Thanksgiving: Paper Mache Turkey

Paper Mache Turkey

Paper Mache Turkey


We wanted to make a turkey centerpiece for our Holiday Cook Off. Now, see, I have issues. A project like this originates simply enough. Like “oh, let’s just cut out some hand-turkeys, color them and call it a day.” But then this weird part of me takes over. It starts with a “Hmm, how can I make it round? Paper mache and a balloon?” then it moves to “Oh, those tie dye leaves my neighbor made are pretty, that could work for the feathers” and then, well… then it’s on. Soon the kitchen is covered in glue and food coloring and there’s just no turning back.

This is what Fumbleweeds is about, winging it all the way through. So I’m going to level with you. The following instructions will likely make no sense. I am not entirely sure what I did to get this thing together.

All in all, it was an ok project that needs some fine-tuning. The kids had fun with the feathers, painting, and about 2 mins of the paper mache. It’s a multi-day endeavor with all the drying of things. And it’s messy. Paper Mache is very messy.

I like this twist though… we decided to write all of the things we’re thankful for on the turkey body over the next few days. Kinda like a Thanksgiving turkey cast.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Supplies

Supplies


Paper Mache Turkey
Supplies:
– Fall colored cardstock
– Unbleached cone coffee filters
– Food Coloring
– Glue
– Shredded newspaper
– a balloon
– Sharpie
– Scissors
– masking tape
– brown paint

Paper Mache Turkey Body

Paper Mache Turkey Body


Turkey Body:
-Mix 3/4th Glue to 1/4 water in a pan
-Blow up a balloon
-dip strips of newspaper into glue mixture, pull each piece through fingers to get rid of extra glue, place onto the balloon
-Repeat this until the balloon is fully covered with at least 3 layers of paper/glue
-Tie string or dental floss around the tied part of the balloon and hang somewhere overnight. Put a towel or bowl under it for the dripping glue.
– Wipe up all the messy glue all over your kitchen before it dries and becomes a big pain in the butt (lesson learned)
– Once dry, paint the turkey body brown

Painting the body

Painting the body

Food Coloring Tie Dye Feathers

Food Coloring Tie Dye Feathers


Feathers:
– Draw a feather on the coffee filter (see pic of supplies)
– Cut out feathers
– Put a little water in a shallow pan
– hold each feather over the pan and drip food coloring on it
– Then dip the feather into the water to “spread” the food coloring around
– Lay out flat to dry overnight

Food Coloring Fun

Food Coloring Fun

Turkey Head

Turkey Head


Turkey Head & Base
– Draw and cut out a turkey head from dark brown card stock
– Cut out a yellow beak and tape or glue dot onto the face
– draw eyes with a sharpie

– Cut out a red waddle and glue it to the neck

Back of the turkey

Back of the turkey


Assembly:
– Don’t cut off the knot of the balloon in the paper mache turkey body until the end. It gives structure so it doesn’t cave in
– Take a piece of card stock (I used yellow, brown would have been better) and cut into a semi-circle and mold around the largest part of the turkey body and tape. I used packing tape but I think masking tape would have been better and easer to cover over with paint at the end. Speaking of, paint over this taped up rear end with brown paint.
– Glue the “feathers” in a fan design onto the front covering all of the cardstock
– Cut off the tip of the balloon and either glue the turkey head over the hole OR, using strips of brown paper, attach it around the body of the turkey (see pic).
– Make a base by taking a long strip of card stock, make it into a circle and tape it together to make a stand

Our Turkey Guy

Our Turkey Guy

Turkey Love

Turkey Love

Halloween Pt. 2: Window Silhouettes

Somehow I’ve overcommitted myself again to none other than, well… myself. Seriously, what is my problem? This is a habit. I worked all day, commuted home and then proceeded to make this list that I started at 6:30PM tonight:

List of unnecessaries

List of Unnecessaries

And now it’s 11:30, I’ve already crossed off “blog” so I guess I should finish it. And most everything else got done in some rushed, half-assed way. Except, as you can see, homework. That didn’t get done at all. Way to fumble on the important stuff!

Not much good came out of tonight so I’m blogging about last night. But before that, I do have a tip for parents who need a super quick idea for a preschool Halloween party potluck:

Halloween Cheese Plate
– Pre-sliced Cheese
– Halloween Cookie Cutters
– Crackers

Cut Halloween shapes out of the slices of cheese with the cookie cutters. Layer on a Halloween tray with some crackers. done. Oh, save the scraps for homemade mac ‘n cheese.

Yeah, so by “cheese plate” on my list I sadly didn’t mean a nice display of a goat, cow, and sheep’s milk medley with figs and pear compote. No, I meant Cheddar pumpkins and Monterey Jack Ghosts. Classy. Anyhow, this isn’t about tonight’s subpar performance, this is about last night…

Halloween Window Silhouettes

Our Halloween House

Our Halloween House

Every year I get really into making silhouette cutouts for the windows. On our dinky little craftsman we have two front windows that beg for something Halloween-y. And so I buy some black poster board paper, bust out my clear packing tape and scissors, and get to work.

