfacing by tracing the fabric on it and then ironing it on.  It.took.a.long.time. But I wasted very little fabric and very little heat-n-bond.
To set up for the shower, I printed out three different options of fonts for each letter of the alphabet and placed the piece of fabric I wanted to be used for that letter on top of the "inspiration" fonts.  Oh, don't forget to print all the letters out reversed!  It's easier to just see the letter already in reverse and not try to imagine it. Place sharp fabric scissors and pencils all over the table.   Now you are ready for the party!

When the shower guests arrive they can cut out a letter or two whenever they want.  They can use the fonts you printed out as inspiration and a guide.  The only instruction I really had to give was to make sure they drew the letter backwards on the paper of the heat-n-bond on the back of the fabric and to try to make the letter fit to the size of the cut fabric.  As soon as all the letters were cut out, we arranged them until we liked how it looked, removed the paper on the back of the fabric, and then ironed on the letters.  Easy! And the guest of honor got to take home a finished project.