BIRTHDAY pARTy: Activity 2
Pop Art Name Plates – Inspired by Andy Warhol
Once we chose Andy Warhol as one of the party’s inspiration artists, it didn’t take long to figure out that a “multiples” project was on the horizon. I wondered, however, what the format or context of the activity would be. A quick stroll through the aisles of the dollar store settled it. I happened upon a fresh box-load of purple semi-transparent plastic frames. Next, I hit the arts and crafts aisle to seek out multi-packs of highlighters to coordinate with the frame colours, some coordinating ribbons to use to ”hang” the frames on doorknobs or to decorate their tops, and some plain printer paper.
Then, I went home and messed around on the computer with my photoprinting software, trying to come up with a way to print multiple images of my daughter on the same sheet. This was not a problem at all. I saved a grayscale/black and white image of my daughter’s photo, chose 4×6 as my paper size, and found an option to print 4 per page, portrait style, as part of my canon printer’s software. I was even able to save a “template” for this particular style of black&white multiple printing, so that all we would have to do during the party would be to snap a few headshots and run down to the computer and print them out.
Frame for a 4×6 Photo
1 per guest
2m-long Spool of Ribbon
1 per 3 guests
Plain Printer Paper
cut into 1 4×6 sheet per guest
& 1 additional sheet
2-4 colours per guest
1 pair per 2-4 guests
Glue Sticks (Optional)
81/2×11 Printout of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn (Optional)
Optional Photo Booth for Activities 2 & 3
Masking or Painter’s Tape
Black Permanent Marker
Length of Plain White Fabric or Mesh [Optional]
It was easy to get a basket of supplies ready for this activity. I took the frames out of their wrapping and threaded 1/3 of a 2m Spool of Ribbon through a metal loop on the back of the frame. Then, I filled a few plastic cups with highlighters and a few with safety scissors (and optional glue sticks) to spread out on the table during the craft. I also printed out an 81/2×11 sheet of paper with a picture of Warhol’s Marilyn series for the guest to have a look at.
Then, I went down to the printer one final time to print out a set of paper tags that the guests could place in the center of their frames (on top of their self-portraits). Using a classic 6 column, multiple row table in MSWord, I typed up the name of each girl three times, each with a different location: “Bea’s Room,” “Bea’s Studio” and “Bea’s Library,” etc. I printed these with a dark black font on a purple background. [If you don't have a colour printer, try using white text and a black background.] I cut these labels out in sets of three [not individually] and placed them in another plastic cup in my supply basket.
Before the party began, I double-checked that my ”template” was set up on the printer so that, during the party, all that my husband would have to do would be to download the pictures to the computer and print them out via the template on the printer. And I filled the paper tray with sheets of plain 4×6 paper that I’d trimmed from 81/2x11in sheets.
Optional Photo Booth: Since we were using head-shots or photos of the guests in two of our four pARTy activites, I also set up a “photo booth” area in the house in an area just near the entryway to the house. This “booth” simply consisted of a piece of old white mesh fabric taped against the wall (a plain wall would do just as well), with an x marked on the floor in masking tape. I used one of the plates leftover from our jewelry craft to “label” the area the “Photo Booth,” and I taped this sign high over the fabric sheet I’d secured to the wall.
Optional Loot Basket: The week before the party, I picked up a 9x12in basket for each guest at the dollar store and placed an avery label with their name on one of the handles. I had these stacked in a pile at the outset of the party. These came in handy as a place for the guests to deposit their finished crafts after we’d finished each one. Towards the end of the party, I snuck in the pre-wrapped Take Home Craft, and I placed their plastic-wrapped Mini Action Painting in this bucket, too. This way, each girl went home with a basket full of goodies.
Photo: As the guests came in to the party, I had each of them stop at the “photo booth” so that I could take a close up picture of their face with my camera phone. I called this their “fashion photo.” I allowed the girls to approve the picture and to have a retake if they liked – but everyone was pleased with the first take, for which I was truly grateful. The guests who were finished with their photo shoots congregated around the kids’ old blackboard easels which we had set up in the living room. I had used another extra “plate” to label the living room area the “Bored Room.”
