Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy 60th Birthday and the Photo Numbers


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! 

34 comments:

  1. WOWZA Sarah! My Mom said it was really big but I had no idea! You really went all out! AWESOME job!!!

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  2. That is phenomenal. You are amazing, girl!!

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  3. Sarah, are you kidding me??!! This is incredible!! You are such as sweet D-I-L!! Happy 60th to your MIL!

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  4. Wow I can't believe you made that!!! That is freakin' cool!

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  5. These are absolutely beautiful!! Love this!

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  6. wow! that is awesome! we celebrated my mom's 60th in the summer, and i had wanted to do something like this.

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  7. Wow...that's amazing! What a cool idea!

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  8. Agreed. This is an awesome project for a special birthday

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  9. Those would be amazing at a wedding and in letters. She must be an amazing person. You are very thoughtful for making those for her. Some of the best gifts are handmade. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

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  10. WOW!!! Fantastic idea and great tribute to your mom-in-law! Pinning!

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original linky party is open

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  11. This is not only amazing,the work, the time the effort is all about love..and you are so lucky as so is your mother in law,to have you...this will be a hit on pinning...and I can see a smaller version for my own home of our next anniversary

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  12. awesome job these numbers turned out fabulous

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  13. That is freaking AMAZING!!! I don't know if I would ever have the patience to create this but I am in awe!! What a wonderful gift! Thanks so much for sharing this at Clean and Scentsible. I will be featuring this tomorrow. Enjoy your Sunday!
    Jenn :)

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  14. What a great idea for a birthday! Added to my birthday pin board!

    Kendra - Pots, Pans and Paintbrushes - http://potspansandpaintbrushes.blogspot.com/

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  15. Wow. You are such an adorable DIL. Your MIL must have been very excited to see this personalized birthday photo display. :)

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  16. Those are INCREDIBLE!! What a wonderful way to say Happy Birthday :)

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  17. This is very original. I love pictures and I love parties. I may borrow this in the future. Thank you for sharing your great idea!

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  18. Absolutely amazing, thank you for linking up to Our Favorite Things this week.

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    1. I featured your photo display at this weeks link party.
      http://mylifesatreasure.blogspot.com/2012/11/our-favorite-things-link-party-23.html
      Have a great week.

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  19. This is amazing! These look incredible and I am sure your MIL will treasure them forever! What a great centerpiece for a special party :) I'll have to remember this idea!
    http://mommysordinarymagic.blogspot.com

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  20. What a great idea! I love it.

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  21. What a cool idea, I'm sure your mother in law was thrilled!

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  22. Thanks for sharing this creative idea on Simple & Sweet Fridays. Love how it turned out!!

    Jody

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  23. Wow these are amazing!! :) I'm so impressed! Have to pint hem even though I doubt I'll ever have the time and patience to actually make some. :)

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  24. What a fabulous creation...must remember to make a version for the next milestone celebration that I might need one for. Pinning this for you! Great job!

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  25. what that's amazing ! go you ! they turned out so well you must have been thrilled, and your mother in law must have loved them. what did they do with them after the party? I would keep them forever (if I had the room haha)

    currently holding a giveaway over at my blog
    http://myfroley.blogspot.com

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