Thursday, 20 June 2019

Paper plate mermaid


Magical mermaids! Always thought the bumpy rim on a paper plate would make a good scaly tail, so that's how this project started..
We used small pieces of sponge to paint her too, which was super quick, great fun and added a bit more texture.

You will need:
Two paper plates (ours were 15cm)
Scissors
Pencil
Craft glue or a glue stick
Paint
Old sponge
Black felt tip or gel pen

1. Draw a pencil line in one of the grooves on the plate rim and roughly mark the middle point of the plate. Count about 10 bumps along and draw another line in the groove. Join the top of these two lines to the dot in the middle of the plate, but curve the lines out a bit, so they're not completely straight (this top part is going to be your mermaid's body)


2. Cut this piece out and then cut the rim away from the centre of the plate. 

Cut five pieces from the rim that are about the same size as the rim on the body piece (10 bumps). 

Glue FOUR of these pieces to the body (leave one for the end of the tail). Glue them underneath, with the bumps showing. Just concentrate on lining up the top edge, and making a nice curve here for the tail. 
Don't worry about the sticky out bits at the bottom! We'll sort those out when the glue dries.


3. While the glue dries, make the head by drawing around the bottom of something like a small spice jar on a spare piece of paper plate centre. Cut it out, and if you want, trim two sides to make a more oval shape (optional).


4. For the mermaid's hair, cut out the middle of the second paper plate - we trimmed it all round, cutting more away on two sides, to make it oval shaped (again, this is optional) Ours ended up about 12cm long and 10cm wide.


5. Cut about a third off the head and place it on the hair, so she looks like she's got a fringe (bangs). When you're happy with the position, draw a pencil line right along the top of the head.

Then, roughly halfway along this line, fold the hair piece longways. and either cut straight along the folded line for a straight fringe, OR, as we did, start cutting just above the line, aiming for the end of the line, to make a centre parting!
Make sure the head piece fits in the slot, but don't stick it down yet.


6. To make the arms, draw around the top part of the mermaid's body on some spare paper plate middle. Make sure it's just the top of the body, so only go as far as the first ridge (see picture below). Then join the two ends with a gently curved line.


7. Draw a pencil line inside, mirroring the shape, so it's about 1cm wide (it doesn't have to be perfect!)
Cut the piece out and then snip through the pointy end of the shape, and follow the inside line.


8. Time to finish off the tail! cut away the sticky out bits at the bottom (I've drawn a pencil line, so you can see more clearly what I mean). Then draw a pencil line from the bottom of the second piece of plate rim to the end of the tail, tapering and making it thinner as you do, to make a nice curve. Keep it about a 1cm wide at the end.


9. To make an even looking tail end, draw a pencil line roughly in the middle of the remaining piece of plate rim. Cut away the sides at an angle, so it's the right size to fit on the end of the tail. Then cut out the curvy tail end, using the middle line as a guide. Glue in place.


10.  Painting time and we cut small pieces from an old sponge, about 2 to 3cm square. Press them in the paint and get sponging! Use one piece for each different colour.

First we painted the body, head and arms. We mixed lots of white with a little red, dab of yellow and tiny spot of blue.

The hair is a mix of yellow and orange splodges, but do the body and hair whatever colour you prefer.

The tail is green and blue splodges. 

Leave your mermaid pieces to dry.


11. Once dry, assemble your mermaid. Slide the arm piece over the body and angle it to one side. Trim the nearest arm, so it doesn't look too long. Make sure the arm piece is 1cm or so below the pointy top and glue in place. Glue the head to the top of the body, and then the body to the hair, sliding the head into the fringe slot. 


12. Cut small triangles for the bikini from some leftover rim, and glue them on. Use a black pen to draw on her face.


Obviously add glitter if you want to!
And hang on to the leftover rim pieces. I have some other ideas for them...




Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Mr Croc - egg carton crocodile


This craft is very similar to the lizard we made last time, so it's all about cutting and stacking, the tricky part is finding enough egg cartons!!

You will need:
3 x Large (dozen) egg cartons or
6 Regular (half a dozen) egg cartons
Pencil
Scissors
Craft glue
Glue stick (optional)
Green paint
Sheet of plain paper
Black felt-tip or gel pen

1. Mr Croc is made from twelve of the middle cones you find in egg cartons.

If you can get hold a few of the larger cartons, you'll get 5 cones per box, rather than the usual two. 

