Thursday, September 28, 2006

Children's Books Display - Part 15

Besides the characters, I also had to make some of the props for the scene. A suitably sized tea set was easily available, but other things were more elusive, such as a picnic basket which was the appropriate size for the bear and rabbit. I made this simply by making a box out of cardboard, complete with a hinged lid and a handle.

This was then covered with paper mache, primed, and...

...painted with slight crosshatching to suggest the weaving of the basket. The handle was fastened to the basket with those brass fasteners that most of us probably remember from school reports. Of course, the day after the display was up, I actually found a nice, inexpensive basket the size I needed, but decided to leave mine in as it seemed to fit the overall look better than a real basket would have.

A similar problem cropped up when it came time to provide food for the picnic. Plastic and wax fruit was all too big for the scale. I also felt that it would look jarring to have realistic fruit and vegetables mixed in with the cartoonish looking animals, so I opted to make the food from scratch.

I then realized that since the display was going to be elevated about seven or eight feet in the air, that it would be really difficult to see anyway, so I opted to make too simple cupcakes, since these would be more visible than say, a fish, or sandwich. They were simply paper mache with the cherries painted round tipped pegs from a board game which was missing too many pieces to save. Before they were painted they were pretty unconvincing. Even my seven-year old daughter referred to them as my "ridiculous cupcakes."

Other props were made such as clouds and the sun. The "making of" pictures of these were among those accidentally deleted, so I will discuss their construction in the posts concerning the actual installation of the completed display.

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