Introduction: Building Audrey II Bud Soft Sculptures

Having just completed building Audrey II for Little Shop of Horrors and having a very positive reaction to her appearance, I decided to make a few gifts for some fellow folks on the creative team for the show. These buds are intended to match the overall aesthetic of the ones seen in the show, but to hold up to closer scrutiny and look nice on a desk or window or shelf or wherever, as well as being an appropriate size for display.

 

Their overall design is based on the final clipped buds of Audrey II, and their colors and patterns match their bigger counterparts.

 

This tutorial is overall more simple and explained with more detail than my work on Audrey II, if you would like a small, stationary Audrey II pod at home, this would be ideal for construction.

Step 1: Materials

The materials here vary slightly from the on-stage Audrey II plants, as here there's no need for theatrical demands.

 

  • Cotton Broadcloth in Yellow and Dark Green

  • Brown Faux Fur and a Terra Cotta Pot

  • Polyfil (Plush Filling)

  • Thread

  • Hot Melt Glue

  • Acrylic Paint

Step 2: Part 1: Plugging the Pot

The first thing to do was to plug the drainage hole in the pot with a little bit of the brown faux fur (which will serve as 'dirt' in the pot). Cutting a square a little larger than the hole, the fabric is glued in place to ensure no stuffing falls out.

Step 3: Part 2: Filling the Pot

With the drainage hole filled, the pot is then filled with stuffing and capped off with the dirt faux fur. A small handful of polyfil is enough for these pots, and using the rim of the pot as a guide to cut the fabric, a circle of the right size is ready to be placed in the top of the pot.

 

Adhering it in with hot melt glue by folding over the edge to make a clean seam makes for a quick finish.

Step 4: Part 3: Sewing Leaves

I quickly traced out my leaves on my fabric folded in half. A template could be used, but because I was working quickly I did not feel one was needed. Aligning them in opposite directions on the sheet of fabric allows for less waste. Be sure to include enough room for seam allotments.

 

With each leaf cut out, a quick machine seam around each finishes them off, ready to be turned. Because of their size, a dowel or pencil is useful for turning out the points.

 

Not shown: The leaves are ironed flat before closing off their ends with a quick doubled over seam.

Step 5: Part 4: Sewing Buds

Similar to the leaves, the buds themselves are cut out of yellow cotton broadcloth. Then turned and stuffed with a little bit of polyfil.

Step 6: Part 5: Painting

With the base assembly done, the various parts are ready to be painted.

 

Pods:

  • Orange gradient

  • Red gradient

  • White spots

  • White highlights/lips

  • Thin purple mouth line/lip

 

Leaves:

  • Light green gradient

  • Purple veins

  • Red veins

  • White highlights

 

Pots:

  • Light green moss

  • Dark green moss

  • White highlights

 

All of the painting is done with a mix of acrylic paints thinned slightly with water and brushed on with both larger (for gradients) and smaller (for details) brushes.

Step 7: Part 6: Final Assembly

With the pieces complete, a little hot melt glue is all that is needed to assemble the buds. First the leaves are glued to the pods, one on each side. Then pressing the pod and leaves firmly into a puddle of glue on the pot, everything is attached and ready to go.

 

As these were gifts for a specific production, I printed and decorated some sticker labels reflecting that information and stuck them to the pots, along with signing the bottom in sharpie.

Step 8: Conclusion

Here are the Audrey II buds fully assembled and ready to head home!

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Bio: I am a theater artist with a taste for the unusual. Bones and metal, iconography and the media, rough textures, blatant symbolism, and a slant ... More »
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