Of course you could always make a smaller crocodile with less, and spread the cones out more, or add in extra cones (if you have them) for a really long tail!

1. We painted our cones first, while they were still in the egg cartons, but you could assemble your croc and paint him at the end if you prefer. 

If you're painting at the start, remember to paint some of the egg box lid green too, for the feet.


2. Cut the cones out roughly, in a strip, then separate them by snipping a part. We cut out 12 altogether. 

LEAVE ONE OF THESE ROUGHLY CUT OUT CONES TO THE SIDE FOR LATER (FOR THE HEAD).


3. Then cut around the bottom of the 11 remaining cones, just above the cardboard joins - so the sides are smooth, the edges are even and the cone sits straight on a flat surface. (I've used a pencil to mark above the card join on this cone, to show where to cut).





4. Aim to make them look the same size (but don't worry if they're not exactly alike! And you can always tidy them up if you feel you need to, at the stacking stage)

Put one of these trimmed cones aside too (for the end of the tail) so you're now left with 10. 

Then chop about 1cm off the top of 10 remaining cones, by squeezing the cone flat between your fingers and snipping across the top. The cut will look a bit wonky when you squeeze the cone back into shape, but that's fine as you won't see this bit when you put your Croc together.



5. Now the fun part, the stacking! We stacked 5 cones together for the body.

Brush glue around the inside edges of the first cone, then push the next one in, but don't push it in too far, you want to have gaps between the ridges (and this stretches out the body too). Brush glue around the inside edge of the second cone and add the third, and so on. Keep the gaps looking even (keep trying different cones to get a good fit).


6. The next cone is going to go in the opposite way round (so you can attach the tail), but it's too big as it is, so you need to shorten it by cutting about 1cm off the bottom edge, (see photo above), then glue inside the end of your stacked cones.

7. Cut about 1cm off the bottom of the remaining 4 cones too. This will make the tail look less bulky.

(You should still have 2 cones left aside, for the head and bottom of the tail)


8. Glue these four pieces to the body, but make the gaps wider apart than those on the body - this will allow you to extend the tail and to curve it slightly, if you want to. Brush glue inside the pieces you're adding to the tail, concentrating on where the cones are most in contact with each other.

9. For the end of the tail, take the trimmed cone (from step 4) that you've been saving, and cut it in half lengthways, so the end has more of a point, before gluing one half in place.



10. For the head, take the last remaining cone you cut out roughly at the very beginning, and hold it so you're looking at one of the flat sides. This will be the top of your croc's head. 

On the top of the head, close to the edge of the cone, use a pencil to draw two semi-circles for the eyes, starting from each corner. Join with a line. (See the photo) Roughly draw around the rest of the cone, from the bottom of one eye to the bottom of the other. 


When cutting out, it might help to cut down each corner first, to the pencil line, fold all but the front flap out, and cut these three side and back flaps off.

On the front, cut between Mr Croc's eyes first, to the line, before snipping this little piece away (or tucking it inside the head). Then round off the eyes.

11. Paint them yellow.


12. While they're drying, draw a thin strip on some plain paper (for the teeth) - about 15cm long and roughly 0.5mm wide.

With a fine black pen, draw a zigzag line from the top to the bottom line, before cutting this strip out.

Use the pen to finish off the eyes and to add nostrils. We drew long, thin triangles for the pupils.



13. Snip one end into a tapered 'V', rub with glue stick, or brush on a thin layer of glue, and stick the start of the teeth in place. Wrap around his face, until it looks even with the other side. Cut away the extra and snip the other side of his mouth into a 'V' shape too.




Glue the head to the body.

14. For the feet, cut a 2-3cm strip and round it at one end. Use this as a template to draw around, and cut out four. Draw on claws and glue them at angles, under the body.










Monday, 25 March 2019

Egg carton lizard

egg carton lizard

This craft is all about cutting and stacking, the only tricky part is you do need a lot of egg cartons!!

You will need:
3 x Large (dozen) egg cartons or
6/7 Regular (half a dozen) egg cartons
Pencil
Scissors
Craft glue
Paint (optional)
Toilet paper tube
Paper punch (optional)

1. Our Lizard is made from fourteen of the middle cones you find in egg cartons.

If you can get hold a few of the larger cartons, you'll get 5 cones per box, rather than the usual two. 

