An Overdue Arise & Shine Forth Post

So, amidst the past two months of post-surgery healing, we had our New Beginnings night with our Young Women at church.
For those unfamiliar with this event, it's an evening held towards the beginning of each new year where several things happen.  Most importantly the girls (ages 12-18) have an opportunity to share with their parents & the younger girls who will be turning 12 this year what the Young Women's program, it's theme, and the YW values they live by are all about.  They bear testimony of how living high moral standards strengthens their relationship with their Heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ.  Plus they also often reaffirm these things for themselves internally through the process of it all.  It's pretty powerful.

Also in the duration of the evening, the year's new church-wide theme for the entire Mutual program (both the girls AND the guys, ages 12-18) is introduced through songs, scriptures & sharing of personal experiences.

It's pretty phenomenal.  Stirs my heart & invokes some tears for me every time.  Especially this year, since due to my pain levels intensifying literally on the drive into the church, I could not manage to join the group of leaders as they sang a song about how the YW are lights on a hill.  (Great song by Jenny Phillips, you can check it out here.) 

Boy, am I grateful for my pain!  No lie.  Never thought I'd say that, but seriously, I felt so privileged to take it all in.  To feel each lyric with my heart, to see each of our young women share their light from one flameless candle to another throughout the dark room.  It was beautiful!

Stirred emotions the same way they were stirred the first time I saw the lantern scene in the movie Tangled.  Breathtaking - and I mean that with every letter.  It was THAT wonderful, yes!

Had my pain not come, I would've been more stressed about program details & singing my part right... and I'm afraid I would've missed out on the fulness of the joy.  So I'm lucky to have had my pain that time.

Now that doesn't mean I didn't lift a finger, though.

My portion of the evening this time go-round was the girls' gifts.  What to do?

I was skirting away from the vinyl as much as possible, just for the sheer fact I do not want to abuse the power of vinyl.  It's a fabulous medium, however I don't want to grow tired of it.  So I'm measuring it in doses as much as possible theses days.

Call me crazy, but I also didn't want anything that would just sit and uselessly collect dust.

Personally I have too much to dust, and so I cringe at the idea of shelf trinkets that just look pretty.  It's my own issue, I get it.  But I really wanted something they'd see everyday and not miss in the blur of the busy-ness of their days... like a handout that'd go as far as the book of Genesis in their scriptures.  I wanted to give them something that would have an impact multiple times a day.

So (drumroll please) I made them Arise & Shine Forth light switch plates!

Was worried they'd turn out looking like a kindergarten paste & pasta art project, so I poured my brain out of this "little" project that turned into a massive undertaking.  NEW RULE OF THUMB:  ASSEMBLY LINES, ASSEMBLY LINES, ASSEMBLY LINES.  Oh, and no scheduling of surgeries shortly prior to a New Beginnings or Young Women in Excellence event.  :)

Fortunate for me, Mini-Me & Mr LKP were willing to also work their fingers to the bone to help me make my deadline.  It was close, but we made it happen and for the record they are absolute angels for rescuing me!

So here's a rough photo tutorial for ya'll, coupled with step-by-step instructions.  I'm a visual person, and I need to feel like an idea's something I can tackle easily.  Hence the reason I personally need visual proof first and words later.  (Like when I'm following a recipe... no photo?  Then I'd rather starve.  No.lie.)

