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58: Assorted props

April 29, 2011

Last week, I mentioned I would show more about the individual props I made for the production.

There were basically 4 things I made. I’m just going to dump them all in this one post, so I can get onto other things next week.

1. The hooves. Which you saw, already.

2. A break-away suit:

I went down to Value Village and luckily found a pair of pants and a jacket that fit me. They were each one dollar! Super-score!

When looking at the jacket, I realized that it was going to be difficult to alter so that it completely ripped off. I decided a suit-jacket vest and sparkly underwear is a funnier look anyway, so I just removed the sleeves.

The wool suit was very scratchy, and when I removed the sleeves the lining fell out, so the first step was to sew that lining back in.

Then I just sewed some Velcro where the seams were. It was a little delicate, and I’m a little messy, but it worked well enough.

Particular attention was paid to which way the Velcro was facing, because that hook side really hurts if it touches your skin.

I neglected to take a finished picture of the jacket, or any of the pants. The pants were amazingly easy to do. I just ripped up the side of the leg and put Velcro on the seam allowances. It worked like a dream.

I managed to hug almost everybody in this room, without them noticing I was wearing a breakaway suit before the production. Also, check out that crowd.

3. An expandable UFO:

Apart from the hooves, this was my favorite prop. I had a fun time visualizing it, and making it was pretty simple.

I made a simple pattern and cut some wedge shapes out of a particularly sparkly silver fabric, and hot glued it to an umbrella. Hot glue is the best!

Then I sewed a half-dome (sort of) to simulate the glass dome atop a standard flying saucer. It looks ugly, but I’ll take care of it later.

A hole in the bottom allows the tip of the umbrella movement room when it’s folded up, and lets me stuff it.

All fixed.

Apart from the unwieldiness, this sewing went smoothly.

The stress evident in the thread indicates that his may not survive long past the actual show. But, who cares? It was temporarily a success!

4. The backdrop:

I thought this piece would be the easiest of the bunch, but it gave me some serious headaches.

I asked my brother what he wanted, and sketched it out. I was going to be working in spraypaint and working quickly, so I tried to make it pretty sloppy. I’d say this is an accurate representation of how it actually turned out.

Here in Seattle, there’s not a lot of outside painting time available. I decide to make a collapsible PVC frame and drape the black fabric over it, so I could work inside with a brush and outside with a spraycan. My first frame didn’t work so well. It collapsed.

That’s when I buckled down and decided to over-build it. I bought some bigger gauge PVC.

It almost fit into my car.

I actually drew out frame plans and everything.

I know it’s simple, but there’s something wonderful about building something bigger than you are. It makes me really happy. This thing is 9 feet by 11 feet.

Those dimensions are not arbitrary. They are the dimensions of the largest space in my house. I had an inch to spare, all the way around.

It fit a little better diagonally.

And when the fabric was on the frame, you couldn’t get by. You can see the first bits of paint on there already.

Second coat.

Almost done with the painting. Also, almost done with this post.

Here we all are on the stage. Being actually on the stage is so weird. It changes everything. My dad is pointing to the spot we’re going to hang this.

And this is the best picture I could manage while shaking with excitement in a dark theater. Sorry.

——————–

That was a long one. See you next week, when I’ll be talking about something unrelated to weddings and stage performances.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2011 9:58 am

    I must say – very inspiring! Now I feel as though I need to go out and build something.

  2. Jaimie permalink
    May 3, 2011 10:00 am

    I like pineapple-filled UFOs

  3. November 22, 2011 12:16 am

    All so awesome! I think the hooves are still my favourite, but it’s all very clever.

    Also, pineapple.

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