Just last weekend, the Wellesley Free Library (in Wellesley, MA) hosted a great mini-golf event, and they contacted me about adding some fun to the event with a “photo station” or “selfie station”.
The “selfie station” is a new term, but the concept is the age-old approach of creating a scene on a board with a hole for kids to insert their faces for great snapshots. In talking with the director for the event, her guidance was for the scene to be related to a book for children, but the rest was up to me!
After some thinking and collaborating with my family, we settled on Harry Potter as a popular draw for kids of all ages. With that decided, I then needed to figure out which scene I was going to paint... I also wanted to add an interactive element – which led me to think of the sorting hat scene!
My idea was to create a mechanism for kids to choose which house the sorting hat calls out for their photo in the selfie station. To do this, I cut an additional hole in the board for the house name and mounted a wheel behind it, so kids could turn the wheel and reveal their house of choice. I included a picture of the back of the board (below) to show how this worked.
Knowing that many kids of all ages would be interacting with this, I was also concerned about safety. To make sure the board was stable and secure, I used the largest brackets I could find to mount the board to 2 pieces of 3-foot long landscaping timber. As a result, the board did not move at all when it was assembled!
Then I was on to the designing and painting of the mural. I wanted enough detail to tell the full story of the sorting , with the castle interior, night sky and of course Dumbledor – but I also wanted to keep it simple enough to avoid clutter. I ended up with the design below, which ended up being a hit with the kids at the event (as well as the ones in my house!)