Monday, June 11, 2012

VBS: Giant DIY Victoria Falls Rainbow

My DIY Giant Rainbow for VBS. (That's my "Boog." She said she wanted to be "under the rainbow!")

Remember that rainbow I told you I wanted to make out of swim noodles? Well, I did it! I'm hoping that it will enhance my Victoria Falls room. I consider this a prototype, and I'm sure you'll think of better ways to do it, but here are the directions for how I made mine.

1. Gather your materials:
  • 2 of each color swim noodle (6 were from Dollar General, and 2 came from Wal-Mart, each at under $2 each. I did see them at Dollar Tree, though, so you could cut your expense in half!)
  • fishing line ( I used 15 pound from Wal-Mart at under $3)
  • glue gun and sticks (NOT the mini one - tried that first and it failed)
  • wire coat hangers (straightened)
  • scissors (I used the heavy duty ones that came with my kitchen knives)
  • cotton batting (fiberfill, polyfill)
2. Thread the noodles with the straightened coat hangers. You should bend a hook into the end your pushing through so that it doesn't snag. I tried two different methods. First I placed one in each noodle, but since I was unsure how I would link the two together, I changed and began placing half the hanger in one and threading the other noodle on the protruding end. This worked okay, but I think I prefer having a full coat hanger in each so that you can bend the entire noodle.

3. Where the noodles touch, trim one of them to have an angle, so that when you push them together, they have a little arch.

4. Hot glue the two noodles together, end to end. (Yes, you're right. Hot glue DOES melt swim noodles, and I sort of knew that going in, but we've had such a rainy day here that I couldn't imagine how long it would take for craft glue to dry. So I went forward with the plan!) I will say that the Dollar General noodles were much more tolerant of the hot glue, while the Wal-Mart ones melted like wet cotton candy. No matter, I did pick up a few tricks to help...
  • Don't let the tip of the glue gun touch the foam.
  • If you have a colossal fail, trim the yucky parts off, get a clean edge, and start over.
  • You may need to trim the end of the noodle into a doughnut shape in anticipation of the foam melting flat.
  • Drop the glue from a couple of inches above so it can cool a little.
  • Hold the pieces tightly together for at least a minute. Then lay them gently down and hope for the best. You'll be surprised at how it will eventually work.
5. Once your glue has cooled and held tight, hold the seam in one hand and bend one side into an arch. Do likewise with the other side.

6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each color you have.

7. Align the seams of all noodle sets in a rainbow design and use the fishing line to weave over and under each noodle about 6 inches to the left of the seams. Knot then ends and apply a dot of hot glue. You'll need to pull the line tightly while the glue dries so it doesn't slip out. Repeat this about 6 inches on the other side of the seams and then about every foot on both sides.

8. Push the foam in and thread a little fishing line under one of your fishing lines. Knot it and glue it to create a hanger. You can do this wherever you like.

9. For the clouds, I just widened a hanger and shoved batting here and there until it was covered and cloud-like. Then I pushed the hanger hook through one of the noodles and rearranged batting to cover it.

In all, I have about $18 invested and am happy with the results! It wasn't exactly easy, but I think it will make a great addition to my Victoria Falls room.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I'll happily help as best I can. You can visit this post to see more VBS Victoria Falls ideas. Also, I'd love to hear of your ideas for making an indoor rainbow.

UPDATE: I finished my room! Click here to see the blog post and picture.


Meryl said...

Great rainbow!

Mommy Does Everything said...

Great Idea !! who knew with the noodles !! Hello from new follower so glad I found this blog :)

Mikki said...

Thanks y'all! So glad you dropped in! I'm coming to visit you now.

Amber said...

Thanks so much. I was just wondering what else I could do to decorate my room that was inexpensive.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the great idea! Found your blog through pinterest and I am making the rainbow today to decorate for my VBS room.