Following last month’s blog on car boots and buying cheap equipment for work, it got me thinking: what happens if you’ve got an idea, but can’t actually buy it? How about trying to make it? Admittedly, this does require some artistic skills and maybe some research, but can actually be extremely rewarding to do.
I recently helped out with work’s annual swim gala and my partner and I quickly realised that for next year’s gala, we would greatly benefit from lane numbers. The first idea was to laminate card, but the problem with this was that the laminate would probably only last one gala before being ruined by the water. Luckily, I know of a product called “Funky Foam” which can be bought quite cheaply from art shops in a variety of colours, can be cut, glued (make sure you use super glue, as water based glues will dissolve in water!), heated into different shapes and most importantly, doesn’t seem to mind chlorinated water and it floats (visit www.yellowmoon.org.uk and search for foam).
The first thing to do after buying the foam and glue, is to print off some A4 sized numbers using WordArt on Microsoft Word (using WordArt makes sure you only get the outline rather that a completely filled in stencil; thus saving on ink) and then staple it to the sheet of funky foam, being careful that you don’t staple the area that you want to keep.
Using a craft scalpel and cutting mat, cut around the template applying enough pressure so you get a good clean cut first time round.
Then superglue around the edges and apply to your backing foam, allow to dry.
Children love the bright colours of the funky foam and the foam sticks well to the walls of the swimming pool. If you are feeling particularly creative, look online at colouring pages that can be printed off and used as stencils (see pictures). For any fine detail, I use a fine black water resistant marker pen.
Of course, you don’t have to use Funky Foam, as long as it’s child and pool friendly; the options are endless!