Today I’m going to share the steps I took to create a prop replica of this Twisted Sister record album for a Becket stage show a few years ago:
We had done a skit routine to the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” which was released 38 years ago today, on April 27th 1984. In addition to the skit requirements of tossing the record album around, in general props are often flung out of the way during quick set changes, and we didn’t want to take a chance on damaging an actual record, even if we’d owned one. Therefore I decided to make this stage-safe replica that I could easily re-make in case of damage or loss.
The basis of the record is a piece of stiff cardboard cut to size. Standard record albums are 7″, 10″ and 12″. Unfortunately the best piece of cardboard I had was only 11″ wide but since no one would be able to tell from the audience so I cut it into a square to use. The key was cardboard that would be thick enough to not bend or warp during the multiple rehearsals and performances. If your cardboard is too thin you can layer a few sheets together with glue.
To replicate the “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll” album, my next step was to paint the entire surface with black acrylic paint. I will be demonstrating the steps for this specific album but the same principles can be followed to recreate any required prop for theater or costume use. You can even copy your favorite albums for wall decor!
Many of my projects involve using templates and this one is no different! Once I’d chosen my cardboard I printed a copy of the record album to the appropriate scale.
Then I used the graphite trick of scribbling along the back of my image in order to transfer the design. These days I use carbon paper as I find it faster and easier, but pencils work well too.
With the back of the image covered in graphite (or with carbon paper underneath), I placed it into the correct spot and traced over all the lines. A stylus works great for this but you can just as easily use a pencil or ballpoint pen.
It’s hard to see the transferred image. I did play with the contrast to try and show it but it’s pretty faint.
Using the original album cover art for reference, I colored in the image with metallic markers and added highlights with a Derwent Drawing white pencil.
I used the same transfer method to add the album title…
…though this time I pushed a bit harder into the cardboard to give my marker ink borders. This can help contain a bit of the ink flow, if your markers are very runny. If you don’t have markers in the proper colors you can paint your album cover instead.
I had a close-enough color in my metallic markers so I used that for the band name and smaller lettering.
The final touch was a few coats of sealant for protection and then the album cover replica was complete!
This was a super easy and fast DIY that looks incredibly effective on stage, and because it was only cardboard and markers I didn’t have to add to our prop budget nor worry if it took some abuse and I had to remake it. That said, it was surprisingly sturdy and held up great through every rehearsal and all performances.
You can easily use the same steps to recreate any album for your own prop needs.