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A Procrastinate-y Set of Wings

March 15, 2017

So, not long after my last post, (yeah, the one in November,) I started a new set of wings. It’s huge, almost 3 feet from the tip of the left wing to the tip of the right wing. And unfinished. I keep trying to ignore it, but it’s really hard to ignore a 3 foot paper mache obstruction in an already messy room.

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So… since I don’t actually know when they’ll be done… here’s how I made what I have.

First, I constructed a ‘skeleton’ of sorts from those long skinny balloons people use to make balloon animals. Traditionally, paper mache is performed (created?) on round party balloons, foil bases or wire skeletons. I’ve seen people add paper mache to objects like toy animals and cereal boxes also, though I don’t see the point of adding to something that already has permanent form. Anyway, I created a form to build on and make permanent.

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Then, since we get a box of Scholastic Reading Club fliers every month, and I had  a stack floating around my room, I tore those up and glued the pieces onto the frame.

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Some tips, if you ever try this yourself: the smaller the pieces, the easier it is to fit them onto curves and corners without folding. Also, wrapping the pieces around the frame, as pictured, rather than length wise helps avoid weird folds and pieces that won’t stick down.

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But, you know, do what works.

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I worked on this crazy-nonstop pretty much for about two weeks, because if you don’t cover the frame quickly enough, the balloons will deflate. I took about a week to cover it the first time.

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I use watered down glue, which I keep in a jar, and a paintbrush with plastic bristles. It’s a bit less effective than using my fingers, but much easier to clean up. Plus, if the glue dries on the brush, I can just wash it off. Not something that works with ‘real’ brushes.

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So, one I got it covered, I started thinking: How am I going to actually wear this?

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This works… sort of. But the whole straps can’t be balloon thickness- I tried that, and it drove me crazy. So… ribbon, I guess? That’s the plan, anyway, and I even have some picked out. 🙂 Nice and wide. But that only works if the neck piece thing is really stiff and won’t fall apart.

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So, all in all, there are about three or four coats of paper on this thing, I don’t remember the exact number. (Plus the fact that the coats overlap and share space and stuff…) But it’s pretty stiff. I’m probably going to want to reinforce all the joints and stuff before I cover it, but I might not. It’s doing fine, and honestly, if it breaks, I won’t have to store it anymore.

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I mean, the thing is huge. Wider than my door. Just under 3 feet wide, I think. (I measured the door, not the wings. Door isn’t quite 3 feet, but more than 2 1/2.)

So… now what? I want to cover it in something, because newspaper ad/scholastic flier for preschool wings looks kinda drab, at best. I don’t have enough shiny paper from the last pair, plus, I’m not sure I could get that to stick. The shiny paper didn’t take well to tape, even duct tape, or glue. I don’t really want to dip the thing in glitter, because, well, how would you do that? Plus, I’m hoping for a slightly more sophisticated look than that. And hopefully in a light color. But not pink. Purple I could live with, but green would be better… but seriously, I have no idea what I’m going to do with this. Probably just trip over it for a few more months.

So… yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to since November, among other things… but this was something I’d planned to share here. I’ve never seen anyone else use balloon animal balloons for stuff like this, mostly because I have no idea what balloon animal balloons are really called, or if they have a name. So, when/if I decide to decorate these, I’ll probably post that too. 🙂

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