I recently was in Target and as I was cutting back through the stationary isle I found paper mache dinosaurs. What? In Target? I had no idea! I LOVE dinosaurs. I’ve watched hours of documentaries (while I craft), I collect fossils and even have a couple of synthetic ‘skeletons’ but I have never seen paper mache dinosaurs before. They’re only about 7″ tall, perfect for a quick project!
(UPDATE: These blank paper mache dinosaurs are now available in my shop Old Raven on Etsy. Just click on the Etsy button above and go to my “Supplies & Neat Stuff” section to view the listing.)
Except once I decided to go “Steampunk” the ‘quick’ part went right out the window. The first thing these dinosaurs needed were wheels on their feet. Tim Holtz (my secret love) recently came out with Mini Pulley Wheels and I knew they would fit, proportionally, perfectly on these dinosaurs.
Tim’s original wheels on the left and the new mini’s on the right – too cute!
And yes, the wheels actually turn.
And yes, it was a real mother getting them on – if anyone wants details – just leave me a comment and we’ll work it out.
Because I’m going Steampunk on these guys, it means they will get a skin that looks like riveted metal – so cool! But when I do this technique I’ve found that it’s best to paint (whatever) a nice solid black, first.
To make my metal skin I’ve used a number of foil products such as foil paper, adhesive backed vinyl foil on a roll, sheets of foiled poster board – all to greater or lesser success. This time I’m using an adhesive back foil on a roll. For the riveted metal look, I use Tim’s embossing folder of that name. It comes in a two pack with a Diamond Plate folder, too.
This is what one sheet of embossed foil looks like. For this project, I found it easier to work with the pieces individually cutout…
…because the dinosaurs are fairly small and have lots of little curves and bends in them.
You can see on the picture, two above, that I started with a fairly large piece right behind his armored headpiece. From there, I just continue putting pieces in that seem to fit the area – kind of like a jigsaw puzzle with no picture.
Okay, time to get back to work – my dinosaur is calling. I’ve already collected a few “found” objects to add to the Steampunk look on this guy, and of course, that shiny metal skin will need to be appropriately aged. Till later…