I whipped together the print/image in a style that I felt conveyed not only our Arise & Shine Forth message best, but that was current with their styles & taste these days.  (Left a lot of typical shappy-chich scrapbookish-ness aside.)  I had them printed as 4x5's from my favorite pro lab that I deal with regularly, however 4x5 is not a super common size to have printed at a local photo joint.  So one can always just have 4x6's printed.  I went with 4x5 because they meant less waste when I cropped them down to the light switch plate size.  (That's right, I had a GREEN moment, folks!  There are tribes in several rainforests dancing celebratory jigs in my honor right now because of this small choice I made.  LOL.)  All joking aside, no matter the size of the image, the cropping is easy-peasy, two straight cuts per print.  That's.it.  Also, the print needs to be a luster finish so no finger prints become immortalized for Eternity in the Mod Podge finish.  Just sayin'... kinda tacky.  As for affordable plates, any color will work, the plates just need to be the "standard" size, since they keep the cost down, are most universal, and that's what I sized the prints for.  (Plus, Lowe's carried PLENTY on-hand.)
Once all the cropping goes down, the prints need to be glued to the front of the plate.  Then the plate gets flipped over for XACTO knife slicing from one corner to the opposite kitty-corner, within the plate's switch cut-out.  Should look like a tall, anorexic X.
Once all the prints are adhered to their respective plates, the triangle edges of the X cut must be anchored with Scotch tape (apparently this post is a plug for the Scotch Brand adhesives company since I used both their Scotch glue sticks AND their tape.... hmmm, perhaps they'll add me to their Christmas card list this next year.  ::wink::).  When all 4 triangles are anchored (2 pieces of tape per triangle), the tape needs to be sealed down with Mod Podge.
Once all have been sealed and have dried, the plate & print is ready to be framed with gold metallic Galena ribbon by Offray (1/4"  6mm, #'s RN17991/CA07795 - I picked mine up JoAnn's).  All it takes is a nice steady beading of hot glue, then its a matter of pulling the ribbon taut against the glue & edges before too much glue-cooling takes place.  Should make for a smooth, flat edging - which is the goal and is a perfectly lovely affect.  Each plate takes approximately 15" of the ribbon.  (Also, I tried to be sure that all the edges of the print were just below the ribbon's height on the front of the plate.  Does that makes sense?  I didn't want the print floating on top of the ribbon, but I also didn't want the ribbon smashed down when installed on the girls' walls.  Take my word for it, it's something you just have to eyeball.)
Once all plates have their ribbon frames in place, then lay out a TON of parchment/wax paper, and go to town Mod Podging the prints even over the edges & make sure to seal the ribbon as well.  Better security, easier clean-up, and ensures the plates will last longer with all the daily use. 
Oh yeah!  Almost forgot, I didn't actually poke the screw holes through until after all the Mod Podge had cured/dried.  Was easier and less messy that way, plus that way they only have to be punched once, rather than a second time through the Mod Podge that gathers unnecessarily around edges we'd rather not have it bulk up. 
From there the plates need to be bagged up.  We used some flat white glassine bags from my surplus that remains from last year's Relief Society Birthday dinner/"Precious Above All" event.
You can package them however you'd like.  I prefer the simplicity and the sort of chic sneak-preview the glassine bags offered.  Plus, can't beat a price tag of "free" since I already had them on hand.
(If you want a surplus of your own, I got mine from papermart.com for pennies per bag.)
Luckily for us, this scrawny basket (that a year ago went from cradling a plethora of white washcloths in the bathroom to being the nest for all of our Wii remotes, controllers & accessories on the entertainment center) was the PERFECT fit!  And the black metal went sooooo well with all the black lanterns which held each of the Young Women's LED pillar candles throughout the gym.

It was magical how it all worked out, is all I'm saying.

Wait.  Magical?  Nay.  Divinely inspired?  Most definitely.

Happy weekend, everyone.  I've got several adventures on the books to accomplish so I can share them with you soon.  Hopefully I'll also have Mini-Me's latest English assignment to share with you before too long.  It's an English assignment, however it's a video.  And it's hilarious!

Until then, miss me.  ::hugs::


2browndawgs said...

I have been wondering how you have been doing and have been meaning to stop by and say "hi". Sorry to hear that you are still having pain, but you sure came through with the girls' gifts. What a perfect idea and so unique. Just love how they came out. I bet the girls were thrilled.

wendy said...

Sounds like the program was Amazing...truly.
I love the young womens program.

and your light switch covers is absolutely Brilliant. Perfect. It is something they will see every day....I LOVE IT.

Kira Rivadeneira said...

I love these light switch covers!! I have been looking everywhere for fun Birthday presents for our young womens. Yah, we are a litetl behind since it is already May, but just to justify a little we are a pretty new presidency.

I would wondering if you would be kind enough to pass me your template for the light switches. They are darling.

If you don't mind replying, my email is Misskirab@gmail.com.

Love your stuff!


Jared Barcaly said...

Hi There! I love this idea!! We were planning on making these for our Christmas presents for the girls. I went and picked up all the materials and then genious that I am, I just realized that I didn't look to see if the template was available to copy. Is there any chance of getting a copy of the light switch template? We are planning on making the covers on Thursday morning and it will probably take me a month to figure out how to make our own. :) If so here is my email jaredandjacque@msn.com Thanks so much!! Jacque

Anonymous said...

I know this is two years after you put this out onto the internet. Our girls camp this year is based on shining forth your light from inside yourself. I would love to have the girls do this as a craft at camp. Do you still have this template? Would you be willing to share it? My email is margenecressall@gmail.com if you are willing.

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