Saturday, January 25, 2014

#34 Lord Of The Rings?

One of my favorite things about spring here in Arizona is the Renaissance Festival!

 It's always more fun if you can dress up. I sometimes like dressing as a simple bawdy wench, but on some occasions, I feel a little more ladylike and I need to let out my inner princess. 

The traditional flower circlets are great fun to make,(perhaps I'll post those later)but sometimes I want something with a little more sparkle….I like sparkle!

So there you have it, the circlet crown. 

I will warn you making these can be kind of addictive. I have made so many of these things! Nothing like having a good old Lord of the Rings marathon while making circlet crowns!

For this project I used images from several different crowns in progress, but I think you can still get the basic idea.

I used a thicker wire (sorry forgot the exact gage, I'll edit that in later) You can find good thick wire in the jewelry and floral sections at craft stores. Sometimes I just use regular wire from the home improvement store.

 I use an assortment of regular tools and more precise jewelry tools, but a pair of needle nose pliers and wire cutters can get the job done depending on how detailed you want to be. 

      I have a big collection of medallions I use for the embellishments. I'm always checking the jewelry section for something inspiring be it earrings, broaches, necklace. craft stores have ails full of great stuff but don't forget the jewelry sections at regular stores. Or you can go a step further and custom make your medallion out of clay. I usually like to find a nice centerpiece first and build the crown around it. The butterfly broach below inspired the crown above. 

I also used an assortment of chains and some clasps.                           

So for the crown itself  I start with sketching out designs on paper. When I get the basic idea I draw a more refined pattern of one side. I use the pattern as a guide as I bend the wire along the lines. Then I flip it over and mirror the pattern on the other side. I make my design so that it can be one continuous piece. I take my time on this part. 


When I get the design right I form it around my head until I get the right shape, also making sure it's comfortable.

You don't really have to connect the joints but it just makes the piece stronger and last a little longer. There are a couple different techniques I use….

I am just a novice myself, so I won't do a tutorial on soldering

I think it goes without saying Soldering involves flames and toxic materials so please I suggest anyone interested in it, do lots of research and even take a class before trying it. All warnings aside soldering is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it!

Still, I am not responsible if you destroy property, hurt, or kill yourself or anyone! 

Some of the wire I use (like color coated floral wire) can't actually take the heat from the soldering method. 
So sometimes I use strong glue for metal, or 
I'll even wrap a very thin jewelry wire around the joints.

I like to use a chain to attach it in back. 
You could also make it a full circlet with the wire only or just make it a tiara and maybe attach it with hair pins. 
I just like the chains.
I like to give the chain some slack as well, so it's adjustable depending on the poofiness of my hair style.

I keep checking and make sure it fits nice and comfortably

When adding the medallions and embellishments, (again like the joints) I either solder, glue or use wire. Again it all depends on the material and sometimes my mood. 

They can be made as simple or extravagant as you like.
The possibilities are really endless!

The green one below, I made from decorative green wire I found in the floral aisle at the dollar store. The flower center was actually an embellishment from the craft store scrapbook section. I also added a bunch more chains and jewels.


Here is a kind of lame picture of it with my dress. 
Kind of a Gypsy Elf thing going on here.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Back from the Dead!

Why, hello there!

Well, I kind of vanished off the face of the earth for a while there, didn't I?

I haven't any great excuses for my sudden departure and drawn out absence. Nothing exciting or dramatic to report. Just same old boring story of grownup life sort of stuff and no time to do anything else.

Anyway, I'm back from the dead!
And I'm ready for some wicked things to add to this list of projects!

I have so many things I just can't wait to share with you!

Something Wicked this way comes……

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

#33 The Big Bad Wolf

So I already have a Dragon head trophy....
what I really needed then was a Werewolf !

Now let me state... this is from my mind!

So no pretty twilight werewolves here.......

Just a lot of teeth!

So like my Dragon I used the method created by Dan Reeder. 

Again I'm not going to go into to detail here, but instead supply a link to the master of the technique himself! Just promise you won't click on it yet. Because you'll never be back after seeing what he does! Seriously... he is amazing!

