Monday, July 1, 2013

Party Lights Tutorial a la Cory

That's right, my sweet Cory created this craft. Sure, I found the inspiring idea on Pinterest, I gathered the supplies, and I asked him to make the letters, but he did the rest. And he did an AMAZING job! How blessed I feel to have a hubby who will support my every creative whim, even when that means staying up until 2:00 AM the night before our daughter's birthday party to complete this project.

Here's how these marquee letters came together.

Step 1: Cut away top layer of each paper mache letter. Cory used a craft knife that actually heats up, making the cutting easier. This is a Walnut Hollow tool. I picked up the letters at Jo-Ann.

Remove top layer of letter using a craft knife. Or a heated knife, if you want to get fancy.

Step 2: Remove letter filling (looks like strips of then cardboard), and spray paint letters. The color scheme for Maggie's party was sea foam (fancy way of saying mint), coral, and gold, so those are the colors we went with. I bought Krylon paint from Jo-Ann.

Spray painted letters to match the colors of Maggie's party.

Step 3: Mark where you want lights to poke through. Note: Be aware of bulb size to ensure you aren't placing marks too close together.

Mark where you want holes to go.

Step 4: Drill holes for lights, using a drill bit just large enough to fit your light. Cory first did a tiny hole. He said he was... something... I forget the word, but he was basically doing a bitty hole first so it would be easier to then switch out the drill bit and do the bigger hole. Seemed like an unnecessary step to me, but he assured me it was the way to go, and I trust his crafty judgement.

Drill holes.

Step 5: Poke lights through, plug them in, and you've got yourself a shining statement piece for any party. For the word party, Cory just used small, white Christmas lights.

Add twinkle lights, and you're ready to shine. 
Party-perfect letters, designed by my handsome and talented hubster.

One of a Kind
For a larger statement, Cory and I worked together (more him) on a big, gold, 1 light, also for the party. Here's a shot of me spray painting the one in the wee hours of the morning on the day of the fiesta (Sunday).

Going for the gold with a few coats of spray paint.

I'm not sure why, but it's hard to find paper mache numbers, so Cory actually transformed a large T into this regal one. Didn't he do an incredible job? He seems to think it stinks, but I very much disagree. You can decide for yourself. Here's the T he started with.

What our marquee 1 looked like before Cory worked his magic. 

Since this piece is bigger, we went with large light bulbs, making it look even more like a marquee. Now's the time to buy this kind of light, as they're out in the patio section of some stores. Yippee! I got these at Smiths Market Place in Utah, and the T and gold paint are from Jo-Ann.

One golden number, made from a T-turned-1, some spray paint, and large lightbulbs. Careful! These bulbs are SUPER fragile, and they're not even Italian. ;)

Alas, the power wasn't working at the park we rented for Maggie's party, so Cory went to all of this work and we couldn't even let the lights shine. But I still LOVE the way they looked on our candy table at the event. So cute!

A look at the candy table at Maggie's birthday party yesterday. The P-A-R-T-Y sign was the best backdrop I could imagine.

If you look closely, you'll see the small base Cory created so the letters would be anchored to something and stand up without blowing away or tipping. It worked wonders!

You can bet we'll find another use for these lovelies soon. Anyone up for a well lit party? Until then, I see a lot of marquee making in my future. At the moment, it's all I can do not to run to the store and by a U, an S, and an A, and some red, white, and blue spray paint for a glowing July 4th decor item. Somebody, please, hold me back!