Saturday, January 4, 2020

Face-In-Hole DIY - "Toy Story"

Before I even begin with this post, let me just say that I cannot believe it is 2020 already. It's one of those things that seems like nothing because it is what it is but also like- WHERE DID THE YEAR GO?!  So please excuse me while I go stress breathe for a few minutes.

Okay, I'm okay now.  A couple months ago I briefly shared on my Instagram page that my son (age 5) asked for a "Face-in-Hole" at his birthday party.  Being as he rarely ever asks for anything specifically, I figured I should oblige.  Of course I had no idea how to do it and I have ZERO artistic skill despite being so crafty so I came up with this plan that ended up being incredible easy to do.  Seriously y'all- it turned out so much better than I could have expected and although it took some time to do, it wasn't very hard. [disclaimer: I had my husband do all the wood cutting!]

Just in case you would ever like to have one at your birthday/baby shower/bridal shower/totally rockin' part-ay, let me share with you how we did it:

[Dislaimer: This post contains some affiliate links to products I used in making this project. Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.]

[I don't know why but this is one of my favorite photos. Project half done,big ol' glob of paint on my neck, crazed look on my face. It's really got it all.]

- 1 large piece of Lauan Plywood (this is ideal because it is sturdy but thin)
- A few 1x4 boards (to use on the back to help it stand up) 
- An assortment of acrylic craft paint 
- Paintbrushes (I used foam ones like these
- Projector (don't worry, you can DIY it easily!)

First things first- if you don't have a projector, you CAN easily make one.  Being as my husband is a teacher I was sure I could borrow his but apparently they don't use them anymore so I had to find another way.  I wish I had taken a photo of my ugly-as-sin concoction but basically I used an idea similar to this one. It wasn't pretty but it got the job done.  I also used an actual piece from an old projector and I think using a magnifying glass like they suggested would have been a lot better.

Next, cut the lauan plywood to whatever size you would like. Consider the height of most of your guests (people can bend down some and kids can stand on stools too). Then using the projector, pull a photo up on your cell phone that you want to trace. I used two separate photos to get the different poses for our Buzz, Woody and Jessie characters (Toy Story).  Adjust as need be to make the photo fit your wood piece and trace an outline in pencil.

As you can see, I also wrote the colors on my Buzz Lightyear trace so that I didn't accidentally color one of his sections wrong.  The other two were obvious enough I didn't need to do that. It's covered with paint so if you trace light enough, even the words wont show through.

After it is traced, cut out holes for the faces -SAND THE EDGES- and bring inside to paint.

Now the hard part is over and the fun can begin.  It takes some time, especially with detailed or multi-character boards but I finished painting this one in just a few nights working a few hours a night on it.

Color big sections, common colors (like they all had white on them) and bottom colors (Like the shirts and vests which have patterns printed over the top of them) first and let try completely before moving on.  Try to plan ahead so that you aren't rubbing your arm over wet paint as you go back and forth across the large board.

As you start to get more details it might get you all excited and hyped up that you will want to pull an all nighter just to see it finished (ask me how I know).  After the painting is finished, cut your 1x4 boards and screw them into your plywood in the back in an "L' or triangle to prop it up.  We also added some weights to the finished 1x4s to give it extra stability since so many kids would be running around it but that's up to you.  The lauan is pretty light for being so large so it's not likely to hurt anyone if it does fall over but use your best judgement.

If you are doing Toy Story characters as well, Buzz has the perfect size head for kids where as Woody and Jessie are great for adults. (You could always size them all the same, but I kept it more true to their actual shapes)

But it's so fun that even with 3 kids in each one, it is still looks great!  

This was a big hit at the party and an even bigger hit with my kids.  I was able to bring my son's idea to life and help make his birthday that much more special- and really, that's what it's all about.  Now I just need to figure out what to do with it because it's still sitting in our playroom! And yes... they still play with it!


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  4. Very good article. I’m facing many of these issues as well