A few months ago my friend Chris gave me an interesting challenge: find a fun new way to display 10-20 Tsum Tsums in a Star Wars nursery.
This one really kicked my butt, and it took me AGES to think of anything remotely interesting, but at long last, here's what John and I came up with:
It's cute, right?
There's room for at least 10 more Tsums, which is essential since Chris plans to buy more.
The best part is it's made from pink insulation foam sheets, which are cheap and feather-light. (Find them at any hardware store.) The foam also sands and paints beautifully, though I should warn you getting the edges super smooth is hard, and will take more work & sanding than I put in. Ideally you'll want to put a finish on your display that's meant to look aged or rough. (Or just paint it all flat black; that covers a lot of texture sins.) For a nursery, though, I wanted to keep it bright and clean - and Chris requested the hot pink, which I'm diggin'.
I really like the possibilities here: you could carve different shapes or letters into your square of foam. Spell out a name, or use a simple silhouette like we did. (Mickey head, anyone?)
I'm sure a lot of you can figure this DIY out just from the photo, but let me walk you through it and give you some tips.
[Quick heads up: you will need a scroll saw or handheld jigsaw for this. (Scroll saw is best, since the blade stays straight.) However, it's a great beginner project, since the foam cuts like butter. So if you've got a saw in the garage, give this a try!]
Right. First, print your design full-size. We used the tiling feature on our printer, then taped the pages together to make a template:
No need to cut the template out; just place the paper on your foam and trace it with a pen or chopstick - anything sharp enough to dent the foam underneath.
Bonus judgey Pascal for scale.
Oh, and make sure you place the design so there's at least an inch or more of foam around the outside edge. Ours is about 18 inches square in total. You can size up or down depending on how many Tsums you want to display. (This size should hold about 20.)
Remove the template, and retrace your lines with a pen so they're easy to see:
Next, we cut!
Tsums are about 2.75 inches long, and I wanted their little heads to stick out, so we made our display 2.5 inches deep. The pink insulation foam comes in several thicknesses up to 1 inch, so we stacked two one-inch pieces and one half-inch. (Our half-inch piece is blue, but it's basically the same stuff.)
See the three layers?
NOTE: You must use a water-based glue on insulation foam; anything like E-6000 or even hot glue will melt it. Use white craft glue or wood glue instead.
Before you glue your 3 pieces together, though, check your scroll saw blade. If it's like ours and on the short side, then all 3 layers won't fit - you'll have to cut two together and the third separately. (Tedious, I know.) You lucky ducks with a giant 7 inch blade, though, should have no problem cutting the whole stack in one go.