I found them at the St. Vincent de Paul Dig 'n' Save. (The new pets, that is. The old ones were also someone else's discards, but that's another story.)
The Dig 'n' Save is pretty much The Island of Misfit Toys for castoff junk. The items that languish on the shelves at the regular St. Vinnie's stores get hauled to the Dig 'n' Save and dumped into big bins to be sold by the pound. What doesn't sell there gets thrown out.
Because how can you turn your back on a one-eyed dog with blue nostrils?
So I brought them home and decided I'd give them a makeover with some jute twine. To begin, I painted the grey dog tan, which was the closest color I had to the twine.
Then I started wrapping the twine around his legs, holding it in place with clear craft glue.
Once I had the dog's legs covered, I moved onto his body.
I'd do as many full-body wraps as I could. On the spots where I couldn't wrap the twine all the way around, I'd just fill in the holes with individual short strings secured with craft glue.
The body was the easy part. The face and the tail were a little tougher to figure out. It felt like I was doing a jigsaw puzzle -- except that I was creating the puzzle pieces as I was going along.
For the face, I started by wrapping the twine around his ears.
When I moved onto his muzzle, I decided to paint his nose black and leave it exposed.
I wrapped his eyes, from base to top, with plans to attach button-type eyeballs later.
For his tail, I wrapped the points from base to tip.
Then I filled in the main part of the tail by wrapping all the way around it where I could and filling in with individual strings where needed.
Once I had the dog all covered, I moved onto the cat.
Since he was mostly black to start with, I decided to paint out his facial features. I figured the black basecoat would melt into the shadows if there were any gaps between jute strands.
I felt kind of mean covering up his face.
Here he is all painted.
I started the wrapping process with the ears.
Then I moved onto the cat's neck and worked down his body, wrapping and glueing as I went.
When I got down by his legs, I pressed the twine into all of the bumps and indents and waited for the glue to get tacky before winding around a new row so the twine would stay in place.
It was a little tedious to have to keep glueing and pressing and waiting for the glue to dry, but I liked the finished look.
For the tail, I wrapped the twine all the way around where I could. I cut short strands to fill in the base of the tail and anywhere else there were big gaps.
I did the cat's face a lot like I did the bottom portion of his body. I just wrapped the twine all the way around, pressing it into place and glueing it as I worked my way up from neck to ears.
Here's the cat all wrapped.
They both needed eyes yet ...
... so I pulled out my collection of random metal pieces. (I live close to a junk yard and always find these little pieces laying on the side of the road when I'm out walking.) I painted four of the circle pieces black, using acrylic craft paint.
The two small circles became the dog's eyes.
The two larger circles became the cat's eyes. I wanted his nose to bend around his head, so I used black craft foam for that.