Monday, February 15, 2010


Yaya's Valentine's Day party was Friday, so this post is late. I have a good excuse, though; the camera and cord were all the way across the room and I was too lazy to go get them.

After brainstorming up a dozen or so ideas for his Valentine's box, Yaya decided that he wanted a castle with a dragon. Ok, fine. He decided this Friday, February 5; the party was on the 12th so I figured I had a week to do it. I called the teacher and volunteered to make an extra box, figuring I could make a fun girly one. Saturday I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed without puking. Sunday I read the paper that had been sent home with him and realized that the box was supposed to be at school on Monday. Crap. But far be it from me to disobey a teacher, so I stayed up until 2:30 AM Sunday night/Monday morning and made the stupid box.

(Pretend like you can't see what a pit my house is. Speaking of which, I finally bought new laminate flooring. It's in the hallway acclimating. Hopefully it'll be finished before April. I'm being realistic.)

The castle itself didn't really take very long if you don't count in drying time. I cut down a cardboard box for the main body and glued two pieces of cardboard bent in a U-shape to the corners. Then I cut crennelations in two pieces of cardboard and glued them to the top of the corner boxes. Brown kraft paper got glued over the whole thing and then I painted it, added the brick shapes with a cardboard square lightly dipped in two different colors of gray acrylic paint and colored the windows with a Sharpie. I couldn't find a paintbrush. I'm lucky I found a black Sharpie. Then I glued it to a cardboard base that I finished at the edges with painter's tape and painted green, with a river/moat/whatever with a bridge and cobblestone path.

The dragon was more of a pain. I found a tutorial online (too lazy to link, sorry, plus I don't think I actually saved the link) that talked about using newspaper to make a frame and shaping it with masking tape before putting paper mache on it. I couldn't find any masking tape, so I used packing tape. Turns out there's a reason they ask you to use a tape that's not slick. But I finally got it all to stick, let it dry by sticking it in front of a fan, sanded it a little, painted it green with copper and brown accents and hot glued it to the board. B actually added the flame by gluing a toothpick into the cardboard flame then sticking the other end into the dragon's mouth.

I used toothpicks to shape the wings. B wanted the wings to be bigger--he wanted me to use popsicle sticks instead of toothpicks--but I said no. When he kept arguing I invited him to do it himself. Not surprisingly he was OK with how it looked after that.

According to Yaya everyone said "wow" so I assume that means it went over well. It's still here, sitting in my bedroom. I think it may have to mysteriously disappear one day.

I did finish the second box that night, but I don't have any finished pictures of it. The teacher called me and asked if the student could keep the box, so I assume whoever got it liked it. Oddly enough, I'm looking forward to doing this all again next year.

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