Getting ready for The Baby Show & Storylines Family Day

What fun it was to prepare the stalls for The Baby Show & Storylines Family Day this year!

It was super special to meet so many enthusiastic parents, grandparents, teachers and children, who absolutely love reading books, and those that loved our vision and work! After many remarks of delight, words of encouragement, and happy new customers, we left both shows feeling motivated to finish the series and get the word out there. What fun it is to do what we love and help children at the same time. A HUGE thank you to you all for your generous support! We couldn’t do this without you! Many of you asked us how we made the tree & characters that were on display at these shows. So we thought it might be a great blog topic, so here goes…

It all started with a few pieces of wood, chicken mesh & cardboard

The humble beginnings of the tree – a few pieces of wood, chicken mesh and cardboard. With a huge helping hand from Karren from the Garden Centre at Mitre10, who thought of this grand structural idea, and then Chris, who built the sturdy internal structure for us. Thanks a mil!

Tree Beginnings Baby Show prep

And then there was a tree trunk…

So, the next thing we did was wrap the chicken mesh around the wooden structure, which helped to create the circular trunk. And then corrugated cardboard was wrapped around the chicken mesh, which was taped down with paper tape. This was quite a tricky part, which required a lot of team work and measuring before hand.

The two branches were rolled up corrugated cardboard, which were also taped down with paper tape and then slotted into the top of the chicken mesh, allowing them to fit snuggly at the top of the tree trunk.

Tree Trunk Baby Show prep

Painting was next 🙂

Now that was fun and the moment couldn’t go by without a tree hug!

Unpainted branches Baby Show prep Paint Branch Baby Show prep Branches painted Baby Show Prep Tree Branch Baby Show Prephole cutting in tree baby show prep painted tree trunk baby showHugging Tree Baby Show prep

Oh how I love patterned paper – We couldn’t beLEAF how great these transformed into leaves

The leaves were glued onto the corrugated cardboard branches with a hot glue gun and some leaves were also glued onto a brown ribbon, which covered the paper tape around the tree trunk. This was such an exciting part, to see the tree come to life with splashes of colour!

Scrapbook paper Baby Show prep Leaves Baby Show prep leaves Baby Show prep Leaves 2 Baby Show prep Close up tree & leaves baby show prep

And then it was onto creating the characters so they could sit under the tree

Here’s Ali the Alien – re-sized, printed, glued onto foam board, measured out so there’s a white border around him and making sure he has the block area included to make his stand.

Ali the Alien cut out Baby Show prep Ali the Alien Baby Show prep

Fern the Fairy and Isabel the Ice Angel on their way.

Cutting characters Baby Show prep

Crispin the Chameleon undergoing his prep.

Crispin the Chameleon cut Baby Show prep

Crispin the Chameleon ready to cut Crispin the Chameleon cut out Baby Show prep

And voila… finally attached to the tree… happy snoozing Crispin…

Crispin the Chameleon on tree

Some small details

We decided to have Isabel the Ice Angel carrying 2 of the story books in her suitcase and loved how that turned out in the end.

Isabel the Ice Angel Baby Show prep Isabel the Ice Angel Baby Show prep 2

Betty the Bee was cut out so she could be placed against the wall and we then built a table out of cardboard boxes, to be placed in front of her. We found a vibrant yellow fabric to go over the box and we were happy with the outcome. What a great place to put Betty’s activity book, so she looked like she was happily painting away.

Yellow cloth Baby Show prep Betty the Bee Activity Book

Ta da… and here I am at the Auckland Baby Show! What fun!

The Baby Show stall 1   Baby Show stall 3

This is me at the Storylines Family Day, also super fun!

Storylines Family Day

Storylines Family Day 2

All in all, that took us about 3 months to prepare for and every second was worth it! We loved each part of the creative process and look forward to rest of the year!