Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Making an Arrow Sign for the 2015 Around the World Laurel House Gala


Do you remember Laurel House's 2014 Gala, with a Great Gatsby theme? Well, a year has gone by and another successful Spring gala is behind us. This past weekend, about 200 people came out to raise money and awareness for victims of Domestic Violence in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The theme was Around the World, and the little touches of creativity and color were all around. From the accordion player walking around during cocktail hour to the Mariachi band in the ballroom; from the decor by the place cards to the arrow sign pointing the way; from the global mementos on the hors d'oeuvres station to the centerpieces (Paris, London, Rome or map-wrapped vases with flowers beneath flying foam planes), it went wonderfully and looked the part. 

Scroll WAY down for a brief tutorial on how to make the Arrow sign
(my DIY project for the event)! 

Here are a few photos from the event: 
 The place card (or more accurately, escort card) table 

 A few stationed hors d'oeuvres to nosh on in addition to some regionally-inspired passed treats.

 Rome-inspired centerpiece.

Paris-inspired centerpiece

London-inspired centerpiece

Other centerpieces (included a table number on the back of a postcard (in frame), flowers with planes loop-de-looping above, chocolate earth candies and balloon cut-outs of map paper (sweet touch).

DIY Arrow Sign Tutorial

I offered to make an arrow sign about a month before the Gala, then proceeded to collect my materials. 
I used:
- A thin rectangular piece of wood (about 6 feet tall) for the post (purchased at Lowe's for about $2.50)
- Wood for your arrows: 14-18 inches in length by about 4 inches in height 
- Paint and a paintbrush or two (I picked out Sage Green, Metallic Gold, and Black, and bought them at Michaels for about $3 each)
- A flower pot for the base (I used this plastic one from Target, $5 and I can reuse it!)
- Hammer & Nails
- Stones to weigh down the pot and hold the sign
- Masking Tape (and Duct Tape) to make a grid across the top of the pot and steady the sign
- A few fake vines with leaves OR a cloth OR a few small plants to cover the top of the pot and decorate the base of the sign (These were provided by a fellow decor committee member).
*The hearts at the top and bottom are made from a painted and cut manila envelope and were day-of additions. They didn't cost extra, just took a little more time!

Total price: $16.50

Here's how we made it: 
1. My Mom and Stepdad offered the 5 pieces of wood for the arrows and he is quite handy, so I took him up on the offer to cut them into arrows. This is the most difficult part of the process if you do not have access to/knowledge of the correct tools. My mom always says, "The key to life is having the right tools and knowing how to use them". It's true, and I'm glad that she found him! If you cannot DIY or find someone who can, look into buying the arrows pre-cut. I know Michaels has them, and you can probably find them online as well. 

2. I painted the post and the arrows and let them dry. In retrospect, I should've sanded them before painting, as it would've made the writing process a little bit smoother. 

3. I researched how to get a really nice font onto my arrows, and tried a few different methods I had seen online, without much luck. Finally, I printed the words the size and font (called Grand Hotel) that I wanted and placed the print-out on the floor to refer to as I free-handed painting the words. Phew! It turned out just fine :) I actually did the first one with Sharpie marker, but it proved a little difficult so I switched to paint for the rest. I let the paint dry overnight. 

4. I filled up the pot with stones, placed the sign in as a test and taped along all for 4 sides of the post, creating a # across the top of the pot. I removed the sign, took it (and the arrows) outside and...

5. I nailed the arrows on! I thought about placing two nails like a colon : to keep each arrow in place, but then realized if I only used one at the top, it could turn a little bit and point higher or lower, so I went with that. 

6. I decided to add the hearts. I painted them and did the words with the same font as the arrows. I taped them on with masking tape donuts. 

7. We assembled everything at the venue for the event, adding more tape to hold it upright, and adding the leaves to the bottom to make it look amazing! 

What do you think of the result?!

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