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Cheap, sustainable or recycled stuffing Answered

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Hi all,

I'm part of a project where we're making soft sculptures to cover a tree trunk. It's for a sustainable festival, so we have to be mindful of re-using and recycling in our artwork.

The problem we're having is with stuffing. It's only a temporary artwork for 5 hours so I'm not too concerned with waterproofing, but trying to make the sculptures look good when stuffed with shredded newspaper, plastic bags or chopped up old clothes is difficult.

I'd really appreciate any ideas you can suggest! Thanks.

5 Replies

dj.2291 (author)2012-05-15

what about small pieces of sponge from sofa cushions? or there is the filling in mattresses?

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jarris (author)dj.22912012-05-16

They'll have to be minced sponge I think. It's an option, but there's also a lot of toxic stuff in sponge so that it's inflammable. I don't know if I want to be handling too much of it.

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CrLz (author)2012-05-15

Sounds like you need good loft from a filler.

Three suggestions:
1. Ribbon-shredded paper (from low-end home shredders) tends to catch along the cuts and keep loft. The krinkled ribbon strips (what is now sold as easter basket stuffing) works even better, although I've never had a machine that produces it.

2. "Pulped" and dried newspaper is very lofty. You can buy as rabbit bedding. I used to make my own by simply hand shredding and churning in a 5-galbit bucket ful of water, tgen drying outdoors on screens. Takes a very long time to dry.

3. Saw dust and or wood shavings?

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Kiteman (author)CrLz2012-05-15

+1 on the shavings.

They'll save on transport costs (= fuel) as well, because after the show you empty the items in situ and sprinkle the shavings around plants as a mulch.

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jarris (author)Kiteman2012-05-15

I think we'll want to keep these stuffed... but for a larger work, I can see how transport costs coulld be a factor.

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