It’s Ted’s third birthday tomorrow. I don’t even know where to begin with that.
We’re having a party in a local Scout hut this weekend (I just have too many nephews to fit everyone in my tiny house) and so to make it look a bit more like a party than a Scout hut Ted and I have been making banners.
We’ve tried a couple of different methods of mess-making but this has to be my favourite so far: spray painting. Not with spray cans; just paint mixed with water in spray bottles.
We started off with a small pump-action spray bottle from a travel set but although it worked well Ted found it really difficult to actually use the pump. The best way he could do it was to turn it upside down and bash it. You can imagine how accurate that was.
Yesterday I had a look in Jysk, a store I actually dislike immensely, and discovered some little coloured spray bottles for 50p each. I bought one of each colour, poured in some paint and added water. I have no idea what kind of measurements I used as I just made it up as I went along. It really depends what kind of effect you want, although the thickest one was about three parts paint to one part water and works really well.
I cut out a big number three and used the rubbish kind of glue stick you can pick up in bargain packs of about fifty for a pound. This is what I use when I do template painting on a smaller scale and use both the backing and the numbers/letters, but actually I found Pritt Stick better on this large scale when I did it again later.
Next I stuck the big piece of paper with the big number three to the outside wall of my house and stuck a carrier bag underneath to catch the drips. Ted currently loves nothing more than being in the garden in a tshirt and pants so that was perfect for the mess-making experience. Next we simply shook the bottles up and got on with spraying. I tried to wipe any splashes off the upvc as quickly as possible but I found that it was only the purple that was a problem. It might be worth testing this out on the surface you’re going to use if you decide to try this.
The pictures we made with the small bottle came out better because they were done flat on the floor but I wanted to see what the drips would look like with these thinner paints. I couldn’t use the numbers themselves, although if they’d been made of card they might have been better, because the paints were watered down to such an extent that they just fell apart when I peeled them off. If you use thicker paint you can peel them off in one piece if you do it as soon as you’ve finished and you’re really careful.
Because I’d wanted to experiment with drips the shape didn’t hold too well but it’s clear enough to use. The thicker paint in the smaller bottle and the paper laid flat worked much better.
Later we decided to try these watered down spray paints again with the paper flat on the floor and it definitely worked better, although I think Ted did find it easier when it was on the wall.
My favourite so far has been using the letter templates from our earliest attempts (with the pump action spray) to make a hanging banner. I took the letters and stuck them on to pieces of file dividers so I could use the punched holes to thread ribbon to hang them. I can’t wait to see how this looks (it had better work!)