June 11, 2012
Inspired by these birthday party invites my friend Raya created a while back, this hidden message along with a DIY decoder is sure to surprise dad or grandpa (which reminds me, I’ve got to put this in the mail!). Most of the materials were items we already had on hand, making this project extra quick and easy.
You will need:
* Kraft paper box with lid. Any shape is fine.
* Medium to large plastic lid or food packaging (ours was a lid to a plastic container of animal crackers)
* Red permanent marker
* Patterned tape such as washi or printed fabric
* Clear double-sided tape
* Paint and brushes
* Blue colored pencil or crayon
* Red colored pencil or crayon
To Make the Decoder Box
Step 1: Cut out a circle from the box lid (I traced along the inside of a masking tape roll in pencil first).
Step 2: Decorate the lid however you like. We painted it then added patterned tape around the edge. While you can decorate the box itself, we kept ours blank.
Step 3: With red permanent marker, color an area roughly the same size as the lid. Mom or dad may want to do this part.
Step 4: After the ink has dried, cut the colored plastic so it is just a bit smaller than your box lid. Using double-sided tape, affix to underside. This is the secret message decoder. To use, make sure the outside of the lid is face down on the paper.
Write and Deliver Secret Message
Step1: On a piece of paper (we cut ours into wedges so that it would open up into a circle), write your message in blue. Write lightly so that the blue will be easier to hide in the next step.
Step 2: In red, scribble over, around, and across your message that is in blue. Try to obscure the blue message as much as possible. We found that loops worked much better than hash strokes. Write a few more messages (or drawings, even) if you like.
Step 3: Package up message(s) along with some treats for the father you’re celebrating. Wrap this printable band around the box as the final touch. It reads “flip lid over to use as a decoder.”
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