My good friend Meg has a son who turned one a few days ago, so a bunch of us went over to her place today for his birthday party. I had already bought him a gift, but then late last night got the idea in my head to make him something special, partly using some materials I already had. You see, a few years ago I bought a vintage WPA poster (reproduction, of course) from the Brookfield Zoo (a terrific zoo right outside of the Chicago city limits), and for a while had it up in my dining room in my old condo. There really isn't a place for it in my new house, though, and it's been sitting in my basement ever since I moved. Here's a picture of it, taken at some event I must have hosted at my old place:
I could have just given the kid the poster as you see it here, but the frame was crummy and also a little banged up, and I didn't feel like it was worth giving as a gift.
So I decided to get creative. I've always thought framing in a shadow box is kind of cute for a little kid, especially when the objects showcased inside are given that 3-D effect by being mounted on foam squares. I went to Joann Fabrics and found a frame, and then wasn't exactly sure where I wanted to go from there. But I started with cutting out the two hippos from the poster:
And then decided to cut out a piece of cardboard and cover it with the same fabric I used on the living room pillows I recently made. And then the whole idea just started taking shape. I pasted only half of the big hippo directly onto the fabric (he would have been too big to fit into the frame otherwise) and adhered the smaller hippo with the foam squares so that he was 3-D. But then the two hippos looked a little lonely, so I cut out some fake "grass" from the green background of the poster, and also pasted it 3-D style around their feet. I had also bought some little 3-D letters to spell out the kid's name, but when I put them directly onto the background, they kind of just disappeared. So I decided to paste them onto a speech bubble that I cut out, and it looked so cute, since the big hippo has his mouth open wide. Then the right hand corner was looking empty so I cut a "sun" out of two old file folders I had in my home office (yes, I was getting extra creative and scrounging for materials by that point).
Here's how it all looked, before I put it in the frame:
And here's the finished product! I didn't get a terrific picture of it, and the glare is a little yucky, but you can get a general idea of how cute it turned out:
I thought it was just the cutest thing, and once I was at the party, one of my other friends took a picture of me and Griffin together with his new picture!!!!