Welp, I FINALLY GET TO SHARE MY FAVORITE CRAFT THAT I HAVE EVER MADE!!!! Two of the best people on the planet are my friends Jud and Amanda. They are fun (like SUPER fun) and if anyone was ever going to have a unique wedding proposal experience I knew it would be them. Thankfully, I was asked to play a very small role in their special moment and I got to craft up the ring box for the proposal!
The task was this… make a box that resembled the Claymation burger from the 1985 John Cusack movie Better Off Dead. This is the first time I have been hit with a craft idea that I honestly thought I might not be able to pull off but I really wanted to try to execute it! I spent about a month trying to figure out what to use as a base, how the armatures would get attached etc. but in the end I decided that simplicity was king and I should go with what I know… paper mache and clay. I still got to learn some new skills however (like box making and making/using paper mache pulp) so it was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. This isn’t an incredibly detailed account of how I made it but below was the basic process that I went through and some helpful tutorial links used along the way.
Step 1) Make the box base.
I found this great tutorial on instructables.com for making irregular shaped paper mache boxes. http://www.instructables.com/id/Sturdy-randomly-shaped-paper-mache-box/ Yes, making it from scratch was PROBABLY stupid as I could have just bought a prefab round paper box from a craft store… but where’s the fun in that?! Following this tutorial I crafted the box’s base out of file folder boxes that my office was going to recycle. I didn’t take a photo of the box base because, well, I’m sure you can imagine what a round box looks like.
Step 2) Make the clay features
Next I bought some sculpey and formed the 3D features of the burger (eyes, mouth, limbs and guitar) then baked according to the directions on the package. On each of the hands and feet and through each arm and leg I left a small hole with which to insert wire for assembly when everything was completed.
Step 3) Paper mache pulp
Next I made up a batch of paper mache pulp using this tutorial http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-paper-mache-pulp/ and affixed it to the box’s lid so it would have a rounder, more textured “bun-like” appearance. I salted my pulp and put it on in thin layers that I allowed to dry in between each layer in order to make sure there would be no mold growth.
Step 4) Paint
I used acrylic paints to paint the lid, sides of the box and the clay accessories.
Step 5) Put the little guy’s face on
I used hot glue to affix the eyes and mouth to the top of the box. Once in place I also used some reserved paper mache pulp to blend the mouth into the existing pulp and then I repainted once dry.
Step 6) Attach arms and legs
I punched four holes in the sides of the box where I wanted the limbs to be attached. I then straightened out some paper clips, ran them through the holes I left in the limbs before baking and hot glued them in place. Once the limbs were secured to the wire I ran the exposed edge of the wire through the holes in the side of the box, cut off the excess wire and glued the small bit inside down.
Step 7) Finishing touches
In order to “pretty” everything up, I lined the interior of the box with white felt, added a felt backing to the bottom of the box so it wouldn’t scratch any surfaces it may rest on and made a small ring pillow to sit inside. Voila!
(Oh, and she said YES!)
Wishing Jud and Amanda a lifetime of happiness and love. I am so excited for what lay ahead for both of you xoxo