CraftStylish Reports from CHA

CraftStylish Reports from CHA

Wall to Wall Paper

comments (21) February 2nd, 2009     

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Jeff_Rudell Jeffery Rudell, contributor
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Oversized ornaments? Decorative wall art? Would you believe, theyre just magazines from the garbage bin?
Three hundred fifty magazines with 77,000 individual folds is all it took to create this dramatic and sophisticated wall treatment.
To promote our website, we turned to the analog medium that preceded it: the humble magazine.
Oversized ornaments? Decorative wall art? Would you believe, theyre just magazines from the garbage bin?

Oversized ornaments? Decorative wall art? Would you believe, they're just magazines from the garbage bin?

Photo: Jeff Rudell
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In all of the previous hours of discussion, we had failed to come up with any ideas that excited us. Once we started talking about—and actually folding—magazines, however, it was clear to all that this was precisely the sort of thing that made sense: We would literally be crafting our own booth, we'd be creating it using magazines otherwise destined for a landfill, we would be transforming a modest material into a marvelous creation, and in the process, we would be building a booth that would capture the attention of convention goers and generate buzz about our site. Everyone agreed; the idea had that certain thrum one feels when something it right, a sort of vibration that lets you know you're on the right track.

Almost immediately the five of us were sold on the idea. It took only a few minutes more to convince the publisher to give us the go ahead. Then, we each decamped back to our respective studios, leaving the burden of how, exactly, to produce this project on the desk of Senior Marketing Manager Jessica Aframe. (As an aside, Jessica was away on vacation when we had our meeting. It wasn't until she returned to work that she discovered the task we'd set for her.) It turned out to be a Herculean task, at that. Let it be said right here, without Jessica's diligent and methodical (and tenacious) efforts, this idea would never have come to fruition. At every turn she met with resistence:

Could we prefold all the magazines? No, because they would have become too compressed and then wouldn't "fan out" as needed. So, she arranged for some office interns to prefold each magazine halfway (to step 1). (A huge shout-out to the interns from all of us who folded step 2 in Anaheim. We feel your pain and appreciate your hard work!)

Could we paint the wall? No. So, she found a company, Production Prints, to custom-print a bright fuchsia color on removable Avery vinyl—and then got the company to send Jeff Andrews to the convention hall to help us install it. Our thanks to Jeff—you were a lifesaver.)

When she discovered, at the 11th hour, that the convention hall had given us the wrong dimension for our booth—and that we would be short sufficient vinyl to cover it, she negotiated with Production Prints to rush through an order for the material we were missing.

Where are the lights? Where is the signage for the booth? Where are the tables and chairs we ordered? Jessica handled all of these logistical matters and then pitched in folding all 350 magazines (step 2) and attaching them to the wall.

The results are pictured below. Suffice it to say, we made quite a splash. Other vendors wandered over to watch or progress and marvel at the scale of the job before us (some of them clearly unsure how the finished project would look); convention attendees walked by, glanced, then glanced again, before slowing their pace and eventually approaching with questions: What is it? What's it made of? Who did it? Can I touch it? (and one person even asked...) Can I buy it?

I'm pleased to report that as a result we introduced hundreds of people to CraftStylish.com. As well, a great many crafters who are already familiar with us online stopped by to greet us in person. Best of all, though, was the feedback we were able to collect from brand-new and seasoned members alike: what they like about the site, how it can be improved, what can we do better, and how can they participate?

Since the response to our Wall to Wall Paper was so enthusiastic, we wanted to offer a quick how-to to anyone interested in replicating it themselves. Mind you, it is not a project for everyone, but should you and a group of friends find yourself with a few years' worth of magazines and a few days' worth of free time, you may just want to give it a whirl. I can tell you we had a blast creating it and we hope we did you, our members, proud in front of the CHA participants.


A pile of old magazines is all that's needed to craft this project. Experience suggests a magazine of 100 pages is sufficient. You're welcome to use magazines with more pages, but be warned, more pages means more folding.

 

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posted in: recycled magazines

Comments (21)

andrew_bentley160 writes: Looks really cool. I've been thinking of throwing away some of my old magazine, but I'm starting to reconsider it now.
Posted: 8:24 am on February 1st
MKennard writes: Hi I am a gcse student of st marylebone school and i was wondering if i could use your website in my coursework?
thanks,
Madison Kennard
Posted: 7:40 am on November 4th
Maggie2020 writes: To bring more attention to our “Toys for Tots” toy drive, in art class our 75 5th graders recycled National Geographic magazines. The display in the main lobby of our elementary school measures 8 feet by 10 feet. Wrapped boxes of toys were on the floor underneath.
Students folded the magazines to create the diamond shape. Starting at the top two magazines were attached together to add fullness using a staple gun. They continued for 8 rows alternating on each side of the first shape to create the triangle shape of the tree. They added texture lines to the trunk and even made that dimensional when they hung it by stapling the left side first and stapling the right side from inside the trunk. The top was adorned with an oversized origami crane symbolizing peace; smaller cranes were hung on the tree.
They really enjoyed making this; even the parents commented how they remember folding magazines when they were younger.

