Soft Sculpture Giraffe
Amy Jones creates a gigantic soft sculpture giraffe.
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Materials and Tools:
large steel tomato cage
giraffe print fabric
rags and foam/acrylic stuffing
1" upholstery foam
3" upholstery foam
T-shirts torn into strips
needle and thread
6-1/2' to 7-1/2' long bamboo pole
embroidery thread in various colors
glue gun and hot glue
ochre/light yellow acrylic paint - optional
metal saw/hacksaw - optional
1. Turn a circular tomato cage upside down and bend it into a square shape (figure A). The largest ring will be on the positioned on the ground as the base. Leave the spokes that would normally be stuck into the ground unbent at this time.
2. Wire (using 18 gauge wire) or tie a bamboo stick to one of the corners of the squared up tomato cage from the ground up (figure B). This will be the neck of the giraffe.
3. Bend a 1-1/2 foot piece of armature wire into a figure eight loop to shape the ears. Wrap a piece of wire in the center of the loop and attach it to the bamboo pole about eight inches from the top. Secure the wire to the pole using duct tape (figure C).
4. Bend the spokes of the tomato cage around into the shape of the body of the giraffe and secure together with duct tape (figure D).
5. Next, make a "net" at the topmost ring of the body cavity by weaving strips of fabric between the two upper rings of the tomato cage (figure E).
8. Use foam tied to the bamboo pole with strips of old T-shirts (figure H) to fill out the neck of the giraffe. Tie long pieces on with yarn or rags.
7. Wrap and tie rags and foam around the legs (figure G) to the diameter of giraffe legs making them a little wider at the top.
9. Fashion a head out of a block of three-inch upholstery foam by cutting the triangle shape with a serrated knife. Hot glue pieces of foam to the sides to form the cheeks of the head (figure I).
10. Cover the head structure with giraffe patterned fabric and sew together by hand using a whipstitch. Secure the head onto the top of the bamboo pole (figure J).
11. To make ears, cut giraffe patterned fabric into four leaf shaped pieces. With right sides together, stitch two of the pieces for each ear leaving an opening at the bottom for turning and turn right side out. Stitch them over the armature wire already in place for the ears at the top of the structure (figure K).
12. Check the balance! If the giraffe is falling over, the neck is probably too long or heavy. If well balanced, you can cut out the rings between the body and the base, leaving the base.
13. Measure the neck, cut fabric in a large trapezoid shape to cover the neck. Pin it together for the moment. The fabric edges will meet at the back where the mane will be attached.
14. Sew the top portion of the neck fabric to the bottom of head fabric.
16. Drape and sew remaining fabric onto the body and legs (figure M).
17. Sew on 3-inch strips of naugahyde to bottoms of the legs for "hooves".
18. Tie 2- to 2-1/2 feet of rope onto one of the wire supports of the body for the tail. Wrap with fabric, leaving rope sticking out of the end. Fray all visible rope to make it more hair-like.
15. Make the mane (figure L) by separating sisal rope fibers (unwinding the layers) and cutting them into 5-inch lengths. Bend them in half with the frayed edges facing up and sew each piece down the back of neck fabric. Use upholstery thread with a 2-inch sewing needle.