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Picture of Giant Party Prop Book
giant book prof 2.jpg

Every year the Panhellenic Alumnae women of Kansas City host a brunch and auction to raise scholarship funds for collegiate sorority women. This year, the theme of the brunch was Alice in Wonderland. Because I knew the Instructables Party Challenge was coming up, I offered to make a giant book photo prop....what we won't do for an Instructables entry idea...

This is an ultra light and super cheap book that measures about 4 feet (1.2m) tall by 6 feet (1.8m) wide.

A giant book would be a great party prop for book-themed parties (a huge, magical Harry Potter book?!), fairytale-themed proms, or even a children's book baby shower!

Step 1: Book Covers Pt. 1

Picture of Book Covers Pt. 1

The first thing to decide when making a giant book is... how big do I want it.... or more importantly, do I have a big enough vehicle to tote this thing to its destination? Something to keep in mind is, what will the book be used for? That will help you decide how large you want to make it. This prop was going to be the background for pictures, so after assuming the easel height, we could guess the size of our book. I also knew I couldn't fit the 4'x8' foam board in my SUV, so we had to cut it in half right off the bat. Since we weren't at home, we had to do a quick cut with a utility knife. This isn't ideal as the foam "sheds" everywhere and the cut isn't smoothed and sealed; however, this was fine to do on the straight lines, and it was just a pre-cut anyways. we ended up with two (2) 4'x4' foam board squares.

Book cover sides are usually not square, so we knew we would need to do more trimming. We liked the book 4 feet tall, so we decided each page would be 3 feet wide. I also knew that after we cut off the extra foot, we would have enough foam to build the six (6) 3D page supports. If you make your book bigger, make sure you have enough foam board to make 6+ supports.

To cut the foam board, I measured a foot off one edge in multiple places, laid a long board on the marks, and made my cuts with the hot knife, gliding the knife against the wood for support and making sure to keep the knife as perpendicular to the foam as possible.

Hot Knife: To make the knife, I cut the shape of a knife out of an old sheet of copper (great heat conductor) with a dremmel. I grabbed the end with vice grips (pliers would work as well) and heated the knife up with a propane torch for about 15 seconds. If you use this method, make sure you work in a ventilated area and don't breathe in the foam fumes! Another option is to make a hot knife out of a soldering iron like in this Instructable, but who doesn't like the idea of a giant copper knife? Amirite? Lastly, commercial hot wire styrofoam cutters are also a great, probably safer, option.

clange603 months ago
That is a great idea for holidays and party idea. Thank you
afraser-kruck3 months ago
Cool idea. Thanks for sharing the build :)