Okay, so I am totally “that aunt” right now. I might have gotten a LITTLE carried away when my niece chose us for a visit from her Flat Stanley. My aim: to dazzle.
Anyhoo, if you are ever called upon to host a Flat Stanley, I thought you might enjoy seeing how we tackled the challenge, hopefully even glean some ideas? Wheeee!
We received Stanley as a black outline on a white sheet of paper, so the first thing we did was copy (using our home scanner/printer) and print him onto peachy-colored cardstock. Then I printed out a local “t-shirt” logo for him onto grey cardstock, then traced his cut out torso onto the back of it to then cut the shirt a little bigger than his frame. [Incidentally, "Tourists" is the name of our local baseball team, which is so apropos for this touring guy! We also added hair, jeans, and shoes. If we were fully dressing Stanley in local attire, I might have also added a cardigan and wayfarer glasses for this mountain/hipster community.]
TIP: If we were to do this again, I would also dress the BACK of Stanley, including hair, shirt, jeans, and shoes, so that we could “look over his shoulder” and take a photo of him looking at something.
After we glued on his clothes, I laminated him. [If you do not own or have access to a laminator, you can buy self-stick laminator sheets at Walmart or any office supply store.] This not only made Stanley more durable for our adventures, but it also allowed me to change his facial expressions at will with just the use of a wet wipe and a wet-erase marker!
If you are doing one of these projects, there are two sorts of compositions to focus on: the tourist destination attractions that your area boasts and the day-to-day activities that give an insight and connection to your unique family/culture. I carried a bag around in my car that was equipped with duct tape (which I used here on Stanley’s feet so he could pose in front of Biltmore House), blue tape (if I wanted him to “hold” something for a photo or stick him to something without damaging the surface), wet wipes, and a dry erase marker.
It was fun to play with angles and focus. Stanley does not have to be the main focus of every frame… He just needs to be there somewhere.
My FAVORITE was being able to pose him in different situations and draw his facial expressions accordingly. [Here he is being greeted by the stone lions at Biltmore House's entrance.]
And when Sis fell asleep in school pick-up line… so did Stanley… Thanks to the wet wipe and wet-erase marker I had on hand. [Yes, please envision crazy woman rearranging paper doll's face before quietly turning around in my car seat, in pick up line, to pose and snap this picture. Good times. I'm not sure if anyone in other waiting cars noticed... fingers crossed!]
Once I had taken Stanley on a few adventures, I had several photos from his trip printed and started organizing them.
I knew every photo did not need to appear in chronological order as it was taken, so I laid them out in a loose storyline.
I attached the photos with two-sided tape to colored cardstock pages and added different accessories I’d made for him along the way. [Just googling images and then printing out this very small camera, Blue Ridge Parkway photos, and an "Eat Local" farmers hat was easy. He is wearing/holding these items in some of the photos, but I attached them to the pages at this point.]
Then I printed out very simple blips from Word describing what he is doing in the photos, and attached those descriptions to the pages too.
I left all of the photos as they were… Except for this one. I was having a Gulliver’s Travels Lilliputian moment… And this photo didn’t really work into the book of the trip… But it was too fun to leave out!!
So I cut a cloud border around its edge and made it into a thought bubble expressing how Stanley was feeling a little nervous about his trip. So fun! I also made a book cover by printing a title (“Flat Stanley Visits Asheville, NC”) and affixing a photo.
Once I had all the pages assembled, I slipped them into page protectors.
And I assembled Stanley’s travel book.
The last page has flat Stanley tucked in.
I used a few rings to “bind” the “book.“
And I added a bit of ribbon just for fun.
And voila! All ready to make its trip back home to Mrs. Atkins’ class! [I hope you enjoy, little E! And thanks for choosing us to be a part of this fun school project! Aunt Gina loves you!]