Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Makeover | Twine-wrapped dog and cat

twine-wrapped dog and cat
 Meet my two new pets.
They're much less trouble than my two old pets.
twine-wrapped dog and cat craft project
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.) 
craft makeover with twine
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.
I couldn't let that happen to these guys. 
craft makeover with twine
Because how can you turn your back on a one-eyed dog with blue nostrils?
craft makeover
 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. 
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
 Then I started wrapping the twine around his legs, holding it in place with clear craft glue. 
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
 Once I had the dog's legs covered, I moved onto his body.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
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. covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
 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.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
For the face, I started by wrapping the twine around his ears.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
When I moved onto his muzzle, I decided to paint his nose black and leave it exposed.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
I wrapped his eyes, from base to top, with plans to attach button-type eyeballs later.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
 For his tail, I wrapped the points from base to tip.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
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.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
Once I had the dog all covered, I moved onto the cat.
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
 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. 
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
 I felt kind of mean covering up his face.
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
 Here he is all painted.
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
I started the wrapping process with the ears.
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
 Then I moved onto the cat's neck and worked down his body, wrapping and glueing as I went.
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
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.
cover a paper mache cat in jute twine
 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.
cover a paper mache cat in jute twine
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. 
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
 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.
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
 Here's the cat all wrapped.
covering a paper mache cat and dog in jute twine
They both needed eyes yet ...
craft project
 ... 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.
covering a paper mache dog in jute twine
 The two small circles became the dog's eyes.
covering a paper mache cat in jute twine
 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.
dog and cat craft project

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Makeover | Painting a quilt square chair

painted Ohio Star quilt square chair
Here's my new Ohio Star quilt square chair.
fixing a broken chair
Here's how it started. It may have been a curbside rescue. If I was the sort of person to pick up other people's trash. Which apparently I am.
dowel
One of the spokes holding the legs together was missing, so I bought a dowel that was the same diameter. 
replacing a missing spindle on a chair leg
I chopped the dowel down to size.
chair makeover
Then I glued all the pieces together and let them dry.
chair makeover
Once the chair was stable, I sanded it down with my little Mouse sander.
chair makeover
My original plan was to stain the chair.
painting a wood chair
But then I changed course and decided to paint it instead. With chalk paint. Which will stick to anything. So I could have totally skipped the sanding step. 
chalk paint
I painted the whole chair with the black chalk paint. 
chair makeover
Here's what it looked like once I had the first coat on. It doesn't look bad from a distance, but it needed a second coat. But first, I wanted to put the Ohio star design on the chair seat.
making a quilt square design on a chair seat
The chair seat was 14ish inches deep ...
chair makeover
... and 16ish inches wide.
Ohio Star quilt square design
With the seat being wider in the front than in the back, I decided the easiest way to center a square on it was with my tried-and-true eyeball-it-and-hope-for-the-best method. So I cut a 12-inch-by-12-inch pattern out of newspaper and just kept moving it around until it looked more or less centered.
Ohio Star quilt square design
I traced around the pattern with a white colored pencil.
chair makeover
Then I measured and marked every 3 inches and used a straight edge to connect the dots...
chair makeover
... which left me with a 4x4 grid pattern that was more-or-less centered on the chair seat.
chair makeover
Using a straight edge again, I drew diagonal lines from corner to corner in the squares.
Here's the final grid pattern with the diagonal lines added.
chair makeover
To idiot-proof the painting process,  I wrote a "W" on every triangle that I wanted to paint white.
painting a chair
Next I cracked open the white paint jar. The paint had separated so the top looked like an oily mess.
painting a chair
A little bit of stirring with a popsicle stick made it nice and creamy again.
painting a chair
 I pulled my paintbrushes out of storage ...
Ohio star quilt square chair
 ... and started filling in the triangles.
painted chair
 It was looking pretty good.
Ohio Star quilt square chair seat
 When I was done, I stepped back to admire my work. Hmmm. Apparently my plan wasn't as idiot-proof as I'd initially thought.
painting a chair with chalk paint
 Fortunately the paint was still wet when I realized my mistake, so I just wiped it off with a wet paper towel and tried again.
Ohio Star quilt square chair
 Much better.
chalk painted chair
 Then I erased all of my white lines ...
Ohio Star quilt square design on chair seat
... and gave everything (black and white) a second coat of paint.
quilt square chair seat
I did a little hand sanding with some fine grit sandpaper to distress the edges.
antiquing a wood chair
 I had some antique wax leftover from a previous project that I used to finish the chair.
antique wax
 I applied the wax with a soft cloth, and wiped off the excess.
painted chair
After the wax dried, I buffed the chair with a clean cloth.
distressed Ohio Star quilt square chair
Here is the finished piece. Proving once again the old adage that one man's trash is another man's Ohio star quilt block chair.

Linking to: