Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Glass Block Circus Night Theater

This is the coolest crafting project I think I have ever made in my entire life-and it just so happened to be the baby shower gift I made for Jairica! The idea all started back earlier this year when I was making other glass blocks for gifts. I liked the idea so much I wanted to keep it in mind as a nightlight for a baby. After I found out Jairica's baby room theme was going to be circus the idea of a big-top tent came to mind almost immediately.

The steps for making this tent were actually quite simple, but I certainly stewed about it and how I was going to make it for quite some time. The first step for me was going through the craft store to see just what I could find that was pre-circus themed. That was a piece of cake, or so it seemed. I was able to find scrapbooking stickers with lions, ring masters, elephants, banners, big top tents, and then additional stickers that looked like banner flags.

I knew for the big-top tent I wanted to make it a 3-demensional extension of the glass block, so I wandered over to the fabric section to find a material pattern that I thought would turn into a good looking big-top tent. I found colors that would match near anything else that Jairica would find to use in the baby's room.

Using the stickers was the easiest part of the project. I used some poofed stickers on the inside of the glass block, and some flat stickers with a bit of glitter in them for the outside edge of the block. i put one of the boarder flag looking stickers along the top edge of the block just in case it was still seen after I made the big top tent.

Once I got to this point in the project, the glass block literally sat in my family room for another month to a month and a half. The big-top tent portion was going to be the most difficult part. I am not a sewer, so I procrastinated this until the night before the baby shower. I at least had the raw materials ready to go...

I ended up using hot glue to hold the parts together and that was so much better than me trying to sew it!

The first step to making my big-top was securing a pole that would go up the middle. I purchased some thin wood and dowels at the craft store and hot glued it to the top of the glass block.

 After the glue had dried I placed the Styrofoam piece over the top of the glass block (Styrofoam pictured above with raw materials). I got this from the packaging from a new iced tea maker I bought. I got really lucky it fit exactly and all I had to do was take a knife and cut off the point of the front and back corners to make the front and back edge slightly flat across. I took fabric to cover all of the Styrofoam in the front, then did the drape of fabric for the tent from the front corner of the glass block all the way around to the other front corner.

The hardest and most stressful part of the tent was gluing on the panels that went up to the pole to make the point. I just had to take my time and work at it. I found the easiest way to to it was tie each panel separately then after they were all tied up I pulled on them to get them as tight as possible. I trimmed down the excess fabric above the tie after I was sure it was where I wanted it. I decided not to hot glue the lengths of the panels going up so that it could withstand a less than gentle knock or move. It also allows access to the 35 stringed mini lights that are sitting under the big-top but on top of the glass block.

 The last touch was to add bannered letters across the bottom to spell out Syrus' name, and the banners on the top of the big-top with his initials!

And here is the finished project in light, and then below with the lights out. Jairica lovingly decided this could not be considered a night light, but rather a night theater! I think I like that name much better!

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