Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Margarita Man for Luau

I have taken photos of my latest character I am making in foam core with fun foam glued to it.  In past blogs, I have included photos of the finished characters, such as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Farmer, his wife, etc.  Above is the clipart enlarged to 4 sheets by 4 sheets in my Printmaster program.  I left out a square to show you the scale. Before enlarging an image, I crop out as much white space as I can from around the image.  Then I enlarge it to the full size of the page.

Look carefully and you can see that I put all of the pattern pieces on the floor.  I separated them into pieces that will fit on the largest pieces of fun foam I can find.  The craft stores are selling fun foam now in 12" x 18" sheets.  When deciding where to cut a pattern for an image, I have a piece of foam ready and waiting to see if the piece fits.  I actually had to cut the margarita man's shirt into two pieces, right down the middle.

Here you can see half of the shirt pattern.  I put the pattern face down and simply trace it with a sharp pencil.  You can actually erase mistakes.  I have recently tried tracing it with the pattern facing right side up.  Then I outline it with a black sharpie BEFORE I cut it out.  I outline all the pieces with black sharpie because they will be glued to black foam core.  It gives them more definition.

I use Aleene's Tacky Glue with a little bit of water to thin it. Don't use too much water because foam core warps when it gets too wet. Make it the consistency of school glue.  I buy inexpensive small brushes and actually paint the glue onto the back of each fun foam piece.  As you see, from this unfinished project, I have had to change the colors of his outfit to use up extra pieces of foam I already have.  Since he's going to a luau, his outfit could be as loud as I wanted.  

 The placement of the legs is important to making him stand up.  I found these curved copper pieces at Lowe's.  This photo is of the back of the hula girl for the same party. The copper pieces screw right into the foam core.  I put the FLAT tops of the screws on the front of the piece BEFORE I have glued the fun foam down.  I outline the piece in pencil to see where the placement will be.  I use two of these pieces called TWO-HOLE PIPE STRAPS.  The 1/2" pvc pipe slips right through them. 

My first pieces were covered front and back, but this got VERY time consuming trying to reverse all of the patterns to match the front.  I originally used metal t-bars to support them, but the pieces started warping.  This new support system keeps the pieces straighter.

We have to cut the pvc pieces with connections cemented into pots down.  I can save money now by using just two poles over and over and slopping the characters onto the pipes.  I've included a picture of Winnie and Piglet completed in case you didn't see this post.  I will be posting the above completed characters in their party settings in September.  Below is the hula dancer for the party.


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