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DIY Twisted Sister Album Replica

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.

That’s it!

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.

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Record, Star and Music Note Cookies

Last year was my first year performing with the Becket Players.  Actually it was my first time performing on stage since college, roughly 18 years prior.  :O  In addition to being one of the actors (the performers are divided between singers, dancers and actors) I also made most of the props for the show.  I ended up making some really cool things for us to use, and I’ll be posting tutorials for all of it over the coming months.  I’m part of the show again this year, and tonight is our first prop/set design meeting, so I figured it was as good a day as any to post these cookies I’d made last year and never showed.

Last April the cast got together for a costume parade at one of our homes… to eat, drink and try on all the costumes for every song, skit and dance number, take pics and see how everything looked cohesively, what worked and what needed last minute changes.  Everyone was asked to bring a little something to eat, and I decided to make these cookies.

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I made my standard vanilla plain/shortbread recipe and rolled the dough pretty thick, as I wanted them to remain somewhat moist in the center.  I cut the shapes from star, music note and circle cookie cutters and then after they were baked I left them to cool overnight. 2015-04-11 record star music note cookies 02

The next day I used the same cookie cutters to cut out some thinly-rolled fondant, yellow for the stars and black for the music notes.  I moistened the top of each cookie slightly with water and then smoothed the fondant down over the cookie, making sure the edges were well stuck.  The records were done the same way, only I used 2 sizes of smaller cutters than the base cookie, and a straw for the tiny center dot.  If I were to redo these I’d actually cut the black circle with the smaller cutter and inset the yellow label into it, and do the same for the black center, as that would be more accurate… but for a quick design, the layered version works too.
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The final touch was to write on the labels with my black edible ink marker.  The theme of our show last year was Legends, Fads & One-Hit Wonders and I wrote all the names of the songs we did in the show on individual record cookies.  I’d say they were a hit… but they already are! 😀