Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mission: Impossible?

The Mission:  Turn a giant spool into a stone well stage prop.  

Uses: An actor has to sit on the edge of the well during the performance. 

The Task: Using as little money as possible, and without altering the spool in any way.  No painting, no cutting, or lasting effects.  

Deadline: One day.

Do you accept this challenge?


This is the spool in question.
I started by getting a piece of paper mill paper that was big enough to go around the spool. I found a roll of paper thinner than I am used to at Hobby Lobby for about $4.50. I painted the paper gray (with some paint I had lying around the shop). I don't have a picture because it was threatening to rain and I was trying to hurry.  I hung the paper in my shed to dry.

The spool sits pretty level although it was a bit wobbly.  There are 4 metal rods that run the length of the spool and stick out on either end. I tightened these up and that made the spool a lot more sturdy, but then posed a problem for me.  Now I had four bolts sticking out about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch out of one end.  Since I wanted to make this as non-wobbly as possible I didn't want to have the bolts on the bottom. If I did, when the actor sat on the side it would slightly tip.  Nope the bolts had to go on the top.  I had planned to cover the entire thing with paper mill paper but with the bolts sticking out of the top I didn't want the actor to sit on them, or the bolts tear through the paper.

The Solution: Styrofoam.  I used a scrap piece that I had laying around the shop and cut a hole in the middle.  Then I cut random shapes only about an inch deep.  This made the look of stones without the individual ones.  Then I took the heat gun and heated up the edges and middles.  This makes styro look more rock-like. For more on how to make rocks visit this.

As you can see it went around the bolts solving my problem.

Next I needed to do the hole in the middle.  Without cutting or painting the spool I cut a piece of paper mill paper in a circle and painted it black (with some paint I had sitting around the shop).

I painted the rock topper with some dark grey paint (I had sitting around the shop). I also thin down the paint a little.  This helps get in the cracks and holes.

I noticed there were already some staples in the spool, so I stapled the black spot (a pirate's death sentence for those of you who are pirate fans) in place. Then I crumpled up the gray painted paper mill paper and opened it back up.  Much the same way I did here.  I unrolled it and stapled it on the top and bottom making sure it had a lot of wrinkles.  After that I got my paint sprayer and sprayed black paint up from the bottom.  If you paint the dark color from the bottom it looks like a shadow.

I put the styro stone top on and held it in place with a few screws.

It is not my best work but considering the
Project Triangle…

I am pleased with the result.  

The Cost:  $4.50 (for the paper.)

Here is a pic of it during the performance.

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