Thursday, April 10, 2014

Show & Tell: Olaf Cutout


I swear I'm almost done with Frozen related posts. There is only two or three more projects left before the party. My apologizes to those out there without obsessed little girls.

I wanted to buy some Frozen characters cutouts for the party, but at around $40.00 a piece, that was a bit of out of my price range. I had some left over foam board from trees I made (post coming on Sunday about the trees), and I decided that white foam board was perfect to make a little Olaf.


Foam Board ($1.49 for 1 piece)
Exacto Knife
Black marker
Mechanical Pencil with no lead or lead pushed up in it
Orange and brown scrapbook paper (Free to me since I had some scraps sitting around)
Tape (I used some permanent double sided tape I had, but you could use rolled up regular tape)
Computer & Printer
Cost: $1.49 (In other words, about 3.75% of the original cost)
Time: About 3 hours


1. Find a Olaf Image

It's fairly easy to find high resolution images. You can Google it and find something pretty fast. If you can find a PNG image, you are in luck. That makes it easier to isolate the image into a outline because the background is already eliminated. Download image and save to your computer.

2. Create Outline

If you're willing to waste some ink, you can skip this step and go straight to step 3. I didn't have much ink to spare, so I decided I wanted to create an outline. I use Photoshop Elements when I can. It's a great alternative if you don't want to splurge for the Photoshop itself. I used the "Photocopy" filter to create an outline of the picture I found. You can play with the settings to get the desired darkness.

If you don't have Photoshop, you can find other less expensive/free alternatives. It can be helpful to search for software that creates coloring pages, since that's essentially what you're doing.

Save your new outline image to your desktop in a JPEG format.

3. Print Outline on Multiple Pages

Now here's where PC and Macs will split. I have printed across several pages on my PC many times usually using some sort of "Poster" or "Banner" print option. Now I have a Mac so I had to do some research about printing large images across several pages. There's a free program called "PosteRazor" that is awesome. You upload your image, pick your margins, the size of the image and then it converts that image to several pages in PDF form. I measured my piece of foam board and then used those measurements to fit Olaf on the poster board. Obviously Olaf is taller than he is wide, so I had extra foam board on the sides to cut out his arms and nose. Tape up the sheets and create your "poster."
Our Olaf print out with some extra marker art from my daughter

4. Trace your Outline Onto the Foam Board & Cut

Since foam board will keep a indent when you rub something across it, you don't have to use carbon paper to trace (which is what I normally do if I am doing an image on wood). Lay your outline on to the foam board, tape in place and then using your mechanical pen with no lead sticking out, trace the outside of his body. Afterwards, you will have an indent to use as a guide as you cut out your Olaf.

When you're doing this, you should work the outside in. First do the outside of the image, cut, then relay the outline down and trace the inside parts. I used a black permanent marker to separate the different snowman parts and for the buttons. Once you have the main body of Olaf cut out, you can cut out arms, hair and nose with the remaining poster board.

5. Attach Scrapbook Paper to Arms, Nose and Hair

Put tape on the arm (or nose or hair) and press down on paper. Use your Exacto knife around the piece to cut it out. Attach the body part to Olaf with tape.

You have a finished cutout! I may, if I have time, try something similar with Elsa and Ana. Until then, Olaf greets us with a wave.


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