Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cactus Hat: Take One

I dug myself out of the dumps yesterday afternoon and made some goo for paper mache.  As soon as it started to thicken on the stove, my mood change was instantaneous.  I grabbed a few balloons from my stash (oddly, always kept with the flashlights) and blew one up a little bigger than a basketball.  It's hard to judge how big to make it (1) because I've never made a barrel cactus, (2) I can't try it on my head if it's still a sphere and (3) I don't know how big this person's head it.  My head is on the small side, so I have to keep that in mind.  J has a very large head, so he can't be a model either.  Just hope!

My moveable studio

My paper mache recipe is just heat water on the stove, add salt, and slowly add flour until it starts to get thick. Ta-da!  I'm a fan of brushing the glue on the form, adding strips of newsprint, more glue, more newsprint.  I put about three layers on today, so I'll let it dry overnight and add 3 more tomorrow.  I'm thinking that'll do the job.

I haven't made paper pulp since I was in junior high, but Instructables has a bevy of information on paper mache.  I intend to use the paper pulp to make little knobbles (like the cups on an octopus, maybe?) to go up the sides of the cactus.  I'll stick the "spines" into these as they are drying.  I think this will be the most involved part.  All I need are a few colors of paint, and I am on my way.

You don't know how small my hands are! That could be the size of a grapefruit for all you strangers know.

As for making it stay on a person's head, I think I may try to sew a simple cap and have it on the inside, with earflaps to hold it on.  If all goes well, it will resemble a green, spiky beehive hairdo.   And bonus! My first attempt at making a cactus flower.  I am using a little artistic license.  This one is felted, thanks to FirstStitch's teachings.  Who thinks it's a good idea to see what these would look like shellacked?


  1. I find it inspiring that you guys are making the marriage work even with the sexual dimorphism of your heads!


Registration isn't necessary, but please don't post as "anonymous".