Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hello Kitty Mascot Head ~ Cheap and Quick

My daughters first birthday party was Hello Kitty themed and last minuet I decided it would be fun to make a mascot head for the party.
It was quick, cheap and I found it to be very effective! I love how it turned out and want to try to make another one with more time and care.

I tried to take a bit of pictures along the way but since I was in a rush there's some shots I missed. I'll try to explain best I can for those who might be curious, really it's very simple. Anyone can do this - no crafting experience required or (much) money for that matter.
^_^

Supplies : What I used

Paper for papermache - I used junkmail I pulled from the trashcan in the mailrooms. I would try to get some paper that's going to be recylced. There's tons, everywhere. It seems like a waste to go out and buy newspaper (if you don't already have some) - but if you really can't find any paper in a recycled trashcan you can always get some free newsletters/paper from your local grocery store that no one picks up anyways - so your doing them a favor by taking a good bulk. ^_~

Paper mache supplies/recipe- I used pancake mix as it's all I had, and for some layers I used glue since I also had some on hand.
--- If you don't know how to paper mache a quick google search can really be helpful. I had to refresh my memory. So I know theres ton's of links out there.

IF your using glue, which is most expensive, all you have to do is add water. I did one part glue, one part water. If you have a stronger glue formula you can do one part glue two parts water.
You really don't get much papermache paste with glue, You'd have to have like 10+ bottles of glue depending on how much you'd like to water it down and how many layers you plan to do. With 3 bottles of (elmers glue) one standard size and two of the bigger bottles I was able to do about six to eight layers. I only did about 18 layers all together (no more than four layers at a time) and my frame is a bit flimsy.

IF your doing flour (pancake mix in my case), I used 1 part flower, five parts water and cooked it for about 3min. Basically I put 4 parts water to boil while I mixed 1 part water with 1 part flower, then poured it in the boiling water and let it cook for 3min. You can add some salt to prevent mold and some cinnamon, I believe, to keep it from smelling to bad. (I didn't have any on hand and I didn't find that it smelled bad, just smelled a bit like pancakes).

Knife and scissors: Obiously. XD

The rest of these supplies I already had on hand (being a fabric hoarder and always working on some craft projects) but you might actually have to spend a lil money to go out and buy some.
Fleece: about a yrd - 1 1/2yrds of white
about 1/8yard of black, white and red.
Embroidery thread: To sew the eyes, nose and any other areas that might need sewing, the back of my head had a slash down the center. I did it with less care than the front and ended up with a bulk of fleece I had to cut off. So I sewed that part up- I find embroidery thread to work best.
Plastic Canvas: for the peep hole and the ears. Can be found at the crossstich section in your craftstore.
White paint: to paint the plastic canvas - most come in an off white color that I found to be too distracting, painting it white really helps it blend in better.
Hot glue: You might want to use low temp or your'll end up with burns if your not too careful. LIke me. XD I went through a pack of the thick longer glue sticks real quick, so make sure you get plenty of glue.


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Quilters batting: You will use this to cover up the head before putting on the white fleece. It helps keep the printed paper from showing underneath and gives it a nice plush feel. I recommend the batting, but You can skip this if you'd like. To keep the paper print from showing, use white computer printer paper for the final layer of your paper mache.

Upholstery foam or wire: This is completely optional, but without it your head might be a bit on the wobbly side. Foam would probably work best, but a quick fix is some wire. I used wire to help stabilize the head when it's worn. I didn't take any pictures of this, but basically there is a 16guage wire center of the head. The wire goes behind your head to keep the mascot head from falling forward, it doesn't however fix the problem of it falling backwards, you can add another wire to place front of your head to stabilize it better. I don't know how comfortable that would be, I didn't add it in place for me, but I didn't mind the wire on the back of the head and I don't think a wire in the front would really be bothersome either. It wouldn't constantly touch your head only when the mascot head wants to slide foward or back from you moving. I didnt find that it slid back very often so I didn't add another wire.
Adding foam to the inside of the head would hold much better, it would also be alot warmer. and might require more ventilation holes depending on how you decide to do it and how much foam you decide to add.
I have no tips for this as I didn't bother with the foam. I will experiment more the second time around but for now, I have no idea. GOOGLE!

lastly you need a BALLOON ~! To give you a papermache base.
I bought mine from the dollar store, used the bigger ballons that come with an elastic string... I believe they are called punch balls looks something like this. (I cut the hole to my balloon on the horizontal side)

Now that you have all the supplies you can get started! Super easy stuff:

First you want to tear all your paper into strips. Don't use scissors just tear. It works better this way, I don't know why... it just does.
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My paste, balloon and strips of paper:

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Get ready for some mess!
This is what will take you longest. Especially because you have to wait at least 12 hrs to let it dry before you can papermache again. I wouldn't do more than 4 layers at a time. Using a blowdryer or heater can speed up the drying process. The less layers you do the faster it dries. So if you do like eight layers in one sitting expect to wait 24 hours to dry.

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So I forgot to take pictures between papermacheing to adding the ears and quilters batting. Before you start with the batting you want to add the ears. I used round plastic canvas.
I got the biggest size I could get at my craft store (dont' remember the dimensions) i think it was about 10in accross. I folded it in half and held it up to the head. It was too big as it came so I had to cut it down. Once I got to a size I felt was decent I started to glue it to the head. Use alot of glue and hold it down until it dries. YOu want to add the ear with a little bit of a curve in, so you fold the canvas in half and curve it in to make it look more like ears as opposed to triangles. I hope you can tell from the pictures that there is a curve in to the ears.

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After you have the ears in place, you can start gluing on the batting.
This part doesn't have to be so purfect, but the less lumps you have the more smooth look you'll see when finished. I was in a hurry so I wasn't particularly careful here.

I was really not careful on the back side XD

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Front side all covered in batting:

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Once I finished with that I started to play with getting the right size for the eyes.
IT was a bit harder than I thought. I went too big then too small, and back and forth for a while till If finally got something that worked.
I also worked in a peep hole.


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Covering with fleece: I was really only careful on the front side to make sure there were no lumps. It takes lots of pinning and patience. I still ended up with more lumps than I would like. Creating a pattern and cutting it out on the fleece would work best. You can use ducktape to help you create a good pattern for the fabric. You do this by covering the entire head with ducktape then carfully drawing out and cutting peices which you can use as a pattern. This takes much more time, so I just did what I could by laying the entire panel of fabric over the head and pinning. Then I started to glue little by little, just around the edges.

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Adding the plastic canvas on the peephole: I used the finest plastic canvas I could fine. Meaning the canvas with the smallest holes. I painted it white (not shown in picutre) since I felt it would match up better with the white fleece.
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I did several different placements with the eyes and nose until I reached a place I liked.
Making the bow is really simple. I cut a rectangle shape, stuffed it, sewed it up and gathered at the center. I used a button covered in fleece for the center.

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yeah I know the bow is on the wrong side. lolol

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I cut the opening on the bottom way to big and way off, if your a little more patient than me you can really take the care to make at least a decent shape. Mines like all wonky.

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After I thought I was done I realized I was missing something... Wiskers!
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yeah, they need a trim and better placement, but after some final touches (like some hand stiching)... you can really get something fun to wear!

whooot!

It was a hello Kitty Party at Chucky Cheeze. XD
WE had fun!

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Chucky liked Kitty too much. =p lololol

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My lil one she's never looking, she was so hard to photograph that day.

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Party pooped! XD

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AFter Party.^_^

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Hello

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That's all folks! If your planning on making a Hello Kitty Mascot head or similar project, I hope this comes in handy. Links back are awesome!

Thanks for reading!

-Catz