Every year for the last three years I have helped at an event for this organization that I support, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Chicago. They put on Chicago’s largest mental health walk, NAMIWalks Chicago. [Short PSA- 1 in 4 Americans struggle with mental illness. If you need support groups, education, or other resources around mental illness, you can find your local NAMI affiliate here: http://tinyurl.com/z3vgq%5D If you’d like to contribute to my team, let me know!
This year, I decided I wanted to do something to help build up the team spirit before people start the walk. I decided to create a backdrop for people to take pictures in front of before the walk begins (or after they finish), using the NAMI of Greater Chicago logo. Something like celebs get their pictures taken in front of at red carpet events, like this:
But you know, on a limited budget and DIY. Cause that’s how I roll.
Things you will need:
A white flat sheet (I think queen size)
Cardboard for your stencil of the logo
Butcher paper or extra cardboard
Spray paint of your choosing- I used 2 colors Montana Black brand
A big outside area that a little stray spray paint won’t damage
Heavy odds and ends from around your house to keep the sheet in place while you’re working
Grommets (or keep reading for alternate ideas for how to hang this up) and a hammer
Exacto knife/razor blade
I actually had some assistance- someone else made this stencil, because he has made one before for rally protest signs that have the NAMI-GC logo on it. He happily created one for me:
Courtesy of one of the patient staff members. I actually used the painter’s tape on some of the skinniest pieces to strengthen it a little bit.
So I don’t really have any instructions on that. See how I made the Mockingjay shirt a few posts down for how I’ve made stencils in the past.
Once your stencil is ready, you should roll out some of that butcher paper (or more cardboard) and test out your spray paint(s) on it. If your spray paint is new, you definitely want to shake it well and test it for a few good sprays. The blue one I used was sort of still changing colors when I did my first two stencils. This is also a chance to test out how you’ve secured the stencil- if areas look “smudged” then you probably don’t have it firmly anchored down enough.
I have a roll of drawing/butcher paper from Ikea that worked well for this.
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