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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Acorns or Turdcorns?

The weather in Mississippi isn't getting cooler as fast as I'd like it to. This is very disappointing to me. Some of the inhabitants of the South are already wearing jackets and leggings. I don't believe it's jacket or jean weather until it's below 60°F. Ugh. Come on, +70°F weather! Go away! I want to wear my boots!

So, I'm still stuck indoors with the A/C trying to envision a cozy, warm house on a cool autumn day. To help achieve this, I decided my house needed some cute acorn decor. Since my kitchen is apple themed, the dividing wall  between the kitchen and dining area holds two glass apples (one green and one red). I made two giant acorns to replace them so it'd add more of an autumn feel.

The results weren't as great as I'd hope.... so are they acorns or turdcorns?

Here's a mini-tutorial on how I made them!

I wanted to make this project as green as possible. With paper mache acorns in mind, I decided to make the base shape from plastic bags I dug out of my recycling bin.

Any plastic bag will work! Make sure they're clean though...

I wanted two fairly decent sized acorns so I took two plastic bags and stuffed them with the other remaining plastic bags.

I bunched them tightly into a ball shape, like so:

Then, I used blue painter's tape (use regular masking tape, duct tape's slick surface may be too slick) to bind the bundle of plastic bags so it kept the ball-like shape.

Next, I took some left over Celluclay (found in Hobby Lobby or any craft store) that I'd bought for a paper mache mask. Celluclay is technically finely ground paper mache. It says on the box that there's no need for cutting or stripping paper or even glue. Just mix it with water and tadaaaa... instant paper mache pulp!

Next, I got a large bowl and filled it with some water. I had about half a box of Celluclay left. To tell you the truth, I never read the instructions for mixing. I just added water until it was the right consistency I needed. 

Add the powder Celluclay to the water. Try not to inhale the stuff. I was hacking for days after this project.

This is the messy part. Remember to take off all rings/jewelry. Mix the powered Celluclay and water with your hands until it becomes a goopy, paste-like consistency.

The consistency you're looking for is more like thick oatmeal. My husband took over the photography at this point. I basically just slapped the mixture onto the plastic bag balls.

I covered each ball pretty thick. Well, I ran out and couldn't cover the bottoms completely. No one's going to look at the bottoms, right? The stems are some thin twigs I found outside in my yard and stuck them in the tops. I set the acorn shaped masses on a plastic mat and let the air dry for up to a week. Yeah. I know. That's a ridiculous amount of time. I may have put the stuff on too thick. Oops. A hairdryer may aid in decreasing the drying time.

The pencil was used to prop up the lopsided acorn while it dried.

After a week of drying. I grabbed some acrylic paint and sponge brushes and started painting them. I painted the tops/caps an antique metallic bronze. 

Keeping the red and green theme of my kitchen, I painted one acorn an olive green and the other a deep, burgundy red. 

They've kind of grown on me with their rustic/rough look. I thought they would look like a 5-year old made them, but they're not too bad. They kind of stood lopsided and crooked, so I put some thumbtacks in the bases of each to make them stand up straighter.

That's it for my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants tutorial! I hope you enjoyed my crafty fail-ish endeavors. What do you guys think of them? Acorns or turdcorns? 

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