I'm still procrastinating, you guys.
So last night I thought I'd play with cardboard - the grandest way I know to avoid sewing things I'm supposed to be sewing.
I'd wanted to make the girls a shop for the longest time, and I had this big piece of semi-superior cardboard in the garage, so long story short, I made them a shop.
It took me three, maybe four hours. That's nothing for a cardboard project. I'll walk you through it.
First, you need a big piece of cardboard. You score two lines down it, to divide it into three sections,
and then stick two boxes to the backside of it. These boxes are to stabilize the shopfront, okay? This way the big piece of cardboard doesn't fall down. They can be any kind of boxes.
Case in point:
See? It's just a box.
The other box I had was a crate-type thing (it used to house bananas, apparently), so I stood it on its end and made shelves.
Then I found old boxes (amazon etc.) for drawers.
Now, when you make the shopfront this way, you can open it out all the way flat
or bend the side walls at an angle - both configurations will be stable.
Then you cut holes for the windows. You can make them scalloped at the top like the side windows here, or just straight across like the main center window.
If you plan ahead a bit, you can do two things with the window-flaps (so don't slice them off at the bottom edge yet).
One is to make a little shelf:
and the other is to make a fake window shutter:
that flips back up to shut the window, like for when the shop is closed and the shopkeepers are out to lunch/school.
I used some random elastic cord (doubled, because it was too long) to hold the corner of the shutter down.
This fake window shutter also doubles as an extra display counter, if you let it rest on the box (you'll have to bend the shop walls):
You can add an awning if you want,
It's glued on, but I left the middle portion unglued, so I could slide the sign in and out:
The signboard has a big piece of whiteboard contact paper on it, so the kids can change the shop name. I think I might stick on some chalkboard contact paper to the backside of the board - it would be very Mr Hooper-ish (remember him from Sesame Street?) and charming.
The other thing I added was this cubby hole thingy for produce:
I doctored a compartmentalized box that used to hold oversize Christmas ornaments. It was very deep - deep enough to stash shoes, so I cut it at an angle, which made it automatically shallower, and then reattached the backboard with glue. This cubby-hole display isn't attached to the shop- it just leans against it.
Altering the original compartmentalized box into this angled cubbyhole display took me a good hour, largely because the cardboard was so rigid (translated: superior) and hard to cut through. But it was worth it because this section alone is as sturdy as wood, and just as painful should it slide down and land on our toes.
And here's a picture of Jenna playing shop this morning, to give you an idea of the size of the shop. This was before I added shelves to the crate-box, incidentally. It was an afterthought, sort of, but I like how the shelves have added to the whole play experience because the drawers are almost like additional display cases the kids can take out and shove under the noses of customers.
I could add any number of features to this shop - hang-on-the-wall telephone, little box to hold grocery bags, hooks above the windows for hanging wares, turn the big featureless box into a refrigerator..... but I'd wanted the kids to give me their ideas. They've just started playing, so we'll wait and see.
And now, I feel I really must attempt to start on those costumes. Two days ago, to assuage my guilt, I drew three semi-circular skirt patterns on taped-together newspaper sheets. It made me feel very accomplished, so I folded them up, patted myself on the back and went on my merry way. That penance has worn off now. Today, I'm beginning to feel guilty again. And since I don't think the Fabric Elves are going to show up, I need to start tonight. Really. So I might be quiet for a while. If I turn up here again talking about knitting or scrapbooking or electronic components, yell at me, will ya?