Friday, November 25, 2011

Plaster Platypus

My husband and I have a long running alliance with this very special, rare animal- we feel that if we were not humans, we would most certainly be platypuses.  This has led to many a-platypus in our lives: platypus t-shirts, platypus puppets, books, etc... So this year for my husband's birthday I decided to make an embodiment of our favorite creature to hang along side the real taxidermy we have in our house.

What You'll Need:

Wire Mesh- I used an old screen door screen
Wire Cutters
Newspaper and/or Newsprint
Paper Mod Podge
Sponge brush
Plaster of Paris
Paints and paintbrushes
Drill and screws for mounting it

1.  Make the base structure with wire mesh.
This is the back, I sewed it up with a loose wire.
2.  Decoupage over the mesh with strips of paper newsprint.
3.  Paint white with gesso- you can stop here after a few layers if you just want a papier-mache platypus and paint it the desired colors.  At this step, I thought that it looked a little too rough and wanted smoother edges, so I added a layer of plaster.

5.  Here is the platypus after a layer of plaster, I sanded it lightly after it dried for a few hours.
6.  Now for the fun part!  Painting it!

I got my dear friend Jessica of Hipster Teaparty to help me.  She is a very talented painter and I just love an excuse to hang out with her whenever I can!

Et, voila!  I screwed the bottom corners into this frame I had laying around.

Stained Glass Animals

Talk about a window to another world! With a simple picture book, plastic page protectors, and window paint, you can make your child's bedroom windows into a jungle, aquarium, and zoo all in one. Every time the sun shines, the animals come alive. This is kid-proof stained glass, and a great project for kids 2 and up. We've been working on Grippy's bedroom for a while and have gotten both windows covered almost entirely.  Grippy likes to make dots with the paint to make food for the animals to eat, so any time we have accidents, spills, etc., we call it food. This way, no paint ever goes to waste.

What You'll Need:

Gallery glass by Plaid or Klutz Squirt on peel off Window Paint
Plastic page protectors- any thick plastic will do
A picture book with animals in it, any children's picture book will do
Paper towel

Noah's Arc on the window.

We use an illustrated animal encyclopedia that we got second hand.  Love this book and it is a great way for Grippy to learn the names of animals.

1.  Lay down the plastic over the image and outline the animal with the "liquid leading".  Here, I have an assistant guiding the paint.

2.  We're not so precise about it as you can see, as long as the animal is recognizable...  

2.  Squeeze on colors.

3.  Fill the whole animal making sure not to overfill, it will take forever to dry if there is too much paint but if you add just the right amount it will dry over night.

4.  Work around the details like the eyes and the ears with a toothpick.

Animals and a pumpkin.  Sometimes the paint gets out of the lines, totally o.k. by me.  It's important that the little ones do it themselves.

I love the way green and red look together on the birds and the frogs.