Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Upcycled Cereal Box-Glitter Crowns

Glitter Cereal Box Crowns

I made these crowns a while ago for my daughter's birthday and never managed to write a post about them. I think I wanted a better picture, and I was missing all the pink, purple and silver crowns that all the little girls at the party grabbed up and took home.

They were pretty simple, although I don't feel I have totally figured out the best way to make them.
You need:
a good sized cereal box
paint brush
clear glue, fixative or medium
plentiful glitter

First I took a cereal box of the appropriate size. Open up both ends and squoosh it into a less rectangle shape and then see if it will fit on the appropriate head.

If the box fits the head, cut 4" or 5" strips out of the cereal box vertically across the box, so you have a few rectangle shaped loops of cardboard. Then collapse the rectangle shaped loops so they are flat (like when you recycle the boxes). It is easier to cut the points out this way and have them match. Cut the points out of one side of you cereal box strip and open up again. At this point you should have a crown shaped piece of cardboard.

Cover you surface with newspaper, because this gets messy. Paint the crown, inside and out, with gesso. You want to cover over the print and the gray chipboard. It might take several coats of gesso to cover it completely and you need to let it dry between coats. The red dye from some cereal boxes seemed to seep through the gesso the most. I think generic cereal boxes might actually work better than name brand.

At this point, you could actually just paint these crowns in the desired color. Gold or silver or pink or whatever. I covered mine in glitter. You could also paint them AND use glitter, either contrasting color, or the same color, which means you'd need less glitter to cover the crown.

Once my gesso was dry, I painted the crowns with glue mixture (I just used elmers but I have used gel medium in the past,) and shook the glitter onto the glue to cover it. I did this over a paper plate, so I could collect the glitter that fell off and shake it back on. With the lighter glitter, this worked in one coat, but the darker glitter needed to dry and then have another coat of glue/glitter added.

In retrospect, I think I could have added the glitter directly to the glue and painted it all on. It might have taken more coats, but I think it would have kept the crowns from shedding so much glitter once they were on the heads of the fairy princesses.

There are actually many ways to make crowns like this. You start with the blank of the cereal box crown shape and from there you can do anything. I've done this before with just the gesso covered crown, planning on letting my then toddlers decorate them on their own as a craft, but they enjoyed the crowns just plain white, and I have to say, aesthetically, the plain white is nice. But you could decorate the crown blanks with any kind of fun addition... beads, gems, tinsel. You could spray paint them. You could collage them with pictures from a magazine. Come to think of it, that might be a fun artsy activity for grown ups or older kids. Creating a crown for yourself and covering it with images that inspire you or represent your strengths and powers.

Interesting. I never thought of this as a craft for adults, but it could be pretty cool, now that I think of it.

Also interesting is that I sat down today with nothing to write. My creative project for yesterday was posted yesterday, and I spent much of the rest of the day in overwhelm, as I am in the process of re-evaluting my goals. I had no idea what to do here, so I opened up my photo files of projects that I haven't managed to write about yet, and this was the photo I picked. And I felt just as unfinished and not quite right and work in progress about myself as I did about this glitter crown project. But as I gave the project attention, I began to make more sense of it. I began to see the possibilities. I began to see new steps. I began to connect it to successes of the past.

Maybe the lesson here is that things don't have to be perfect to be good. They don't have to be decided to help us move forward. Things that aren't quite right can lead us to steps that take us to just where we have to go. We are all a work-in-progress.

Now I want to make a crown for myself. It won't be glitter covered. But maybe it will help me remember what I want to create in my life.

What could you do with a cardboard crown blank like this? A project for kids? One for yourself? What kind of materials would you use to embellish it? Do you have any hints for working with glitter?


Lisa Nolan said...

I love how you showed your process with the crowns, the imperfections, the work in progress, and how it leads to a life lesson!

I hope it's OK I pinned your post here (and did a little rewrite as Pinterest had a word limit):

P.S. Thanks for being a new contributor to my Moms Who Write and Blog board!

Also, I was raised by artists, but I became a writer, go figure! You can see my dad's artwork at my memoir blog here

And I would love to hear your thoughts about his work (he passed in 2009). My memoir blog is about him.

Looking forward to reading more of your posts! And pinning them as long as that is OK with you! I try to support artists and writers as much as I can!

trina said...

Thanks! This is just what I was looking for! I wanted birthday crowns for my son's third birthday party, and I figured that I could just cut them out of cereal boxes, but without you they would have been emblazoned with partial cheerio designs. I needed somebody much craftier than me to suggest gesso. They're going to be so cute!

Rowena said...

glad to help you. yay for gesso!

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