So again I started by making a bunch of paper mache balls and ovals. But before I do that, I always sketch a little rough design. Just to give me an idea how many balls I need and about what sizes. 

A lot of the balls are cut in half. For example the ears are ovals cut in half and bent. Same with the cheeks, nostrils. brows etc. Anyway, this gives me a rough idea. I always make a few extra balls too just incase. You can never have too many balls, I always say!

The wolf was very similar to the dragon. I actually think it could have become a dragon at any point! Funny thing about canine/dragon similarities... my drawings of dragons I noticed, seem to resemble my dog.

Anyway, with Dans technique you always do the jaws first. The polymer clay teeth, cloth mache, paint etc all done before assembling. This is much easier than the frustration of fiddling to try and get paint down inside the mouth later. The outside is built up around the finished jaws with the rest of the balls and a lot of masking tape.

Next the outside gets the cloth mache skin. Just ripped up old bed sheets dipped straight into elmers glue and applied over the whole thing. This is where you add all the wrinkles, the lips, eye lids etc.

Then a coat of latex house paint and a black wash.

 I got a large piece of black fur from the fabric store (about a yard). When you cut fur you want to make sure and part it with a brush at the cut points so you don't loose too much hair.

I started at the base and worked my way up. 
I used hot glue to adhere it.

Make sure your hair is all growing in the same direction too.
 Around the face I was very careful applying. 
If you want(and have the tools) you can implant the hair. 
I am not going for detailed realism with these paper mache props so hot glued hair works for me.

He gets a brush

At this point I decided the shiny black fur looked too new and nice for my wolf, so I very lightly misted the fur with a little ivory spray paint.
Be sure to do this at a distance, moving the can as you spray.
You just want paint it lightly catching the top hairs highlighting

I probably should have done this before applying the fur. 
See much better with the spray paint! More wild and wiry.

I decided to make him darker so I went over the entire thing with watered down black paint. Letting the thin paint fall in all the deep recesses and wrinkles.

 I lightly wiped some of it off the the raised areas, again letting  it stay in the creases.

 Next I took a dry brush and dipped it in a little Raw Sienna acrylic paint. I then blotted it the excess paint on a paper towel.

 I lightly brushed the raised areas with the dry paint. 
This dry brush highlighting really adds depth and shows off all the great wrinkles. 
I did this to inside of his mouth as well before assembling.

Next I took some high gloss varnish and made all the wet parts nice and glossy! 
Like the inside of the mouth, the eyeballs...

The nose!

It really makes him look like he is salivating!

His eyes already had a coat of yellow paint (they are polymer clay). I added a little red paint around the corners and while it was still wet I blended it out with more yellow. I did a light coat of glow in the dark paint on top because who knows.... glowing eyes can't hurt. I may want them later.

Here's Fluffy!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

#32 Whimsical Hats

Sorry it's been so long between posts. I meant to get more on top of things but stuff keeps coming up and getting in the way.  Also I am a bit scatter brains so forgive any typos..

So anyway...Hats!

I wanted more whimsical shapes than I saw at the store.
I saw some online but they were quite expensive!

 So as usual I decided to make my own.

So I had some ideas in my head but I always do an internet search first to see if anyone has tried this and what they did. 

I found a few tutorials right away. 

The one I liked best was by Thread Bangers on youtube. 
Here are the links

This one is for the oversized mad hatter hat

This is for the mini hat.

I used both here and only made a couple modifications.

The red silk hat.
  • poster board
  • piece of cardboard big enough for about 12" round circle  ( could use cardboard cake rounds they sell at craft stores)
  • fabric a yard or so, or just scraps if making a mini hat
  • wire 14 guage
  • sash, ribbon, flowers, feathers... whatever accessories you want
  • bias tape and or trimmings

 Other stuff... 
  • hot glue gun
  • fabric glue
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • needle, thread, and pins 
  • circle compass

So first I did the Mad Hatter Hat.
Starting with a piece of poster board rolled into a cylinder I did mine 10" high but the height is optional. Use masking tape to secure it.

 Make the sure it fits around your head with a little room for hair.

Find a sturdy piece of cardboard. Make sure it's is pretty strong.. don't want an old piece that the fibers are broken down that bends too easy.