A simple Google search for Halloween Silhouettes generates a ton of ideas and usually gets me inspired. I then decide what I want to do, draw it out with pencil on the poster board, and start cutting. Scissors work well for most of the cutting, in fact you can do it all this way, but an X-Acto knife for the cutouts and fine details does give a cleaner look. Once complete, I tape them up with the clearest packing tape I can find. This way the tape on the window doesn’t show as much.

I don’t think the photography does these justice, they look much better lit up in person. I love this project because it’s totally free-form, it’s paper art which I love, and it can be as simple as a few bats and gravestones, or as complicated as entire spooky scenes.

Halloween 2013:

Halloween 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2008
My favorite…

Halloween 2008

Halloween 2008

Supplies:

Simple supplies

Simple supplies

Take-Out Box Thank You “Cards”

Unbelievably, the last day of school jumped on us out of nowhere. I know everyone says it… time flies, it all goes by so fast, etc, etc. But Kindergarten was warp speed ahead. Snip-snap, this year is done.

Sharpies!

Sharpies!


Jack was officially “promoted” to 1st grade today and, since we’ve been spinning in end of school activities, we kept it pretty simple in the thank you department. We made some cookies in custom decorated Chinese take-out cartons for his Kindergarten teacher and his after-school care teachers.

I picked up these blank Chinese take-out cartons at the party store for less than a buck. Rather than make thank you cards, we did it directly on the take-out boxes themselves. Jack was all over the box art, I was on cookie baking duty, everyone participated in cookie eating.

We kept it simple, some Sharpies and some imagination…

Jack's school mascot is the owls.

Jack’s school mascot is the owls.


Nature Scene

Nature Scene


color explosion

color explosion

frog study

frog study

                                                                    

Buerre & Sel Jammers

Buerre & Sel Jammers


RECIPE
We filled the boxes with one of our favorite cookies: Buerre and Sel Jammers (Bon Appetit). With “butter” in the recipe’s title, how can one go wrong?

Baking Machines

Baking Machines


Are they done yet?

Are they done yet?

Button Bracelets: An Addict’s Story

I am kinda cheating because I really didn’t make this today for the Make Stuff Up Challenge. I am writing about it today but really it was part of a making binge on Sunday.

Finished Button Bracelet

Finished Button Bracelet


If you recall, on Sunday I made some tie dye tissue paper flowers for my neighbor girl’s birthday. But what I didn’t tell you was that there was a bit of a compulsive edge to that day. Really, I couldn’t stop making things. And in between waiting on my tie dye paper to dry for the flowers, and my bead bowls to melt in the oven (more info on that another day) I couldn’t just let it go and do something responsible like clean the house, hang out with my family, or shower. Like I said, it was a binge. It was not healthy.

The kids, who originally were planned participants, had realized by the third craft that I had moved into crazy town. They headed off to play in the backyard. But come on kids… button bracelets?!?!

And to be honest, while I loved how the paper flowers turned out, the other crafts of the day suffered from manic energy. I like the concept of these bracelets, I like the buttons, I am just not sure I love how it all came together. Plus this was really meant as a kid’s craft activity so I’ll try it again sometime when I haven’t burnt out the family with my addictive behaviors.

Things You'll Need

Things You’ll Need


SUPPLIES:
– Elastic Cord
– Buttons
– Crimp beads

HOW TO:
– Cut a piece of elastic cord about twice as long as you want the finished bracelet to be
– Weave the elastic cord in and out of the button holes from back to front, then repeat.
– Once it’s the right length, put each end through a crimp bead (or two for extra strength)
– Use needle nose pliers to “smash” down the crimp beads
– cut the extra cord off

Stringing the Buttons

Stringing the Buttons


Finished Bracelet

Finished Bracelet

I got this idea from a Martha Stewart Kid Craft Article. This would be cute with vintage buttons but things were a little limited in the Notions department of my local craft store so I ended up with these transparent glittery ones. This would also make a good craft for a kids party with lots of bright colored buttons to choose from.

Oh, and BTW… I craft-crashed over the last 24 hours which is why I have nothing new to write about. I am going to recover over the next few days with some more abstract interpretations of “making.”

Up Next: Something with music.

Tie Dye Tissue Paper Flowers

Tie Dye Tissue Flowers

Tie Dye Tissue Flowers


It was my lovely neighbor Vivian’s 8th birthday today. I’ve known her since her chubby toddler cheeks moved in six years ago so I wanted to make her something special. I didn’t have all the time in the world, her party was in a few hours, so I landed on giant paper flowers. Simple, I had all the stuff, and still a bit of a new challenge for my Make Stuff Challenge. Not nearly as time consuming or precise as the paper flowers I made for Teacher Appreciation Day, these were fun and very free form. So free form that to be honest they were one big experiment.

