Saturday, July 16, 2011
A different way to give a gift...
Several of you guessed correctly about the vinyl photo I posted a couple of days ago. The letters spelled out "Happy Birthday Cailean" and they were part of a project I did to present a gift in an unusual way.
When we were shopping for the lights for my craft room I saw these plastic tubes. They are meant to be used as safety guards for four foot florescent lighting tubes. They cost just a few dollars. I looked at them and got an idea for my seven year old neighbor's birthday - why not give her four feet of little gifts in the tube and decorate it with her name?
My first thought was to fill the tube with wrapped candy but then I thought four feet of candy might not be something her parents would approve of! I decided to buy her lots of hair clips, bands and ponytail holders, along with some nail polish and a few lollipops. The main qualification was that they had to be gifts that would fit inside the tube.
I set up the file to cut the words using the Gypsy and the Alphalicious cartridge. First I spelled out the entire phrase but I found it was tricky to ungroup and move every other letter and keep them lined up evenly to conserve the vinyl. I discovered that the quickest way for me to set up the cut was to say the letters out loud and make two groups - first the odd numbers and then the even numbers.
I then had all of the correct letters to spell out the word in alternating colors and they were in a nice line. I only needed two pieces of 2 inch by 12 inch vinyl for the entire project. I added a few hearts and flowers to fill up the piece of vinyl.
I put a piece of blue painter's tape on the tube to help keep the letters straight and worked from the center out to the sides.
Then all I had to do was to place the extra hearts and flowers at the ends.
I wrapped up the little gift items in white or colorful tissue paper. I used the white pieces in the center section so the letters would stand out and be easy to read. It was a little tricky to move the gifts down the tube but a long broom handle helped to push them into place.
It is not easy to get a photo of the entire tube - these might help you see how it worked (you can click them to make the image larger). I tied some fancy ribbons around both ends - to decorate the tube and for Cailiean to use for other projects.
The gift was a hit - here Cailean is showing the emptied tube which was nearly as tall as she is!
We also made a pretty cake together - from the Once Upon A Princess cartridge.
Here are a few tips that I learned for the next time I try this...
*The items should be things that will slide right through the tube - the soft hair bow elastics were a bit too large for the diameter of the tube and tended to get stuck!
*Instead of wrapping the items in white tissue paper and trying to make them meet in the center it would probably be better to roll up a large piece of white paper and slip it inside behind the words as a liner.
*If the items are "stuck" you can tap the tube on a carpeted floor until they work their way down to the end of the tube.
It is always fun to try to think of ways to use products in a different way. I don't think that the makers of these tubes thought they would be gift holders at some time!
If you try this, I'd love to see pictures and hear how it worked out for you. Have a great weekend!
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