Make Way for Ducklings

I conceived and executed a project in the last 24 hours and I’ve been completely insufferably proud of it. I might have gotten a crick in my neck from patting myself on the back so much!

The pre-school has an annual tricky tray fund raiser. Until I got to the school I’d never heard of a tricky tray so I’ll let you in on a secret: there is no trick, and there is no tray. I thought a tricky tray was where someone shows you a tray with a number of objects on it and after two minutes covers the tray. Then they ask questions to see who remembers what was there. What color was the cowboy’s hat? How many buttons were on the tray? Was the nickel heads up or tails up?

Nope. A fund raiser tricky tray is a giant raffle. There are many baskets, possibly in the hundreds, and people buy or win or earn tickets which they use to enter the drawing for whichever baskets appeal to them. In past years DH and I have never failed to win something nice. Our school strongly requests that every family donate a basket, or something that can be used as a raffle item, thus the income from the raffle tickets is the profit from the fund raiser.

My entry is framed pictures from Make Way for Ducklings. I’m bit conflicted about what I did to get it. I bought a book from the library’s discard shelves (25 cents) and cut out the pages. The process of book breaking is very frowned upon in bibliophile circles because it has been taken to awful extremes. When I worked at The New York Public Library there was a man who was being hunted by the FBI and Interpol for going to rare book collections and slicing out the illustrations and maps, and then selling them. Lesser extreme examples are that book sellers will destroy a book for the illustrations because they can sell the engravings for more than the value of the book.

I’m going to burn in Librarian Hell.

I cut the binding open and I think I heard the screams from the book, and from centuries of book lovers and librarians, and I even sliced off the edge with the stitching holes. Books are bound in quires of 20 pages each and either stitched or glued together under the spine, so if they are stitched you need to get a nice clean edge.

The pages were an unusual size so I needed to “float” the pages inside a frame made for an 11×14 photo. Because a photo almost always has a border (generally speaking only printed items have a “full bleed” where the image goes to the edge of the paper) the opening in the mat is actually 1/2″ smaller than the photo dimensions but still not enough to cover the edge of the page. I had some white poster board, and I have a gallon of brown paint. Of course this is me, so the paint is exterior-grade latex, but come on! It’s what I had already! So add to the materials cost the $1 for the poster board and 5 cents worth of paint.


Book Murder. No need to paint to the edge of the poster board because the mat will cover the edges. I just need about 1″ to make the brown border around the page and under the mat. Oh! And a trick I always use when framing something is to take the photo they give you with the frame, and flip it over to the white side. Since the backer board is almost always a utilitarian brown, this gives a white background to shine through the picture. And yes, it really makes a difference. Sure you can get a piece of paper and cut it to size but I prefer the free, pre-cut page. Also, before closing up the frame be sure to clean the mat, the picture, and clean the inside of the glass.

When picking the pages to use I chose a page with such charming text.

She taught them to walk in a line, to come when they were called and to keep a safe distance from bikes and scooters and other things with wheels.

Can you see it in a small child’s room? Oh it makes my heart go gush.

Materials cost 

  • Book 25 cents
  • Poster board $1
  • Paint 5 cents or less
  • Two picture frames from Target $20 each
  • Window cleaner

Total cost? Less than $41


About lgiletti

What's to say? I cook, I garden, I repair things. I get into trouble sometimes but I get myself out again.
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