Out of this cut a circle I did mine about 12" round. 
These don't have to be exact measurements though. 
I used a circle compass to trace it out first.

Hot Glue the poster board cylinder in the center of cardboard the circle. 

Now the next part is different than the videos.

I found it hard to get the fabric to look right just doing it loosely like they show. I am also a little anal about these kind of things. 
So I measured and cut a piece of fabric first to fit.

 I did this by rolling the cardboard piece on the fabric, following and marking the natural curve as it rolled

This is just some fabric I found at goodwill by the way.

Keep gradually tracing as you roll it. You should end up with curved shape something like below.
Make sure you get enough fabric to go around by marking a spot on the cardboard, rolling it until you get back to that same mark again.

You can make a pattern on craft paper first, like I did here with my red hat. Make sure to give a inch or so extra fabric all around.

After I cut out this piece I pinned it all around the top edge with as well as the bottom inside to make sure it was all even. 
For pinning the top I stuck the pins directly into the cardboard itself right around the edge (see in the picture of my black hat below). Pull the fabric very tautly as you go around. 

The poster board doesn't like being pinned, so I only used a couple just to hold it in place roughly. I hurt my finger a lot on those stupid pins. Any puckers or wrinkles can be worked out at this point by removing and reposition pins until you get it just right. I would say focus on getting the top more perfect.. because the bottom you can eventually cover with the sash, or a flower, a feather or something.

This next step would have been good to have a pic of. Unfortunately I just spaced out. Basically this is the same as in the video... you are just hot gluing the top on and then the bottom. 

Starting on top...I glued the fabric just near the edge. go slow don't use to much glue, don't want lumps on top when it's dry. 

Next glue on the bottom fabric inside really pulling it taut.

Looks like a lamp shade. I wonder if you could use an old lamp shade for this hmmmm?

I was kind of anal about how the back was looking as (where the needs met up). I tried gluing it but it didn't work so I decided to just sew it together real quick with a needle and thread. This helped pull it together much better, fixed a few wrinkles too.

On another piece of fabric trace a circle piece to fit on the top of the hat and just glue it on. 
Trim the excess off... just like in the video.

                              ^ Bottom

Now the Brim pretty much exact as in the video.
 I used 14 gauge wire can be found at any home improvement store.
You need a string wire for this. Coat hanger wire would probably work fine.

Just like the Thread Banger video, place the hat on another piece of your fabric, bottom side down. 
Trace a circle to match the opening. Cut out a small circle at center of that. 
Then cut flaps up to the edge of the larger circle 

Decide on how big you want your brim to be. I just eyeballed it. 
Mine ended up being about 15 inches round. 
Tape the wire to hold the circle shape. I used duct tape.

Cut out the fabric in a wider circle with plenty of over hang 

 Match up the opening of this piece with the opening of the hat and glue this piece inside.

Flip the hat over the wire circle.

Start pulling the fabric around the wire and pinning it. 

It can take a few minutes to get the hang of this. But it starts to make since as it gets tighter. 
Just have to keep messing with it as you go. 
I removed and replaced the pins several times until I got it right.

Here is the red hat pinned up

Now either hand sew or use a machine to sew it on.

Trim off the extra fabric underneath.

I spray painted it with some green paint I had lying around

Here is another view of my red hat. I used fabric glue to add some  gold trim to this one and covered the seam at the back with red ribbon.

The smaller hat is almost the same except on a smaller scale.
 Also you don't need to worry about it fitting over your head so the brim is a little different.

Instead of cutting a hole out for your head, just glue fabric around the wire rim.

Trim off the excess fabric

Lay it on another piece of fabric and mark and cut a circle to match. Glue it on the rough side

Cut a couple slits in the middle and feed a piece of ribbon through. 
Make sure it's long enough so it can be tied around your head. Glue it in place so it doesn't slide out.

                                                      Glue on the top.

I applied bias tape with some fabric glue around the edges to clean it up 
and some sparkly ribbon I found.

Just tie it around either under your chin, or around the back (like I did here).
I pinned the ribbon to may hair to hold it better too.

Thanks for stopping by.