Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentines projects

I've been busy getting ready for the big Monday Valentines Day.  Grade 7 kids are pretty hot & cool about this stuff but this is the last year they do classroom based Valentines projects.  I've been busy with my Gypsy, a portable design tool from ProvoCraft, that enables me to use my Cricut Expression for projects.  A Cricut is essentially a plot cutter for the crafting world & fairly easy to use once the learning curve is navigated.  It uses cartridges that have collections of images.  The cartridges can be linked up to the Gypsy & that speed-lines accessing the images.  There are piles of YouTube videos & information on the internet so I won't go into it more than that.  Thanks to all the fabulous bloggers, Cricut & Cricut Circle Message-board users I have been learning like crazy about all sorts of tricks & techniques.

I've been thinking about mailboxes & designing my own & it has been entertaining & challenging to create.  There is one already designed on the Cricut cartridge  "Love Struck 2010" but I didn't like the size limitations.  I got busy with the "George & Basic Shapes" cartridge & created a prototype file, cut out about 12 variations while I played with proportions.  If I were more mathematically inclined I could've done it easier I suppose, but I'm a more intuitive style crafter & it didn't bother be to do test cuts on yucky paper.

This is the best prototype mailbox, it measures 3" wide, by 2.5" high  by 3.5" long.  Cute huh!

This is the prototype file how it shows up on the Gypsy.  I used the "George & Basic Shapes" cartridge & played around until I liked it.  I don't know how to share these cut files yet, lots more learning for me.  I'm not a technological computer type gal.

I enlarged & split the prototype into 2 components, this is the base file.  Sorry its a bit blurry.

This is the roof & flag file.

This  is how the files look cut out.  It looks pink but its really red paper, funky light tricks somehow.  I will give one as a tracer for the class to use & one constructed to show how it looks.  I used good old poster-board, cheap & easily available,

I used a pencil to do the scoring.  Scoring breaks the surface tension of the paper & allows it to fold & crease nicely.

No measuring needed.  Lay the roof piece over the base piece & score it.  Lay the base over the roof to score the flaps.  Use a little ruler or any straight edge to score the little tabs.  Fold all the scored lines.

One side of the roof attached.  A glue gun would be simplest to use for a classroom project.  Adults needed depending on age & ability of the kids.  I recommend a bucket of snow nearby for immediate dip of singed fingers if it should happen.

Both sides of the roof attached.

 The inside of the mailbox with the tabs not stuck down very well yet.

Voila, completed mailbox!  It measures about 7" wide by 5 3/4" high by 8" long.  The flag is on with a split back attacher, very common in most schools.  If you have loads of time you could add 2 more score lines lined up with the big tabs on the roof to create a horizontal visual line.  That kinda shows up on the prototype picture.  The roof could be doodled & decorated before attaching.  I'm leaning more towards stickers to decorate.  Each kiddo can doodle their name in the opening flap.  I didn't bother with a paper closure on the design because its only going to be ripped off by the first impatient kiddo & spoil it.  Tape it closed at the end of the day to send home & everyone's happy.  A second split back closure could be centred at the top of the opening similar to old fashioned mailbox mechanisms but I never tried that.

There is tones of discussion to generate with this project among a class.  It would definitely challenge kiddos to think.  How would you make a 3D image like this?  Also I think this would be a great team project: tracing, cutting, scoring, folding, gluing, flag attaching, whew!  The discussion about assembly line production in factories everywhere would be enlightening.  How about child labour discussions?  Could you imagine assembling the same thing every day?  I don't remember discussions like that in grade school.

These are bookmark Valentines about 3.5" tall, from "Tags Bags Boxes & more" cartridge.

More bookmarks for Valentines similar size to the hearts, from  "Tags Bags Boxes & more" cartridge.

Happy Valentines Day!!!

1 comment:

  1. happy Valentine's day to you too! I like those bookmarks. I forget about the oldies but goodies on some of the first cartridges!


Thank you for taking a minute to share your thoughts.