Our next door neighbors threw a nautical themed one-year birthday party for their son this weekend. My friend asked if I would make something that could be used as party décor, and also go in his room after the party (his bedroom is also nautical theme). She sent me this inspiration post, and I got to work on it this past week. I love the way it turned out!
I tweaked a few things from the original inspiration, but overall, the concept is the same. Supplies needed: navy craft paint, rope, canvas drop cloth (smallest size), a wreath form, batting/stuffing, stencil or something to create your letters/numbers.
I realized later on that I did not do a good job of taking pictures along the way, so please refer back to the original post for additional pictures, instructions. I started out using a straw wreath form and covered it in some extra batting I had laying around. This will be covered, so no need to make it even. Just make it plush enough that the life preserver will look thick in the end. I used masking tape to tape the batting together.
Next, I cut a small drop cloth in half and laid it across the bottom and top halves of the wreath form (similar to original post). I started cutting, forming, twisting, and manipulating the drop cloth around the wreath form. I secured the back with safety pins. As you can see, there are creases on my final product, as that was the only way I was able to make it work.
Once the drop cloth was secured, I got to work on his name and birthday. I used the same font choice from the original post, Boston Traffic. I printed and cut out the letters/numbers, and traced around them with a pencil onto the drop cloth before painting. This was definitely the most time consuming part because this font has several different pieces for each letter/number. I used blue painters tape to make sure my spacing was even and just eyeballed.
Once the letters were painted and dried, it was time for the rope. You can buy this nylon rope at any hardware store. Mine came from Home Depot, and I bought a large pack versus buying by the foot. You will need more than you think.
Just like the inspiration, I wrapped the rope around each side 5 times and secured with a little hot glue. I then cut four equal pieces of rope to go around the preserver and also just tucked it under the rope and used a little more hot glue.
Here is a shot of how my friend styled the life preserver for the party. The bunting is made of fabric and ribbon. Too cute!
I have never made anything like this before, so it was a fun challenge for me. I also love giving handmade gifts, especially to sweet little boys! Ahoy, Matey!
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