Mr. Bassel on Easter with SK

We All Have that one Friend...

Holly at Borei Designs causes trouble...I see what she is playing with and I immediately want to play too.

UPDATE: Borei Design has elevated Mr. Bassell into her realm of fun and friviolics. My own special word for my own special friend. Thank you Holly at Borei Design

I saw her paper mache French chicken and voila. There I go again starting another project, before I finish the five semi-finished, And overdue projects sitting in the studio. Ah well.

Thanks Holly. This was such fun.  You can see her complete tutorial at the following address.
 Borei Design
With Easter just around the corner and me bored with my latest five projects, I decided to create a French Rabbit and name him Mr. Bassell.

As Mistress Borei says: (mine went a bit differently just because of size) (Mr. Bassell is just under 2 2/1 ' tall. So he needed a wire body for the sheer weight of his size.)

1. I sketched out a very basic shape of a chicken's body on the back of a piece of scrap wrapping paper and cut it out. I then traced it on the side of an old cardboard box and cut it out.

(SK) I sketched my idea out but he just seemed to get bigger and bigger.
I began to wrap wire around a 1" wooden dowel. I screwed 1/4"x1" wood feet to the bottom of the dowel so he would stand sturdy.
As I wrapped the wire, I began to form his head, body and back legs. Pushing and prodding until I achieved the shape I was looking for. 

When the wire frame was complete I started to stuff him with paper.
Kinda creepy if you ask me...
With Bassell stuffed and standing. I wrapped him in masking tape. Holly used white. Smart girl which she is. I had blue, so that's what I used. Not realizing the blue color would show through his thin paper skin. Duh!

Holy also used a clay to cover him. Another smart idea.
11.  For extra durability, I then covered the entire project in Activa Celluclay and  allowed it to air dry.  I sat him in the window and he dried in completely in about two days.

I skipped this step. I shouldn't have. Holly's a smart cookie. It would have made Mr. Bassel too heavy for the size he was.(or so I thought)
I used Holly's paper mache recipe to begin his "skin".  It's fun and messy to work with. I made sure to cover my work space, because I know I'm a much more messy person than Holly.

Here's Holly's magic
4. I whipped up a batch of paper mache paste and ripped up some newspaper in strips.  I then added a couple of layers of paper mache (paste-dipped) strips all over the body.  I dried it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit in between layers.  Drying in the oven helps speed up the drying time of paper mache paste.  Just make sure you don't "overcook" your project and check it every 15-20 minutes.  You can also use a hair dryer to help speed drying time.  Just make sure your project is completely dry before each new step.               
Holly's Papier-Mâché Paste Recipe
5 Parts Water
1 Part Flour
1-2 Tbs of Salt


Put 4 parts water into a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. While you are waiting for it to boil, mix 1 part flour to 1 part warm water. Beat this mixture briskly to remove lumps. Once your pot of water is boiling, slowly stir in salt (helps to combat mold & mildew) along with water and flour mixture. Mix well and let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Mix to a gooey glue-like consistency.  Add more flour and/or water as needed to achieve desired consistency.  If you make more than you will use in one day, be sure to store excess in the fridge overnight.  When ready for reuse, heat and add additional water to thin and smooth if necessary.  

This was fun stuff. Hot as hades at first. Just keep working with it. I used an entire batch for Mr. Bassell.
My paper is tissue paper from Hobby Lobby, which I cut into 2-3" strips.

I then created funky arms and his little nose with twisted wet Papier-Mâché  (ooo la la. Must be French) and using wire attached his arms into place. I moved them a couple of times. I couldn't get them in a position that didn't look weird. I just kept positioning till they looked a bit more natural. I just used more paper to cover the wired points.
With a lighter polka dot tissue I added a vest and the inside of his ears. With a long piece of folded paper I created his stand-up collar. When the paper was dry, I cut his vests front points. The back of his vest is pleated.
Using wire to make his whiskers. I curled one end of the wire, then poked a hole through his nose and threaded the wires into place. Then cut them and curled the other side. A pretty teal striped cardstock made his bowtie. A little teal and diamond button holds his vest in it's proper place.

After he was completely dry, I sprayed him with a satin lacquer finish.
A little painted heart finished his attire for Easter Sunday.
He needs a SMILE! Ok, Ok.

Thank you Holly for your inspiration and techniques. I'm onto the next one. He's three feet tall....Next time.
Holly of Borei Design is a Hometalk professional. Here is her Blog Address.

Thanks for visiting. And thanks again for Holly's inspirations. I can always count on her.