Print: Once all of the guests had arrived and had their photos taken, we settled into the dining room for our Mini Action Painting activity, and my husband went down to the basement office to print out our 4×6 photos and the photo strips we would be using for our third activity, our “Secret Wishes” Fashion Photo Ornaments. He was finished with the printer well before we had finished our first activity.
Colour: After the girls had finished their first activity and had washed their hands, I had stripped the tables so that fresh clean plastic tablecloths were ready in the activity zone. As I placed cups of highlighters and safety scissors down on the table, I explained to the girls who Andy Warhol was and showed them a picture of his Marilyn series. Of course, I had to explain who Monroe was, too…These were 7 & 8 year olds! Then, I handed out the sheets of 4×4 photos that we’d printed out and instructed the girls to use “single strokes, not scribbles” to fill in each square with a different colour highlighter. The girls caught on easily and had a lovely time assessing how their photos had turned out and how funny they looked with pink, purple, green, blue, and yellow faces!
Mount: As the girls were finishing, I handed out their strips of name/place labels, asking them to choose if they’d like to label their frames with “My Room,” “My Studio” or “My Library.” After the girls decided on a title for their pieces, they used the safety scissors to cut out their label. And, I passed out the frames, placing them face down in front of each girl. Then, I had the girls remove the backs of the frames and place their chosen name plate face down in the centre of the frame. If they were sure they wanted to keep this label and not interchange it with the two left over (which they would be taking him), I told them they could place a dot of glue on the back of their label. None of the girls wanted to do this, however. Once the name/place label was down, I had them place their pictures face down in the frame and resecure the cardboard backing.
Tie: Next, I offered the girls the option of using their ribbons to hang their frames from their bedroom doors or using the cardboard rests on the back of the frams and simply tying a bow. For the girls who wanted to use this as a door hanger, I helped each one tie a knot and bow toward the top of the ribbon. For the guests who wanted to set their frames on their desks or bookshelves, I helped them wrap each half of ribbon around the top left-hand corner of their frame and tie a knot and larger bow.
Store: When the girls were almost finished with their activity, I got out the plastic buckets I had labeled with their names and set them up in two rows on and below the couch in the living room, (a.k.a. the “bored room.”). Aftter they were done, I had the girls deposit their Pop Art pieces in their basket and mull around with the easels and chalk while I quickly shifted gears in the dining room for the next activity.
This was a popular craft that was easy to pull off. Everyone loved the way they looked in their Warhol-esque photos. And they all came up for different uses for the picture as a name plate, from bookshelves to desks, to art-tables, to bedroom doors.
Here’s the text of the Pop Art Index Card I provided to the guests.
POP ART NAME PLATES (a.k.a. “Andy Door-Hauls”)
Supplies: Plain paper, 4x6in Frame, Highlighters, Computer/Printer, Ribbon
We have printed out your fashion photo 4 times in black & white on a 4×6 piece of paper. WATCH THE QUICK DEMONSTRATION. Then, shade-in each of your photos with a different coloured highlighter. Try not to“scribble” on your face! Stroke in even lines!
We have also printed 3 small purple rectangles with black writing. Cut each of these and decide if you’d like your project to read “X’s Room, X’s Library, or X’s Studio.” (You can always change this later!)
Place your frame face down and remove the back by twisting the four black “wings” to the side. Place your word square face-down on the middle of the glass. Place your 4×6 paper face down on top of this, and replace the back of the frame, securing the “wings.”
The ribbon is already strung through the hook on the back of the frame. Tie a double knot and bow towards the tips of the ribbons so that you can hang it from a hook or doorknob. If you choose to set the frame on its easel, wrap the ribbon around one corner of the frame and tie a bow.
POP ART NAME PLATES – INSPIRATION: ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
Andy Warhol was a famous painter and print-maker. He liked to paint images of every-day objects so that the everyday became unusual. One of his most famous paintings was of a can of plain old Campbell’s Tomato Soup! He was also famous for using a technique called “silkcreen” to print the faces of celebrities many times on one page or on a series of canvases. He would use a black and white base for the image, and then re-print over the tops of those images using different splashes of colour.
<— Here’s his famous portrait of the actress and celebrity, Marilyn Monroe.
Do you see why people call his work “Pop Art”?