Posted: 9:05 am on December 31st
emt writes: The booth was wonderful. I learned this trick when i was about 12 years old (50+ years ago!)with a paperback book to be used as a door stop. I am glad to see it revived so beautifully.
Posted: 9:07 pm on November 13th
alanapr1 writes: I would like to thank you not just for a great idea, but for taking us all through the process of designing the booth. It is great to get an idea of what the process is, for those of us who don't do such things.
Posted: 2:27 am on May 30th
grandmaof62 writes: What an awesome Idea. Just made it. took maybe a half hour to make one. It looks so COOL. Was just thinking that it would be even more awesome if I strung beads and attached them to the end of each fold then from the top and bottome as well. Think that would be so Cool. What a wonderful Idea to recycle old magazines which I have alot of.
Posted: 12:47 am on March 23rd
RAli writes: This is such a simple and brilliant idea! "make something out of nothing".
Posted: 9:01 am on March 12th
booklady2228 writes: WOW! I'm going to a a few of these and place them on the outside of my house (under the porch) and watch them flutter in the wind; I might even hang a few and watch them twirl!
Thanks!
Posted: 11:34 am on March 4th
JohnWLennon writes: I remember making Christmas trees out of Reader's Digest magazines as a kid using this same concept. Then we would spray paint them gold. I too have worked many trade shows and pre set up was always so exciting and one couldn't wait to see the finished product. Your finished product is awesome! I just one of those is made and hung on a wall, it will create a thousand questions. Great conversation peice for a party and it's easy enough to get the kids involved. Thumbs up!


Posted: 9:38 am on March 1st
smartstyle writes: That is so cool and smart! I am about to start my first one!

Posted: 4:52 pm on February 27th
glitterbirdie writes: very very cool...love it
Posted: 7:00 am on February 16th
newlifeartworks writes: love it!
Posted: 3:15 pm on February 8th
TGIretirement writes: Congratulations on your great trade show booth. As someone who has designed numerous trade show booths over the years I know how challenging it is to do something that is original and eye catching, and that reflects exactly what your organization or company stands for. Your finished product achieved all of these. Kudos to all who were involved.
Posted: 9:17 am on February 7th
jaxlady writes: What an amazing booth! I have worked in booths in various shows throughout the years and I know the work involved in designing and setting up for a show. Congratulations to one and all for this truly original creation!
Oh, and I also feel for Jessica when she discovered the booth was larger than advertised. Always a challenge!
Posted: 7:56 am on February 7th
AWilcox writes: Very cool indeed!
Posted: 12:07 pm on February 4th
crafty_gal writes: Thanks for your kind words Jeffery! It was amazing to see this all come together. I'd like to give an extra shout out to Caitlin Channing and Lily Cambell our interns who spent 2 days folding magazines to help us get ready...we could not have done it without you guys :)
Posted: 7:12 am on February 3rd
ggmom writes: Does anyone remember back in the sixties when we use to create christmas decorations with old magazines with the same process. We used old Readers Digest mainly. Created santa (Mr & Mrs) angels were just a few that I remember.

I love it when old ideas become new ideas. We love to recycle :)
Posted: 11:46 am on February 2nd
JenniferStern writes: Kudos to all--I can't think of a more appropriate backdrop for Craftstylish...thanks for show us how to do it!
Posted: 9:25 am on February 2nd
RubyKitty writes: What a great idea. These look so effective, especially when grouped together. Very impressive.
Posted: 2:24 am on February 2nd
Jen_W writes: Phew, I'm tired thinking about all the work you all put into it, as well as exhilarated by the creativity that you brought to a simple material. Well done, all of you, and thanks especially to Jessica, who I can second was a life-saver throughout the show.
Posted: 12:46 am on February 2nd
2manyideas writes: Jeffery:

I applaud you and the other contributors and staff of interns for such an outstanding and awesome booth wall! I loved it so much I thought seriously about taking all my old magazines and folding them up and putting them on my wall! The vinyl was an inspiration too. I wonder how heavy that wall was after they were all hung up?! ;-)
Posted: 12:45 am on February 2nd
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