The room was buzzing with anticipation as we all waited to shout, "Happy 60th Birthday!" I'm not sure if the adrenaline was rushing because I was so excited that the day to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday had finally come or from not knowing if I was going to make it in time for the big reveal because of a helium shortage. I've been dying to show you the center piece I made for this surprise party. My mother-in-law is a pretty special person and one of the kindest people you will ever meet. If you know anyone in her family you also know that the love for taking photos runs strong and deep. Giant photo numbers were the perfect way to say Happy 60th Birthday to someone so deserving.
Lets start at the beginning. At the party so many people asked me how I made the numbers. Out of cardboard of course. Each number is about 3 1/2 feet tall, maybe a little taller. Yes you read that correctly.
Step 1: I cut a front and back for each number. I knew I was going to use 4 x 6 photos so the width of each number is right around 7 1/2 inches so that the photos could overlap slightly. I used a ruler to help trace my numbers on the flat piece of cardboard. It took me a couple of hours to get the numbers traced and cut but it is worth the time to be precise.
*Please note that the numbers do stand on their own so make sure you have a good flat bottom for both numbers*
Step 2: Next I cut strips of cardboard that were 5.75 inches wide. The would serve as the inside and outsideand and needed to be slightly less than the width of one photo.
Step 3: I started with the outside and began taping the front and the back with my strips cut in step 2 wedged in between. Alternate between which side you tape, you want it to be sturdy and the tape keeps it from bulging. The photo of the 0 gives a better idea of how this was done. It took more than one of my cardboard strips so I just taped them as I went to make it look like one continuous strip. Once I was done with the outside I completed the inside.
Step 4: Next I lay my numbers flat and placed my photos on the front side of my numbers. Cover the entire front before you start taping so that you have all the tricky spots figured out ahead of time. There were a couple of photos that hung over the edge so I had to trim them. Once you have it figured out, tape the photos down. Turn the numbers over and do the same thing to the back. Finally you will tape photos all around the sides. I started at the bottom for the outside row so that if the photos didn't meet exactly up you wouldn't see it. Subsequently I started at the top of the inside for the same reason. Take care to make sure to get plenty of tape on the back of each photo to make sure it is secure and doesn't fall off. I just used masking tape.
By the end of the project I had used two rolls of tape and approximately 325 black and white 4 x 6 photos. It's definitely a labor of love as it took many, many hours but I spread it out throughout a week's time.
Every one loved looking at the numbers seeing all of the different memories from my mother-in-laws 60 years of life. It was definitely a show stopper and fit into our Hollywood Glam theme perfectly. The numbers are actually pretty sturdy as these photos were taken three weeks after the case and traveled for more than 9 hours in cars and still in pretty good condition.
Happy 60th Birthday!