Monday, October 17, 2011

Easy Steps To Repurpose a Store Bought-Puppet Theater

I have a little puppet show coming up at the end of the month, so instead of building a theater from scratch (daunting), I decided to save time and purchase an inexpensive one to customize (ka-bam!). After looking on-line I decided to go with the one linked below due to its low cost, looking pretty sturdy, and being made of wood. When I brought it home and assembled it (with the help of my awesome mom who was visiting) I was actually pretty surprised at how well-designed it was. The only thing I didn't like was the kiddie paint job/color scheme (although if you purchase this for your kids they'll probably love it!). SO, maybe you ALSO have a puppet show coming up and want an easy and inexpensive way to customize your theater. I thought so. I'll share with you what I did...

LIST OF STUFF:
-Imaginarium Puppet Theater (I ordered on-line and picked up at the store to avoid shipping costs)
-E-6000 Adhesive, 3.7 Ounce
-Sandpaper
-Krylon All Purpose Primers 12 oz. can white
-Craft paint - colors of your choice (I prefer the brand Delta as it often has a higher pigment load compared to most brands)
-Aleene's 8 oz. Original Tacky Glue
-Creativity Street Natural Wood Shapes - 1000 Piece Assortment (this is WAY more than you need, but you'll have tons extra for more projects!)
-Foam letters - optional (available in most craft supply stores)
-Ric rac - optional
-Dazzling Metallic Glaze Acrylic Paint 2 Ounces-Medieval Gold - optional

So before (in the last post) I mentioned how this thing could be accomplished for about 50 bucks. Maybe I'm assuming that everyone is a craft supply hoarder (like someone with two thumbs typing a blog post) and has all of this stuff in their home already (sans theater). Even if you have just a few of the things, you probably will stay safely around the $50 range. And guess what, if you have something similar that can be substituted you should do that.

THE HOW-TO PART:
1. Start by (duh) putting together the theater by following the instructions. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST! Don't be like OTHER people who THINK they know how to put it together only to find after the last knob is attached they find an important part is backwards. Those people are losers. Whose name might begin with an S.
2. Sand down the paint job because that stuff is slippery and paint just won't stick to it.
3. If you want the theater to stay a theater forevermore, apply a bead of E-6000 to all of the joints, especially at the bottom.  I plan to be famous and will need to get the theater in and out of my car many, many times, so I need my sh#t to stick together.
4. Spray a coat of primer.
5. Apply a base coat of whatever paint you are using. Here's a money-saver, if you know someone who just painted a room a cool color, ask if you can have a bit of it. When choosing a color scheme however, remember the curtains that come with the kit are red. You can always just make your own to match YOUR colors, but using the ones included is way less time consuming.
6. While that stuff is drying, go through the wood shapes and find some that you like and play around with a cool design. I stacked some on top of each other to give an added layer/cool effect. Here's a little hint, if you're doing layers and want them different colors, paint them before attaching them together.
7. When you have your design worked out, paint the shapes, let them dry, then glue them together with tacky glue.
8. When your base coat is dry, decide if it needs a second coat (mine did) then proceed accordingly. When all is nice and coated, paint any accent colors and glue the shapes onto the theater with tacky glue.
9. Here's an optional thing you can do if you want to add a little "something extra". Apply a thin layer of metallic glaze with a cloth then rub most of it off with another cloth. It will leave a subtle but awesome effect that will resemble vintage theaters (at least that's what I was going for).
10. If you have ric rac or some such embellishment, you can glue that stuff on as well. Did I just happen to have red ric rac that matches the curtains exactly? Probably.

So here's a picture of my finished theater.  The photo SUCKS because my children have destroyed my expensive camera because I have a camera curse.

Good luck!