Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lady Liberty's Closet

The first grade classes at E's school do a monthly special share. It varies from writing a few sentences to making a how to video. This month we had to make something that involved the Statue of Liberty. E could choose to write a story, a poem, make a poster or build something.

Naturally he wanted to build something. I have to say my building talents are not the strongest and H was slated for a lot of traveling. E and I kicked around Lego creations, foam sculpture and paper mache and chicken wire.

L kept reminding us that we only had a week and that all of those ideas sounded great until you actually got started. She was lucky, in 1st grade her classroom got to do the Flag and we wrote a story and drew a picture.

Then while watching reruns of Bravo's Top Chef, it hit me. We could do a deconstructed Lady Liberty. It is all the rage in food, why not in national symbols?

While we are used to seeing Lady Liberty looking a bit like this:

E and I have transformed her and we proudly present Lady Liberty's Closet:

and inside her closet:

She really is very one note when it comes to color. I think she may need a fashion intervention.

E and I crafted all of her items using stuff we found around the house. The box we got from a neighbor's trash pile. It was exactly deep enough and in very good shape. E and I covered the "doors" in duck tape. JoAnn's has piles and piles of colorful duck tape. The door nobs are drawer pulls from a table I got from my mom but immediately changed the drawer pulls out.

For the closet bar, E and I measured and cut some old pvc pipe we found in the basement. I used a hack saw. H was in the kitchen and yelled down, "Are you cutting PVC pipe." I yelled back, "Like a pro."

For the sandals, we traced E's feet and then cut a top strip. The tablet was easy, just free hand a gravestone shape and cut.

For the torch we used a plastic cup and part of a paper towel roll and duck tape. (on the day of the presentation, we have gold tissue paper all prepared to act as the flames.)

While the building was fun, I think E enjoyed dying a length of old white sheet, using hot water and Rit Dye. He got to pour and stir.

The only part of Lady Liberty's outfit, which we bought was her crown. It was a 99 cents foam crown, which came in grey sparkly. The down side is it only has five points and the real one has seven points, but we are working with what we have and seriously, the crown is sparkly. (Even after we painted it.)

While many people thought me using a hack saw was the scariest part of this project; it wasn't. The scariest part of this project was allowing E to spray paint the props. We found, at JoAnn's, blue spray paint that is pretty close to the correct color.

So last Saturday and again on Sunday for touch ups, I placed the sandals, torch, crown, and tablet on newspaper and shook the can of paint and handed it to my six year old. Crazy I know. It was not lost on me, as he began spraying, that this was a spectacularly poor idea.

Although with some coaching, he actually did a pretty good job.

So for about $15, E and I have built something for his project and he is excited to share his creation and the fun facts he has learned about the Statue of Liberty. He has note cards all set, with each clothing item on it in big letters and 1-3 sentences about that item on the back.

I hate to be cliche, but sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

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