Tag Archives: cardboard

Valentine’s Day Links

Happy Friday, everyone! For those of you in my part of the country, I hope you survived the winter storm(s) alright. Whether you are back to work or still stuck in your house, here are some prop-related articles for your reading pleasure:

The ever-inspiring prop maker Ross MacDonald has a post on some of the period paper props he has made for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire over the past four years. His props are always well-researched and produced on vintage machines as close to how they were originally produced.

Collector’s Weekly has a great piece on the fifty year history of Easy-Bake Ovens. If you have never checked out their blog, this is a great piece to start on. Their stories are always a cut above the rest, filled with tons of great photographs, and delving into the history of various objects in great detail.

If you are interested in making props while spending barely any money on materials, check out the Cardboard Armory. As the name suggests, this blog details various armor and weapon projects built with little more than cardboard, hot glue and the occasional piece of PVC pipe.

Though directed at woodworkers, Popular Woodworking’s “Top 6 Ways to Become a Better Woodworker” is just as relevant to the prop maker. Ok, it’s actually five ways, since one of the ways is to read Popular Woodworking (though if you build prop furniture from wood, it’s a good magazine to check out).

Alpha Officium makes historically-accurate coins out of real metal. His website has some common coins like Florins and Groats, and he can also do custom orders if you need something more specific.

Friday Prop Notes

These guys made a life-size pirate ship using nothing but cardboard and hot glue. And they did it all in five days.

I’m looking forward to the film Monuments Men, about a team of art preservationists who go behind enemy lines in World War II to rescue artworks stolen by the Nazis. Credits talks with the production designer, Jim Bissell, on how they created the locations of a ruined Europe for the film.

Here are some blank vintage labels you can download and fill in with whatever text or logos you need for your next period show.

If you ever wanted to get started with circuits and electronics in your props, but didn’t know where to start, Tested has put together a nice little guide to getting started.

And finally, here is a brief history of the coping saw, which I am sure will answer all the burning questions you have had about the coping saw.

Friday Prop Links

Happy Friday, everyone! For those of us in the middle of holiday shows, whether NutcrackerChristmas CarolTuna Christmas, or what have you, I hope it’s going well. I have some fun things from around the internet you can read:

Propnomicon has been doing some research into early shipping crates and packaging, and has shared some of the discoveries made. It may be surprising to see that manufacturers were shipping products in corrugated cardboard boxes rather than wooden crates back in the 1920s.

A short article of note tells how 3D printing is finding a home in Hollywood. Of course, regular readers of this blog already know this, but it is still interesting to see specifically how and where prop makers are using 3D printing technology.

La Bricoleuse has an interesting post up about the parasols her students made in her decorative arts class. Now I know many props masters do not consider parasols to be a “prop”; I’m sharing it because Playmakers’ props assistant (and good friend) Joncie Sarratt has a stunning diagram of the parasol she had to create for their production of Tempest.

Finally, Kamui Cosplay is poised to release The Book of Cosplay Armor Making with Worbla and Wonderflex. I haven’t seen the book yet, but if it is anything like her tutorials, it’s sure to be a very informative look at working with various low-temperature thermoplastics.

Wooden table after staining and sealing

More on a Wooden Table

In the previous post, I spoke about the wooden table we were building for The Last Cargo Cult.

Wooden table after staining and sealing
Wooden table after staining and sealing

Jay Duckworth started off with a coat of darker stain to catch the raised grain and really accentuate it. He went over the whole thing again with a lighter shade. After it appeared on stage during tech rehearsal, Peter Ksander, the designer, wanted to see it a bit darker and richer. I added a light coat of Red Mahagony stain, which got it where it wanted to go; we sealed it with a thin coat of water-based polyurethane. You may have noticed some boxes behind the table, which were the other major props challenge on this show. Below is a wider shot to show the full tableau.

The set of The Last Cargo Cult
The set of The Last Cargo Cult

Meredith Ries, who helped us out with a lot of the box work, has a more extensive write-up on the cardboard boxes at her own blog. The pile is about sixteen feet high at its tallest point.

The Last Cargo Cult is currently in previews and opens this Monday, December 7th.