Air plants have so much personality and are incredibly versatile, so I wanted to create a really fun plant holder that would embrace those natural qualities. This project takes less than an hour to do, making this a great DIY gift for the Lovecraft fan or plant fanatic on your list.
Step 1: You Will Need...
1 Air Plant-- Choose something that speaks to you. Keep in mind that the tendrils will be your tentacles.
2 Colors of Felt -- Some shade of green is a no brainer, and the wings can be any color you want. I went with a nice deep purple.
Fabric Glue --I've been fond of Crafter's Pick lately.
2 Plastic Wiggle Eyes or Sequins-- These will be your eyes. You could also use beads, fabric, or paper. Just avoid anything too heavy.
Yarn or Ribbon-- You'll use 4-5 inches to make a hanger loop
Pen and Paper
Fabric Paint or Glitter Glue (optional)-- If you decide to embellish your Cthulhu, these squeezable options are quick and easy. I use Stickles glitter glues because I find they deliver superior glitter distribution and a consistent line.
Tools: Fabric Scissors, Sharpie marker, toothpick
Step 2: The Pattern
First, measure the base of your air plant. I decided to call mine at 1.5 inches, roughly. This is the measurement upon which you will base the pattern width of your head. I added .5 on each side to give myself some gluing allowance for later.
HEAD: To begin, draw a line that is the full width of your head. In my case, that was 2 inches. Now from that base line, make a semi-circle. This is your head. Easy-peasy! Cut out this shape.
BODY: Regarding your head shape for scale, draw a body. As I've said in other tutorials, don't be scared if drawing isn't your thing. Keep it simple and it'll be cute. I went with sort of a top heavy monkey-like body since Cthulhu's arms are often a big feature in existing artwork. Once you are happy with your shape, cut out one half, then fold on the center line and trace/ cut. This will ensure symmetry.
WINGS: Draw an easy bat wing shape for the wings. You could make them smaller or larger depending on your preference. Just make sure they stick out from the body to create a clear silhouette. Remember to allow about .5 inch where the wing would attach to the shoulder, for gluing later on. Cut out this shape.
Step 3: Trace Onto Felt
Trace your pattern pieces onto your respective felt colors. A Sharpie marker is usually great for this. If you've chosen dark colors, you may need to use tailor's chalk or a light colored gel pen.
Cut out your shapes and lay them like so. This is a good time to make any changes to your wings. Do you want to tilt them upward more? Push them in closer to the body? Trim them to be smaller?
Step 4: Assembly
Using a toothpick, apply your fabric adhesive to the inner corner of one wing (where the wing attaches to the shoulder). Place the wing under the body piece and press to adhere. Repeat with the second wing, keeping your eye on the symmetry of the two wings.
Flip over your felt head and apply fabric adhesive to the corners of the semi-circle. Remember, this is that extra .5 inch you left on either side. DO NOT put glue along the flat edge--you will need this to be open. Flip back to the right side up and place on the body. You want the glued corners to meet the shoulder. Press to adhere and allow some time to dry.
When your glue is dry, you should be able to flex the felt and see that you have an opening between the head and body. This is where your plant will sit.
Step 5: Hanger Loop
Cut a piece of yarn or ribbon, no more than 5 inches long. Loop it in half.
Apply a dot of fabric glue between Cthulhu's shoulder blades.
Press the ends of the yarn into the glue. To re-enforce this area, take a small rectangle of your body felt and adhere it over the top. Press firmly and allow to dry.
Step 6: Eyes
I decided to use plastic wiggle eyes for a comedic effect. If you prefer a more fearsome Cthulhu, you may wish to use red or gold sequins, rhinestones, or beads.
Use dabs of fabric adhesive to secure the eyes. I think wide set eyes are always funnier, but this is another feature you can play with and customize.
Step 7: Install the Plant
GENTLY thread a few tendrils of your air plant through the opening under the head. You may want to use some pieces that are already dry/dead so that bending them doesn't harm the plant. Since air plants are generally stiff, it should grab on pretty well and support the rest of the plant. The bulk of your foliage should be hanging out the front, serving as his tentacles.
Step 8: Embellishments
If you're satisfied with a plain felt Cthulhu, then congrats --you are done! If you're like me, you're all about the details. Squeezable fabric paint or glitter glues are an easy way to go the extra mile.
I used green Stickles glitter glues to apply some scales on his head and limbs, and purple to define the structure of the bat-style wings. If you're less confident applying your details, you can always remove your plant, paint the details on with the figure lying flat, and re-install when everything is dry. I just went for it!
Step 9: CUTE-THULHU!
DONE! Now you have a cute little elder god to keep your air plant safe for all of time. Try this design with different Cthulhu colors and different types of air plants for completely different looks. Some of my favorites are Funckiana, Ionantha, and Butzii.