I get it now. I get why people have approx. 6 million boards on Pinterest, each one dedicated to a tiny aspect of weddings. One to coordinate the program color with the dress color, another to pair the construction of your sweetheart table’s chairs with the font on your invitations, one meticulously recording all 15 beauty routines you’re trying to adopt before the big day, and yet another filled with coping advice for when you’ve lost track of time and somehow missed a week of work. Planning a wedding. JEEZE. I mean, it was the biggest blast of my life and we’re going to be writing about it for quite some time into the future, but WOW. It really, really takes over your life. So much so mine that the fun I’d been having with a monthly Loot Crate Hack was thrown to the wayside, buried beneath spools of ribbons, paper samples, and centerpieces. But now, the rings are on, the families are returned to their respective states, and I’m back to tearing open my Loot Crate with zeal, ready to dig through my (newly created) craft room for ways to play with an item each month.

 Without further ado, then: Welcome back to Loot Crate Hacks!

january crateIf the first crate of 2016 sets the tone for the remaining 11 months, subscribers will be sitting on their front porches staring at their tracking information until the delivery arrives in anticipation. INVASION brought fans items from X-Files (now officially back on the air!), Alien, Space Invaders, and The Fifth Element. Personally, I’m not sure which is more adorable: the disgustingly cute facehugger plush or the Space Invader vinyl. Our little facehugger is becoming extremely well-acquainted with our closest family and friends. And a few neighbors. And our resident giant bright green T-rex. Okay, anything that the official “Facehugger band” will fit around gets facehugged. We don’t discriminate in this house.

 

 January’s Hack

As much as I love the design on the mini-poster prints, I really and truly will never actually hang them anywhere. I have art from conventions that I hand picked to hang on my walls that has still not seen frame nor nail. It’s just not happening. But paper craft has been part of my Hobby-Lite repertoire for awhile now, so I knew there was something cute to be done.

alien

The thick quality of the print made using it as a cut up wrap difficult, but did inspire a new kind of transformation: pop up designs! You know those freakishly expensive birthday cards that spring up as you open them? The really cool ones that magically transform a flat folded card into a 3-D wonderland? That’s what we’re talking about here. Just, with a really cool alien themed print.

Materials

alien layout

★ Two Loot Crate Invasion Prints

★An Exacto Blade

★Cutting Mat (A thick piece of cardboard will do the trick in a pinch–just be cautious)

★Practice Paper

★Ruler

★Pop up template (mine came from here. They have a couple of fun 8-bit alien templates free for use!)

alien pop up template
Cut completely through the darker black lines; score along the lighter lines.

We’re going to be cutting the design directly into the print, and I know that I have a tenuous at-best relationship with Exacto blades, so I pulled out a piece of plain cardstock to practice on. It’s a safe measure if you’re not familiar with paper craft or Exacto blades. This way you can gain some experience AND avoid ruining one of your exclusive prints. Win win.

alien pro

Cutting out a paper template can help you visualize the final result, so print or sketch out the design you’re going to be carving into the print before beginning. Since I don’t have a printer at the moment, I opted for tracing my lines onto a piece of slightly sheer freezer paper.

★Decide where you’d like your pop up to be centered and tape the template carefully down. The print is glossy and tape is easily removable, but be wary just in case!

★Once taped, carefully use the craft knife to cut along the markings, carefully and slowly. Make sure each cut is thorough–the print is thicker than normal paper used in cards, so it may take a bit of extra pressure for a completely clean cut–or a second go through.

★When scoring the folds, be careful not to break fully through the print.

★Before cutting, figure out where you want the fold to occur but do not fold the print along that line yet–it will crease part of the cut out and will fold easily after everything is cut and ready to be popped out.

alien side

★The thickness of the print requires a little gentle persuasion to pop, so carefully push the pieces out and forward, bending along the scored lines to help increase movement and push our little saucer into the world of 3-D. Just be careful of unnecessary bending!

★Ta-da! Now we have a cool Pop-Up Print to use as a backdrop, a desk accessory, or whatever else you can think of! Set your X-Files LED Flashlight behind it for an eerie invasion-in-progress look. Fold some tiny alien origami to prop up around your new little scene. Add some weight and use them as bookends. It’s a whole new world of possibilities!

alien 2

HOW LOOT CRATE HACKS WORKS

basic ground rules for each month’s hack: I want my crafted hack to be as widely accessible as possible. I know that everyone does not have two rooms full of crafting supplies at their disposal, as I do, so the intent is to create something using as few and as common supplies as I possibly can. That doesn’t mean I won’t try and do some crazy specialized things if the motivation hits, but there will always be a version that can be easily and cheaply replicated.

This project is done entirely for fun. I have no affiliation with Loot Crate, just a love for their nerdy boxes and the cool stuff that comes inside each month. I appreciate the inspiration that their themes and items allow, as well as the opportunity to play with things I would never otherwise purchase for myself.

Writer. Cosplayer. Binge Netflix Watcher. Anime Dweeb. Book Enthusiast. Harbours inappropriately strong feelings about Shakespeare and William Blake. Once lost a whole day theorizing about Game of Thrones. The most motivated procrastinator she knows. Sometimes it works out in her favor. Mostly just causes widespread panic. It’s all good though, because she never forgets her towel.

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