Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Papier mache turkey in a few easy steps

Yup, that's right. I made a papier mache turkey.

It all started when I foolishly popped up and said I'd participate in the cat shelter's adoptathon weekend by decorating one of the cages. What did that mean? It meant I got home from work around 1 a.m. three nights in a row and stayed up till 3-4 a.m. working on the dang thing. I swear, its waddle was still drying when I carted it into the store!

So here's a blow-by pictorial essay on the process. Many apologies for the photos, which were taken by cell phone.

1. Build your frame. Newspaper and masking tape make excellent bases. Plus the supplies are cheap (and/or free, if you happen to work for a newspaper. Which I do.) Some folks use dowels and wire for support, but my projects have always stood on their own via application of loads of masking tape.

2. We have the basic structure in place, including a head. I was going to buy a Styrofoam ball at Michael's for the head, but OMG! Have you seen how much those suckas cost? A liberal bunching of newspaper did the trick.

3. I covered the wings and tail feathers with more newspaper, then decided to cover the papier mache parts with kraft paper (I used a little more than one roll, and they were $1 a roll. Cheap.) You can always cover your structure to a smooth finish (sanding if needed) and paint, but I didn't have the time. The kraft paper ended up being a great compromise. I also added some colorful paper to the wings.

The kitties also like the tops of their cages covered, so I bought an inexpensive piece of soft brown cloth (currently being repurposed into a pillowcase for The Elephant) to serve as the "roof." It also nicely hides where the body parts attach.

4. This is the pre-head photo. I added some T-Day fixings and a cute little flower arrangement to the top. The turkey is the guest of honor 'cause I don't eat turkey! The sign says "Trot on Over." Hah hah. I'm so funny.

5. The rear view. The sign here says, "Please don't say this is THE END of our relationship." Get it? See. Told ya I was funny.

6. My sister's Evil Kitty (you know ... the kind who's going to eat you when you die) claimed the space as A Room of Her Own. I admit that I considered just packing her along and saying she was one of the kitties up for adoption ... but I do love my sister and everything.

7. And here's the finished project, in the store. Unfortunately, this is the only surviving photo of the head. The wonderful folks who packed everything up after the adoptathon recycled everything except a wing. Too bad, as I intended to keep the head as a talisman of some sort. Oh well.

The cage decorating also was a contest -- the public voted on their favorite. Guess who won? Yup:)

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