Monday, January 28, 2013

Welcome to Care-a-Lot! Sign

It only just dawned on me last year with the Fancy Nancy party: the front door is the perfect place to set the tone for the party, right as guests enter the house. So, for Mia's 6th birthday with a Care Bears theme, I decided the welcome sign should be a rainbow with clouds that read "Welcome to Care-a-Lot!" in rainbow colors. I think it looks nice and cheerful, plus I can imagine it being on her bedroom door for quite awhile following the party, so I think that makes it even more worth my time.

  • cardboard
  • pencil
  • tracing paper (optional)
  • scissors/X-acto knife
  • acrylic paint in rainbow colors
  • paint brush
  • something to hold paint
  • word processing software
  • scrapbooking markers in rainbow colors
  • clear con-tact paper 
  • Mod Podge (optional)
  • double-stick adhesive
  • masking tape
  1. On a piece of cardboard, draw a rainbow shape. I noticed that the semi-circle window at the top of our front door looked a bit like a rainbow, so I used a pencil and tracing paper to help me with this. I had to trace just one half, cut it out, draw it onto the cardboard, flip it over, and then trace again. It didn't look exactly how I wanted, so I did some additional drawing, erasing, and more drawing until it was more like I envisioned. I cut out my cardboard rainbow with scissors mainly, using my X-acto knife when things got tricky around the curves.
  2. Then, I drew in lines to divide it into six bands, one for each color. Then, I got out my acrylic paints (first making sure I was wearing my old paint clothes) and painted it red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The yellow required more coats to cover the brown cardboard.
  3. After the paint dried and I felt it looked good enough, I sealed it with a coat of Mod Podge, which I applied with a foam brush. (Tip: If you are not familiar with Mod Podge it's an awesome, multi-purpose tool that you must have if you like to do crafts, serving as both an adhesive and a protective sealant.)
  4. For the lettering, I downloaded this free font called Care Bear Family. In Microsoft Word, I used the word art function to make the lettering in outline style using the largest possible font size, 96 point. I did this in landscape format and dragged the margins to adjust the lettering so that it was even bigger, as large as could fit on one page. After printing it, I folded the paper in half (like a hot dog) so that "Welcome to" was on top and "Care-a-Lot!" was on the bottom. Then, I took my scissors and cut out cloud shapes. (If you want, you can draw them first, but I just started cutting.) 
  5. Next, I took my scrapbooking markers and colored all of the letters so that they had all the colors of the rainbow, from top to bottom: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. When I was done coloring, I cut four pieces of clear contact paper so that they were about 1" larger than the paper all the way around. I "laminated" the clouds, each one between two pieces of clear con-tact paper, so that the sticky sides were pressed together. I trimmed off the excess so that they were cloud shapes once more, leaving about 1/2" border. Lastly, I used strips of double stick tape to adhere the word clouds to the cardboard rainbow.
  6. The day of the party, I used masking tape to put this on the front door, and it looked very colorful and cheery.

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