Thursday, August 12, 2010

Circus How-to's

Creating the pieces to the Vintage Circus was laborious, but worth sweating all of the details for the final product.  This theme can translate from a corporate event to a birthday party or even a fun wedding! 
The first item I made was the ticket booth.  A friend and I built this in about 5 hours including the trip for the lumber.  Mine had to be shipped to the event site, so was made to completely break down into small sections and be screwed together.  I drew up the simple plans on grid paper and estimated the dimensions by measuring things around the house that I thought would be the right size.  For example the height of the counter is a little higher than my kitchen counters and the height of the bottom of the upper sign is just a little taller than I am.

Painting took much longer.  Over two weekends I primed, basecoated and then striped.  I used Kilz primer and then Valspar Signature Laura Ashley colors in Bleached Wheat LA208 and Violet Smoke W41005A.

Painting the logo sign took another weekend as it's humid here and the paint took a long time to cure before I could tape more stripes.  The base of this sign is pink foam.  I added silver and green acrylic paint from Michael's to add some pizzaz to the purple and antique white color scheme.

The lettering was done on the computer and then printed onto sticky vinyl by my local printer. 

Lights were custom cut to fit the # of holes I had by Novelty Lights.  They are G50 size and poked right through the holes I made.  I taped the wires to the back with matching duct tape.  For shipping they needed to be easily removed but you could secure yours more permanently if desired.

The theater section is made from pre-made velvet panels from Curtainworks.  I made the striped fabric panels from a Waverly print I found at Denver Fabrics by hemming the bottom and making a simple rod pocket at the top.  I didn't hem the sides as they didn't show behind the velvet. 

The trims were from my local GStreet fabrics.

The wide purple striped background is a custom print designed by Mary Petitt and printed by my local large-format printer, C2.  They finished it with a rod pocket at the top.  Mary also designed the Pick-a-penny poster which was printed on sticky vinyl and then adhered to the background.

The HiStriker was painted a custom color combo and the face of the game was again designed by Mary Petitt in our colors and vintage lettering.  I wrapped the handle of the maul in purple gaffer's tape to match.  This game at 10' tall was a Jr version of the midway version.  We also set it to the "easiest" setting so that more guests would win.  However it was REALLY hard!!!  Most female attendees and many of the males were not able to ring the bell.

The penny press was built for us with our custom die.  We incorporated the circus theme and then added the event date and occasion.  Many guests had never seen a penny press and some thought it was magic!

The flooring was roll vinyl in a bamboo print.  It's meant to resemble hay that would be on the floor at a circus.  It was padded and cushioned our feet and the histriker.

For safety in our small space I added rope and stanchion in purple velvet and brushed nickel.  This prevented guests from accidentaly getting hit by a flying maul.

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