Friday, January 20, 2012

DIY Contact Paper Cityscape Photo Backdrop

As promised, today I'm sharing a few more photos of the contact paper cityscape I created as a photo backdrop for Knox's super hero 1st birthday party.  I have to say a big THANK YOU to my brother and his girlfriend Maggie who were my partners in crime & cutting on this project. 


This really couldn't be a simpler project.  I can't even call this a tutorial!  You only need 3 things -  black contact paper, yellow contact paper and a pair of scissors.  That's it! 

(p.s. Now you guys know why I had so much leftover contact paper for my Halloween decorations this year!)

Because I wanted the babies to sit in front of this scene, I decided to do one full length of just solid black contact paper across the bottom.  This allowed me to raise up the entire city scene so it would be visible above their heads.


The rest of this project is really just an exercise in cutting shapes and piecing them together into building-like silhouettes.  There's really no right or wrong way to do this.  Rectangles, round top buildings, small buildings, tall buildings...they all have a spot in your city!  

Here are a few tips I can offer:

--Lay the Foundation:  Working across your cityscape, start by add in rectangles of various sizes at (somewhat) regular intervals.

--Add Depth:  Now go back and pepper in another layer of buildings by overlapping some rectangles in front of your first layer.  Here you're trying to create the illusion of a background and foreground.

--Add Details:  Not every building on the skyline is flat topped so add in a few antennas, domes, etc.

--Light It Up!:  Use your yellow contact paper to add windows to your buildings.  Vary the shapes so you have different window styles on your buildings.  You can get really fancy with it and create mock architecture to your buildings like Maggie did with those columns on that one building.  I was just doing little square windows and she had to get all fancy with it.  She's awesome like that. 

--...But Leave Some Dark: Don't try to fill the entire building's silhouette with lit up windows.  Not every light has to be on! 

--Add Personality!: Don't be afraid to add in some personal touches or features to make your city unique and personal.  As we worked on this cityscape, it continually looked more and more like the Boston skyline.  See the Prudential building there all the way on the left?  And clearly that's the Zakim Bridge right?  The finishing touch was my brother's addition of the super hero light signal complete with a K for Knox!


Not bad for under $20 right?  I thought it was a great addition to Knox's super hero party, especially since most of his guests were pint-sizes babies who fit in perfectly with the cityscape scale!

Of course as with all my contact paper projects, the best part of this party feature was that it was 100% disposable.  After the party, I peeled the whole thing off and had my kitchen back to normal in under 3 minutes.  Can't beat that right?