Thursday, April 20, 2017

Under The Sea Backdrop

Happy Thursday, today is my last day of work this week, woo hoo! Seems like this week lasted forever, anyone else? I'm going to go ahead and blame an Easter hangover. I decided today is the day that I am finally getting around to tell you how I made Mini Fox's Ariel under the sea background from her birthday party last September.  

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Little Mermaid Backdrop

I had bought this bulletin board paper for a super hero backdrop a few years ago, crazy that was a few years ago. I pretty much have been using that paper for all of my backdrops the last couple of years, check the different ones out here and here. I realized that the back side of the paper was white, so I knew I could use that for my under the sea back drop. I always start with a plastic tablecloth. Do not get the 99 Cent or Dollar Tree ones, I tried that and they pretty much ripped the first time I tried to lay them down. Spring for the Party City ones, they are thicker and are easier to work with. Okay let's get started.

What You'll Need:

Plastic Table Cloth from Party City, color of your choice (I started with the 99 cent store one and they are too thin)
Spray Paint (I used Pink, Purple, and Dark Green)
Fish/Sea Horse (You can cut these out freehand or use a Cricut Explore or Silhouette Portrait)
Birthday Banner
Things to Decorate the Banner with (I used my Cricut for this and also bought some from Party City, like this and then I took the pictures off the end of the streamer)
Spray Adhesive

Can you tell Party City is my friend. I also buy a lot of things from Oriental Trading company, if they have free shipping, they are the same price as Party City, so if I can save myself a trip, I use them.


Step 1: 

I decided that I wanted Pink and Purple coral and some green seaweed on my background. I layed out the Bulletin Paper, white side up, on the garage floor. I did two of these, one for the purple and pink and one for the green. I didn't know how much seaweed I would need and how many mistakes I was going to make so I wanted to have more than enough.

For this part there is no right and wrong. I used 1/3 of the paper for green, 1/3 for pink and 1/3 for purple. I knew I wanted it to not be solid but spec-illy, hence the spray paint, it seemed like it would be more authentic. I randomly started spraying away, trying to not make it uniform, but thicker with spray paint in some parts but not others.

The marbling that you see, is me just spraying parts of the paper more than others. There really is no right or wrong to do this.

I knew I only wanted a few corals so I was only going to do at most 2 of each color.

Let dry, this took about 15 minutes.

Step 2:

Here is where your inner OCD cannot come out. You just have to cut (because I knew I spray painted way more then I need I had some liberty to make mistakes to see what worked. I probably cut about 20 or so seaweeds but only used 13. I randomly cut out the seaweed in tall strips, making sure that they weren't the same height, because we all know seaweed is not uniform. I knew I wanted some with leaves and some without, so the ones without leaves I made a little thicker and the ones with leaves a little bit thinner. I also cut out leaves, just randomly, no stencil, just cut leaf-ish shapes. In the end you are your own worst critic and most people won't know if the leaves aren't uniform.

Of course I thought I had taken more pictures, but for the life of me can't find them...anywhere. So annoying.
So you're going to have to imagine it. I looked up some cartoon seaweed and coral reef on the internet and tried to copy that.

I did cut some and put them down on the blue background to see if I needed to go taller or shorter on the next seaweeds.

Step 3:

I did try to use a glue stick, then wet glue (like Elmer's) but those didn't work, that's how I ended up with the spray adhesive, because everyone has that laying around right? I did spray outside on the grass, one because the smell is pretty strong and because the strips were so thin I didn't want spray adhesive all over my floors.

Note: Use some gloves if you don't want to be picking off glue from your fingers. I made that mistake and it took forever to clean up the glue off my hands, then when I went back to finish I used some of my gloves I have for handling food to finish (I buy mine from Costco), it was a little trickier because the paper would want to stick to the gloves, but it worked out better to have a little more trouble placing them then to have to clean off glue from my hands.

Step 4:

Finish off by putting the fish/sea horses or any other finishing decorations you want. Then hang on the wall. I almost always use blue painters tape. It does take several layers, but I know that it will stay and it won't ruin the wall paint when I take down the backdrop.

DIY Ariel backdrop

That's it, pretty easy,  between using the cricut to cut out the shapes and the banner, it took me about 3.5 hours to complete. 2 hours to complete the cutouts (including the birthday banner and all of the fish/sea horses and sand dollars and star fish) and another 1.5 to complete the spray painting/cutting/gluing.

If you want to see more of the party details, click here.

Linking up here

 Ariel Backdrop

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