Category: how to

new boats and castle press

fishingboats

The fleet here  is growing rapidly. I’m working on all sorts of new boats and ships and the little lateen rigged sailboats inspired by van gogh’s fishing boats are for you to make, I’m going to share the pattern and instructions next week. It takes me forever to work out the “how to” stuff but I think it’s pretty much there and I just need to test it on a couple people and photograph the steps. They are simple and relatively quick, I think you’re going to have fun making them.

Cardboard castle news:

Cardbaord Castle #2 is in the current issue of Elle Decor  – Japanese edition.  I get excited about any celebration of cardboard castle making and the entire magazine is lovely  so I’m pleased and flattered to be included.

cardboardcastle5

tiny tophat

How to make a tiny tophat (in excruciating detail).

What you will need: top hat pattern (click to download pdf), black poster board, scissors, manicure scissors ( for trimming the little curved bits),  elmer’s glue, floral tape, large paper clips, a light color pencil, a dowel or something for  curling the poster board  and black glitter.

tophatmaterials

Trace the 3 pattern pieces onto the black poster board and cut them out. I use a large paintbrush handle to curl all the pieces a little as shown below. I feel this step is key to your success as a tiny tophat maker. Next, overlap the edges of the cylinder about a 1/4″, glue, and clamp with a paperclip.

tophat1      tophat2     tophat3

When the cylinder is dry trim off any extra bits you might have so the bottom and top edges are pretty smooth, apply glue liberally to the top and bottom edges and place the brim and top.  I use floral tape to hold it all together while it dries.

tophat4       tophat5      tophat6

When the glue has dried trim off any excess on the top and brim and shape and smooth the brim with your fingers. Use the exacto knife to poke a hole in the bottom and then insert the little scissors to cut the opening.

tophat7      tophat8      tophat9

Paint it quickly and completely with elmer’s glue, give it a roll or shake in the glitter, leave it to dry and brush off the excess glitter with a stiff paint brush or old toothbrush. Finished!

tophatthumb

Hello tiny tophat!

play all day

I’m  pleased and excited to be included in “Play All Day – Design For Children” published this year by Gestalten. I’m also pleased to live in a world where you can have a blast making  castles out of old cardboard  boxes and on top of that! somebody will publish them in a lovely book.

It’s available at amazon now – check out  pages 48 and 49!

And a couple notes:

* Fill in the Blank Gallery is having a cardboard horse making workshop on Sunday, if you’re in Chicago check it out – all ages and skill levels are welcome and it’s free!!

* Henchard and some other new things ( including some ready made sweethearts and  a new set available to order)  will be in the shop sometime next week. If you are on the mailing list you will be notified when the shop is updated.

Cardboard Stampede

cardboard horses

Or: How to make a cardboard horse.

cardboard horses

In 2006 I started making cardboard horses. They were a self imposed assignment, a daily creative task intended to motivate and loosen me up, little experiments, paralysis prevention. My plan was to make a cardboard horse everyday, Monday through Friday until I had 100. I did and exhibited the group at Tinlarkin Los Angeles  in 2007. I’ve made 3 patterns, two adults and a colt, to share and I hope you make a cardboard horse or two or three or maybe a little family or maybe your own stampede!

What you will need:
pattern
cardboard- you can use any kind – I think a medium weight is good, I’m using cardboard from a gift box.
scissors
manicure scissors
pencil
hammer and one nail
buttons
thin wire
pliers
paint and brushes, glue, paper, fabric, lace etc. – whatever you like, whatever you’ve got.

First download and print the patterns, cut out the pieces and trace them  onto your cardboard.  I like to use a pair of manicure scissors for the difficult small bits – corners etc. I included an optional tail and mane in the pattern.  I’m foregoing those for this horse and will add a tail and mane of antique lace.

(Click the images for a larger view)

You can finish your horse with collage or fabric or pencil  – the possibilities are endless – but if you choose to paint  then paint both sides to prevent curling. I’m using latex paint for the base, adding some dapples from my water color box and some splatters of ink, you can use a stiff paint brush or old tooth brush. I used a fine sharpie pen to draw on a very simple  eye and mouth.

Next I’m adding the antique lace mane and tail using a glue stick ( or elmer’s glue if you prefer).
Once that is dry we’re ready to assemble.

Arrange the legs with the body sandwiched between and use the nail to make a hole through all three layers. You’ll need to put a piece of wood or heavy cardboard underneath to protect the surface you’re working on. Thread the wire through the button holes and then pass both strands through the legs and body. Thread both wires through a small button on the back,  pull it tight  and twist to secure and trim the extra wire with pliers. Add  another piece of wire for hanging by twisting it around the buttons. I like to give all my horses a name, this is Sebald, horse #101.

cardboard horses

I’ve hung sebald amongst the snowflakes with horse #71 winston.

You can share your horses here if you like:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1315046@N23/
I’d love to see!

my friend

This is my friend Judah
3judah.jpg

Judah is three and he’s smart and funny and already good at paper mache. He’s fun to make things with and for; this was for him and so was this. Next I’m going to make him some version of a beanbag toss game I found in a McCall’s Needlework and Crafts magazine from 1970. You lay it on the floor and try to toss the frog to the lillipad, fish in the water, the bird in the nest and the ladybug on the leaves.

3game.jpg

I’ve posted the pattern and instructions here .

acorn how to

There have been a couple questions on the particulars of yarn/glue acorn making so here are a couple of tips based on my recent experience. First I wrapped the balloon entirely with one layer of yarn. For the first layer I thinned the Elmer’s with a little
water and painted it onto the balloon, and then the yarn, soaking it completely through. I let that dry over night ( this is by far the hardest part for me). For the second layer, balloon still in tact, I used the glue full strength, painting it on in small sections and pressing the yarn in so the surface stayed glue free an pretty. The second layer took most of the day to dry (agony, again, for me) then I popped the balloon, separated the sections with an exacto knife, and though it was sturdier than expected I reinforced the inside bottom, top and hinge point with a little wool felt. For kids I recommend thicker yarn than I used for the base.

Here’s the second layer in progress. It’s important that the balloon is still inside because the first layer softens again.
3acornhowto.jpg