Introduction: Make a Head Planter From Hot Glue

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In this instructable you will sculpt a head planter using a styrofoam head, make a crown by casting hot glue in two silicon molds and painting with permanent markers and color correcting with color hot glue.

I always wanted to have a head planter. The size of this planter is 9 1/2" tall, 7 x 6 inch opening at the top

320 hot glue sticks, multi temp, mini size (4 packs of 100, non yellowing )

1 low temp mini glue gun for building the sculpture on styrofoam

1 high temp mini glue gun for use with color hot glue sticks

silicon finger tips

1 styrofoam head

aluminum foil ( for wrapping the styrofoam head)

parchment paper 5" x 10" (for a non stick surface)

twist ties (about 6 for making tubes for hair)

for preparing the form

2 sheets of paper torn into long 1 or 2" wide strips

Elmers glue

for making the crown

1 silicon mold of gems

1 silicon mold of fleur de lis and curlicues

1 spray can of gold paint or minimum 1 pack of 12 gold glue sticks

for painting

1 pack of permanent markers

rubbing alcohol (70% for off brand markers bought a few years ago or 90 % for name brand like Bic markers purchased this year 2018)

1 soft brush

for color correction

3 pink glue sticks (1 pack of 10 colors or 50 sticks)

One of the reasons I wanted to make my sculpture out of hot glue was because I saw numerous tutorials on making jewelry from hot glue. This year I even saw a guy make a hammock from hot glue!

Step 1: Step One: the Preparation

The styrofoam head had a squished nose and I needed to build up the form. I also wanted an extra layer of protection for the styrofoam head because I didn't want any of the hot glue to make contact with it. I recycled some of my notebook paper by tearing it into 1 or 2 " wide strips. I decided to make a very thin layer of paper mache, overlapping the strips so only 2 pieces of paper overlap. I tore some paper, rolled it into a little sausage shape and glued on for the nose, then I tore more paper and rolled it into a tiny ball and made it for the tip of her nose. I covered the head completely in this thin layer of paper and Elmer's glue.

Next I carefully wrapped the front half of the head with aluminum foil. I was so careful, but the foil tore on the nose so I took it off and reused it to cover the back of the head. I completely covered the head in foil because I wanted a reflective surface otherwise my hot glue structure would stick to the paper mache surface. I drew a line with a greenish marker to serve as a guide between the front and back halves.

This is great step to do some preliminary sculpting whether you decide to add horns, wings or antlers. Use your imagination.

Step 2: Step Two: Building the Sculpture

I began using my mini low temp glue gun which I bought a long time ago. I recently bought a new one just in case my current one broke. I drew my glue gun directly on the foil surface at the chin then along the nose. These areas would be diffifult to precisly place glue strips. But pouring glue directly on the surface, I found it difficult to to make an even looking application so then I decided to make glue strips about 2 x 3". I aimed my glue gun on the parchment paper and also wore silicon finger tips on the hand that was touching the parchment paper. The silicon finger tips were nice to wear and the hot glue can be peeled off the silicon.

When I peeled the hot glue off the parchment paper I noticed the side that touched the paper had a frosty look. After the glue strip cooled I poured more hot glue on it and placed it on the foil covered head. I decided my sculpture needed eyes so I poured enough glue to form small spheres. Next I needed to shape the nostrils so I squeezed the trigger and wiped the nozzle in circular arcs are the nose. I made small mounds for the sides to the nose and built a gentle dome for the tip of the nose. I noticed that my sculpture began to resemble crushed ice and that it was difficult to photograph because it seemed to glow. I covered the foil in hot glue except for the green line. I even covered the bottom with hot glue.

Next I split it in half, took out the stryrofoam head and glued the sculpture back together. I flipped it upside down and covered the thin areas with more glue and because this is a planter I made holes by holding my glue gun for a while till the surface became soft and pushed down through the foil. I made several holes for drainage.

Step 3: Step Three: Making the Crown

I cast into the silicon mold by pressing the glue gun nozzle close to the bottom of the mold and slowly rising. If the hot glue domes too much press down with a small sheet of parchment about 3 x 5" while wearing silicon finger tips. I cast over 20 gems from the gem mold and filled the fleur de lis mold only once. Once the glue cools I take them out of the mold.

Next I made a square template for the gems. I drew on paper with a marker, then I laid a sheet of parchment paper over the drawing and followed the pattern with my glue gun. I glued each gem to its own square. I spray all of my gems and fleur de lis with gold spray. Wow, the gold spray paint really dries fast. Now, I glue each gem to the upper edge of the sculpture.

Step 4: Step Four: Sculpt Ears and Curls

With a bold marker draw on a piece of paper an ear. Lay the sheet of parchment paper over the ear drawing. Put on the silicon finger tips. Fill the oval shape with hot glue. Make the Y shape and outer edge a raised surface. If you drew on parchment paper with a marker the ear will pick up this color!

After that I peeled the ear off the paper and flipped it upside down and made a raised circular shaped with the glue. Let it cool. I glued the ear to the sculpture. Then I made another ear and glued it to my sculpture. I wanted a curly hairdo so I made tubes of glue by making a glue strip of varying lengths, let it cool, then rolling it and securing its cylindrical shape with a twist tie. I squeezed a little bit of hot glue at each end. Let it cool. Remove twist tie and add more glue. After making several tubes I then glue it to the head right between the ears. Once the sculpture has all of tubes for a hairdo it is time to sculpt. I draw a lot of horizontal bands on each tube. Let it cool. Next sculpt deeper curls. Hold the glue gun in one spot till it gets soft. Squeeze the glue while pushing down and sliding horizontally. The horizontal lines will get deeper. If you make a hole in the tube it is easy to repair while it is small. Larger holes need lines drawing resembling cobwebs, let it cool before layering more glue. Some areas on the tubes are very irregular and present an opportunity to try to make a rose by drawing circular shapes.

Step 5: Step Five: the Painting

I found out that If you want to blend your markers like a water color painting you need to use rubbing alcohol and the strength needed depends on the marker. I have a few off brand permanent markers from a few years ago and 70 % is strong enough for a watercolor effect. But for this project I am using new markers and they are very permanent and require 90% alcohol to resemble a watercolor wash.

I painted my roses purple, but they look blue in the photos. I used yellow for her neck and orange marker for her cheeks green for her eyes and indigo for eyeliner. I used too much green around her eyes so I decided to color correct it by using pink glue sticks. The color glue sticks that come in the package are beautiful and opaque. After I did the color correction I noticed that her skin was too glossy so I added some transparent glue and pressed down on the warm glue with my silicon tips. The tips left tiny dibbles that resemble skin with pores. For more variety I added more glue and pressed with parchment paper.

Step 6: Step Six: the Plant Test

So next I wondered which plant should I choose? I decided to test them by plopping each plant and taking a photo. Which plant is best for this planter?

Planter Challenge

Participated in the
Planter Challenge