Congratulations to Bubba | This WONDERfilled Life

I’m a pusher.  I don’t sit still.  I get involved.  A “do-bee” as Super likes to call me. Quite honestly I get stuff done.  I’ve struggled the past year or two with being involved with the kids’ school and various organizations and projects.  I took a step back this past year from specific organizations (PTA, Friends of, etc) but fought the urge to “jump in” many times! Old habits die hard!  

When it came to Bubba graduating from Kindergarten I struggled even more.  When P was in Kindergarten the pandemic hit, so we didn’t get to experience any of the traditional Kindergarten “rites of passage” and because I swore off being a room parent with more than one other person (his class had like, 15?!?!?) I knew I would have to just sit back and watch some of the planning and event prep from the sideline.  But…I also knew I wanted to make it special for him in some way.  I remember being with Super at breakfast a few weeks before the Kindy celebration was set to happen and talking about how cute it would be to make some photo props to bring just for Bubba to use after the presentation…and then that thought quickly ballooned to making photo props for everyone to use and how I could just show up with them…but I wasn’t sure how that would be received since I wouldn’t have “cleared” that with the parent led organizing team.  Super said to go with my gut, so I landed on just making a few choice ones that Bubba would probably think were clever and leave it at that…and then, literally, within an hour an email from the team went out to the Kindy parents explaining that the organizing team had everything set for the big day EXCEPT did anyone have a chalk board photo prop they could borrow for some photos after the celebration.  I couldn’t believe that the universe just dropped the okay right in my lap! I wrote the team back that I had actually just been designing some ideas for photo props for Bubba and that I’d be happy to make a bunch for the occasion and that grab and go props would probably be quicker than a chalkboard we’d have to clean and re-write between families.  With the okay from the committee I forged ahead and started designing.  

After I had a few ideas for what I wanted the props to say (like room numbers and teacher names, among some other kindy standards) I started to think about the aesthetic of the props.  I had just read about this technique using heat activated foil to elevate paper crafts, so I immediately bought some Minc foil on Amazon (affiliated link). Our school’s colors are blue and gold (yellow) and I loved the idea of this beautiful blue foil with the happy faces of the newly “graduated” kiddos.  You have to use this foil with a laser printer, it bonds to the laser ink with heat and then you brush off the non bonded portions.  You can find tons of tutorials on this on-line.  I learned that you can use a laminator to apply heat and pressure but for some reason my laminator does not get hot enough.  Most serious crafters use a heat press and some have luck using a standard iron. 

Unfortunately I was pressed for time and rushing…and my test project didn’t go as I had planned.  I think with some more practice the right heat and pressure settings this is an awesome way to add some class and a pop of color to a project. Especially holiday or special occasion stickers!

It just didn’t come out clean enough for me to use.  

When I showed Super my test run he thought that while this had the potential to look really nice it was too upscale for a bunch of five year olds, and he convinced me to go back to my initial plan of using the left over poster board from Bubba’s epic Super Mario Party (I’m still working on that blog!).  Using the poster board was such a great move.  In retrospect the foil would have reflected too much in the afternoon sun and I just don’t think it would have been as present in the photos.

I added a few custom designs, like “Thank you for being a friend” since the kiddos sang that song as the closing number to their presentation.

There are three classes for each grade, and it’s very common to ask “what room are you in?”… so I thought the #roomnumber was cute!

Once I finished the props with cute sayings I decided I wasn’t done, just yet.  OF COURSE we NEEDED a collection of glasses and mustaches!!!

I really liked that instead of making the main part colored, I did the outlines.  Sometimes making something the inverse is just enough to make it stand out. And this way it matched the phrase props.

After I got all the props made I thought I’d spice up an old cartoon school mascot standee I had made for a dance in 2019.  It’s one of my first standees and I love that I have space to hold onto these to use later. I actually made three and the school kept one, he’s on display behind the security guard’s station and I love seeing it greet me when I come to get my kids. All in all the standee has really held up well and all I had to do was take some old wire coat hangers to make a support for the pennant banner I wanted him to be holding.

He turned out super cute.  I propped him up on an old gold music stand, which generally works well but we did have an issue with him falling over during the shoot.  People kept touching him and moving him.  I do plan to experiment soon with some 1/4” plywood and a scroll saw to make these instead of cardboard…but for now…

So everything was done and we were all set for our big Kindy celebration….but then I thought…these props are going to get trashed if there’s no place to put them.  So a quick run to the Dollar Tree for some bins and some Silhouette Studio and vinyl to the rescue…

 NOW we were ready!!

A fellow kindy parent (who is also a filmmaker) offered their skills to take the photos and it was so gratifying to see all the kids get excited to pick out what props they wanted to use!

The line was so long!

Everyone had so much fun and the final photos all turned out great! I’m so glad I listened to the universe to make these and to pivot when my grand idea of “all that glitters and foil” didn’t pan out.  And now I have a super sweet collection of mustaches and glasses for our parties here at the house! Win win!

Side note…I actually had to stop two different adults from walking off with the props.  I mean, they literally had my logo on them…and…there was only one of each design.  I can’t make this stuff up! While there was a line of 20 kids waiting to take their picture a lady tried to walk off with the one sign that said “Class of 2023”.  She was trying to be all coy about it and looking around…What is wrong with people? I helped her out though…when I saw her walking off with it I reached out and said “Oh, I can return that to the bin for you”. 

Society…but that rant is for another day.

Here’s to Bubba completing his first year of school (which had lots of bumps along the way) and he still kicked butt!

Just missing sister who was still in school!


Popular posts from this blog

IKEA Stomma Clock Hack | This WONDERfilled Life

When "Doodie" Calls | This WONDERfilled Life

About Last Week | This WONDERfilled Life