I based the flower design on those tissue paper pom-poms. The paper dying job was a guessing game but turned out pretty well for it being the first time.

Here’s what I did…

Supplies

Messy Stuff


SUPPLIES:

  • Plain white sheets of tissue paper
  • Food coloring and/or watercolor paints
  • Paintbrush
  • A bowl
  • Floral Stem Wire (thick, like 18 gauge)
  • Scissors
                                                                               
    First I stacked 8 sheets of the tissue paper and accordion folded it. Then I cut a half circle on each end.

    Accordion Fold

    Accordion Fold

    Petal Cut

    Petal Cut

                                                                 
    I filled a small bowl with water and some drops of pink food coloring. I then dripped various colors of food coloring straight onto the white tissue paper on both ends and then quickly dunked the entire paper into the bowl. I then flattened it out and painted some green watercolor on randomly and left it to dry on the grass.

    Food Coloring Drip

    Food Coloring Drip

    As the paper dried a bit, I carefully pulled the sheets apart to help speed up the drying.

    Wet version

    Wet version

    Once dry, I then re-folded the sheets in an accordion fold and tied a floral wire stem around the middle and twisted it tight. Then I carefully pulled up each sheet on both sides until it was puffy.

    Fold

    Fold

    Twist

    Twist


    Carefully Pull Up Each Sheet

    Carefully Pull Up Each Sheet


    Close Up

    Close Up


    Both Flowers

    Both Flowers

    Things I Learned:
    – Tissue paper is surprisingly tough, it withstood all of this dying and pulling pretty well.
    – The color dried much lighter than I thought it would.
    – Don’t worry if your hands are all dyed up, it comes off after a couple of hand washes.
    – The experiments could go on infinitely. I think it would be cool to paint glue on each tip and dip in a little glitter. Or watercolor paint a bunch of colors all over the paper rather than drip color on. Basically I learned I will be playing around with this concept more.

    Vivian loved her flower as did Elise who got the other one of the two. I twisted it around the post of her bed… floral stem wire is good that way.

    Elise with Flowers

    Elise with Flowers

DAY 13: Paper Flowers – Teacher Appreciation Day

DIY Paper Flowers - Teacher Appreciation Day

DIY Paper Flowers – Teacher Appreciation Day

What’s wrong with going to the flower shop and buying a nice little bouquet? WTF was I thinking setting out to make 24 individual paper flowers for Teacher Appreciation Day at 10PM last night? And no, I didn’t buy a kit from Paper-Source like a smart person might. With respect to my Make Stuff Up challenge I decided to do it DIY and use up some surplus card stock I had. Starting at 10PM. Brilliant!

This all started last week when I was trying to think of something special for Jack’s Kindergarten teacher for Teacher Appreciation week. (remember: banking those uber-mom points while I am on a work break)

I asked each kid in the class what they liked most about their Kindergarten teacher. The plan was to make a card from the class with these quotes written out. But yesterday things took a turn in my head and the card concept morphed into individual paper flowers, one for each kid to give the teacher with his or her quote on it.

Fast forward to 2:30AM this morning, project finally complete and ready for the kids to give the teacher today for Teacher Appreciation Week. I think when the kids gave them to her this morning she was touched. And I was pretty pleased to go back home and sleep for two more hours.

DIY Paper Flowers - Teacher Appreciation Week

DIY Paper Flowers – Teacher Appreciation Week

HOW TO MAKE:
– Card stock of various colors
– Scissors
– Cloth Stem Floral Wire
– Brads in various shades of pink
– a printer
– a flower petal template

For the template, you can Google “Paper Flower Template” and find a bunch of variations. I chose this template originally created for ranunculus but I simplified for these flowers.

I then chose three colors of card stock that I could intermix and used this for printing the template out. This particular template has multiple sizes so I cut out 24 small, 24 med, 24 large flowers so that I would have 3 sizes per flower.

Then I made a word doc with the kids’ quotes and printed on beige cardstock. I cut these into strips, leaving an inch border to attach under the flower and cutting a triangle out of the end to look like a ribbon.

Next I took a push pin and poked a hole in the middle of each flower size (sm, med, large) and the quote. I then worked a brad into the hole starting with the smallest flower and ending with the largest flower.

I put the stem on next by making a small circle at one end of the wire, then putting it on the brad. I then slid the quote onto the brad next and then bent down the brad “prongs” to secure everything in place.

The last step was to curl the flower petals into shape. It was 2:30AM by this point so I was ready for bed. If I had more time, I would have “worked” the paper more by rubbing it into shape to give a better look. But I needed sleep!

DIY Paper Flowers - Teacher Appreciation Day

DIY Paper Flowers – Teacher Appreciation Day