Of course you could always make one with less, and spread the cones out more, or add in extra cones (if you have them) for a really long tail!

You can either paint your lizard at the end, or leave it as it is. 

egg carton lizard

If you want to leave it, then think about using different coloured egg cartons. 

For our non-painted lizard we used mostly green, with a few white cones for contrast, but create your own pattern if you want to.

2. Cut the cones out roughly, in a strip, then separate them by snipping a part. We cut out 14 altogether. 

LEAVE ONE OF THESE ROUGHLY CUT OUT CONES TO THE SIDE FOR LATER (FOR THE HEAD).




3. Then cut around the bottom of the 13 remaining cones, just above the cardboard joins - so the sides are smooth, the edges are even and the cone sits straight on a flat surface. (I've used a pencil to mark above the card join on this cone, to show where to cut).


4. Aim to make them look the same size (but don't worry if they're not exactly alike! And you can always tidy them up if you feel you need to, at the stacking stage)

Put one of these trimmed cones aside too (for the end of the tail) so you're now left with 12. 

Then chop about 1cm off the top of 12 remaining cones, by squeezing the cone flat between your fingers and snipping across the top. The cut will look a bit wonky when you squeeze the cone back into shape, but that's fine as you won't see this end when you put your lizard together.


5. Now the fun part, the stacking! We stacked 6 cones together for the body and alternated between green and white.

Brush glue around the inside edges of the first cone, then push the next one in, but don't push it in too far, you want to have gaps between the ridges (and this stretches out the body too). Brush glue around the inside edge of the second cone and add the third, and so on. Keep the gaps looking even (and you could try different cones to get a good fit).


6. The next cone is going to go in the opposite way round (so you can attach the tail), but it's too big as it is, so you need to shorten it by cutting about 1cm off the bottom edge, then glue inside the end of your stacked cones.



7. To make the tail less bulky than the body, cut about 1cm off the bottom of the remaining 5 cones.

(You should still have 2 cones left aside, for the head and bottom of the tail)


8. Glue these five pieces to the body, but make the gaps wider apart than those on the body - this will allow you to extend the tail and to curve it slightly as you do. Brush glue inside the pieces you're adding to the body, mainly on the bottom and the inside of the curve, where the cones are more in contact with each other.




9. For the end of the tail, take the trimmed cone (from step 4) you've been saving, and cut it in half lengthways, before gluing in place.




10. For the feet, cut a 3-4cm strip that widens at one end. Use this as a template to draw around, and cut out four. Either leave like this, or snip out little pieces to define the feet. Put them to one side while you make the head.




11. For the head, take the last remaining cone you cut out roughly at the very beginning, and hold it so you're looking at one of the flat sides. This will be the top of your lizard's head. 

Cut away any stray card at the top and snip out the two cardboard joins either side, so you end up with small triangles either side of the top of the head. (See the pencil lines on the picture below)



12. Then cut away the sides and the bottom of the cone, leaving the top - so they're a little shorter than the top of your lizard's head.


13. Now, shorten the pointy end of the cone by about 1cm, by squeezing the cone flat between your fingers like before, and cutting across. This time though you will need to straighten up the wonky cut by snipping the edges carefully.


14. Next, cut the sides of the mouth by snipping out a long triangle from the corners to over halfway along the head, on both sides.

Check the head looks right on the body - if it's looking a bit big, shorten the head at the back.


15. For the eyes, cut a thin piece of egg carton card and snip into two roughly 3cm lengths. It's good to use a contrasting colour to the head if you can, especially if you aren't going to be painting the lizard.

Brush glue along the length of the thin strips and roll tight. Squeeze and hold so each swirl sticks together. If this is too fiddly, use a hole punch to punch out circles and maybe stick a few on top of each other. Or just draw on eyes with a pen.

Glue the head to the body - with a good layer of glue inside the bottom edge of the head where there's more contact between the head and body.

Glue the eyes on the ridges on top of the head.

Glue the feet under the body at an angle, so they face forward.



16. For the tongue, paint the end of a toilet paper tube (or kitchen paper tube) your choice of colour - make sure you paint the inside too - and when it's dry, squeeze the tube flat and cut off the top cm or so. Snip this ring open, and cut a long 'V' shape at one end.




17. Glue the other end inside the lizard's mouth.


And he's off! Exploring the garden...

egg carton lizard

egg carton lizard

...with his exotic, fiery cousin..

egg carton lizard