Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Altering (for) A Man

Ha! Betcha thought you were going to receive some advice on how to get a man to change, huh? You've come to the wrong blog my wayward friend. Can't give you a tutorial in what I ain't been able to figure out myself. But I will give you some advice on how you can make an altered-art gift for the hairier of the beings.

With my brother's birthday coming up, I was trying to think of something to get him. Blank. I really wanted to make him something original, with my own two hands. Hmmmm...a crown full of glitter, polka dots and frills? Naahhhh. An altered Bingo card with ribbon, pom poms and buttons? No, no, nope. A search with an open mind through my altering books left me clueless!

It needs to be MANLY; something sturdy, grrrrrrrrrrrr, made out of cold hard metal, grrrrrrrrrrrr, requiring tools perhaps. Yet a little silly, because this was, after all, my baby brother's birthday. So I took my open mind on an outing to the hardware store.

I got:

  1. an empty gallon paint can with handle

  2. 1 foot of ball chain

  3. ball chain connectors

  4. a painter's key (can opener with a loop on one end)

  5. twine

Introducing The Amazing "Yes, You CAN Go Back Again" CAN!!!

I covered the sides of the can with patterned papers (you can't go wrong in the manly department with stripes and a check) and a paper that has those old pedal cars on it (he had a fire chief one as a kid!). I cut out some of the cars and glued them on the checked paper. Then still looking a little too plain for me, added a strip of paper all the way around, that I had typed the typical juvenile things we used to say to irritate each other, on it. (You can click on the pictures for a larger view, but I think I must have had a lot of coffee before I took the photos!) Then the twine was wrapped around and the top, bottom and the handle base. On the lid, I started with striped paper, edging it with more twine, and used a picture of my brother as a kid (aren't kids cute at that age when their teeth are too big for their head?!?). Then I typed up some silly labels and glued them on too.

I decided to make a few tags to serve as a gift card. I used another picture of him glued on one of the pedal cars for one tag, and on the other I used yet another photo of him peeking over something I found in an old book that actually had his name on it! On the back of each tag, I stamped his birthday # and with love, my name. I added a few ribbons (nothing too frilly) to the tags. The two tags and the painters key were attached separately with the ball chain. I filled the can with all kinds of retro mini games, a cap gun & caps, hot wheels, whoopee cushion, etc. and finished it off with a sprinkling of army men. I did have to be picky since I only had so much room, and in the end I didn't have enough room for the balsa wood glider or the fake doggy-do. Then I hammered it shut and viola!, zee trick, she is done!

You could gear this idea toward lots of different themes! You CAN alter something for a man. You CAN do it--and if you do, I'd love to see what you come up with!

(BTW: The money back guarantee which was alluded to on the lid was glued to the bottom and read: If you are receiving this as a gift, you didn't spend any money on it in the first place, so what are you whining about? And if someone gave you THIS as a gift, you're too old to be able to read this anyway so NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH!)

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