The Cheshire Cat LED - creepy Tim Burton style.
Step 1: Materials
6 yards mongolian faux fur - grey -
6 inch white lamp globe - home depot
1 Dremel kit
water colors (acrylic) paints
small paint brush
1 bottle wood glue
1 bag flour for paper mache
paper towel rolls - 2
blue/white LED string lights battery operated - walmart 2$ (i bought the icicle shape for white LEDS to match the shape of my cats teeth)
clear gloss acrylic sealer spray
light blue spray paint - 3 cans
light gray spray paint - 3 cans
hot glue gun with 100 sticks
1 roll of chicken wire - small roll (3ft x 8 ft)
1 hula hoop
cheap white gloves
pumpkin teeth kit - walmart 3 $
long industrial zipper - walmart 4$
needle and thread ( i used fishing line)
Step 2: Head Sculpt
- Cut out chicken wire and mold into a pumpkin shape that is just wider than your shoulders.
- Cut out hole for head and bend/mold cheek and brow ridges.
- cover in masking tape inside and out.
- sketch cat face.
- cut wire ears out separately and attach
- cover ears in tape.
- cut out mouth.
Step 3: Paper Mache Mix
- mix paper mache
- I use 1 cup water to 1 cup flour then toss in about a quarter cup wood glue.
- I will then add flour or water depending on the consistency I want. (thicker is better than watery for drying)
- youtube and google also has recipes. Its not too crucial to get a perfect mix. The glue will secure anything.
Step 4: Mache Head Add Teeth
- use masking tape to make any last features like eyelids, gums, lips, puffier cheeks, etc. (roll it up and stick it on)
- Apply the mache to the top portion of the then let dry for atlas a 1.5 days then do the lower half (jaw and head hole). Separate the two sides so when it dries the mouth does not collapse on itself which would happen if you did the entire head. insert paper towel tubes into the mouth to keep it from collapsing during drying. I would set the head to dry so it is not touching anything and is located in the sun. I used a ladder and a 2x4.
TEETH - I had old plastic viking helmets with cheap hollow horns in them. I used these horns as a model for my teeth. I covered the horns in tinfoil then mached them. And they dried as pictured. Once dry, I pulled them off and they were good teeth. I took out half of the tinfoil (front side) so that the LED would shine through. I left the backside of the teeth foil because it would block the LED from coming inside the head in into my eyes. I later realized I did not have enough time to make more teeth so I actually cut up the viking horns and also used them. So If you wanted to, you could buy 8 - 10 helmets online for cheap but money is adding up at this point.
- You do not need to paint the teeth bc the Mache should dry Ivory white. Also, the paint would take away from the light shining through, but you could use acrylic paint if need be. Then apply clear gloss.
- If I did this over again I would do the jaw and bottom first then the top half, so when you flip it to dry the other side doesn’t get dripped on so much.
- add pumpkin teeth to lower jaw before you mache it.
Step 5: Paint, Teeth, and Fur
Spray paint the lips, eyes, and ears black (glossy)
- use several coats
- stick the teeth through available chicken wire behind the lips and duct tape it into place where you see fit. Do not cover the openings of the teeth because this is how you will insert the LEDs.
- use black duct tape to match the lips.
- paint gums and nose and ears pink
- once dry, spray the nose, eyes, and lips with clear gloss acrylic sealer.
- use several coats.
- apply the fur with hot glue. If you cover a section of the head with masking tape you can then remove the tape and use it as a template for the fur needed to match that section. This should cut down on mistakes. Also, the fur is long so you can hide mistakes easily.
- Use scissors to cut the fur shorter once you apply it to the nows and top of the mouth/eye area.
Step 6: The Body
- roll out fabric fur side down
- I laid down and used a sharpie to mark a dot at the bottom of both ankles and put two dots roughly 5 inches above each shoulder. I went higher than my actual should because you will add foam shoulders later.
- I then measured the width of the hula hoop (belly) and put two dots about 2 inches further out than the width on each side ( just to be safe).
- cut out rectangle
- with rectangle, you know that your shoulders and lower legs are not as wide as your belly so you need to taper them. I used the eye ball test which you should do because everyone is shaped differently. (cutting less in this step is better than cutting too much bc you can fix it later)
- also, the lower legs should be tapered more than the shoulders. For my legs I only tapered them from the outside to inside. I didn’t not touch the middle of the fabric down the midline. Most legs go straight down when a person stands up and you do not want to walk bow legged. So taper from the outside of the knees toward the midline.
- sew the sides from near the armpit to to near the ankle. I used fishing line because it is stronger.
- cut a small neck line (not circular hole). Do not cut horizontally, cut vertically. Also less is more, you just want enough for you head to squeeze through.
- Cut vertical line to separate your legs. Less is more, the cat has kinda short legs.
- measure arm length in the same manner with sharpie. I added a few inches just in case. Cut out sleeves to match the taper of the should. Sew on.
- you can add zipper in this step or later.
Step 7: Stripes
- place the masking tape on fur where you want you blue lines to go.
- spray paint (lightly) the gray paint
- let dry
- remove tape and move it to cover the gray stripes.
- spray blue stripes onto the fur
- let dry
use the tape to cover each color because if you don’t the edges of each stripe begin to blend together and get muddy. Your blue stripes look dull and the fur gets caked with paint and ruined. The tape helps big time.
- also tape areas you want to keep lighter like the eye brows and cheeks. Also, tape the nose, eyes, and lips so you don’t destroy the paint job you already did.
Step 8: Eyes and Teeth LEDS
- take globe and cut it in half with the dremel.
- put eyes into head and see if they fit, cut more if needed.
- paint eyes with water color acrylic paints. I just splashed blues and greens everywhere and painted a black pupil. I did several coats but the pupil needs to be thick with no light able to shine through so you may need to use oil based black paint or sharpie or possible the black duct tape if you can manage.
spray the eyes ( once dry) with clear glossy sealant - 3 coats
once dry insert eyes and duct tape into a secure spot. Hot glue in place.
insert blue LEDs into the backs of the eyes.
try to maneuver the wiring so that the remote is on the inside edge of one of the lips. This way you can turn it on and off with removing your head.
duct tape the backs of the eyes completely.
Do this same process with the White LEDS. I bought the icicle shaped lights because they fit into the teeth better. Attach the remote on the opposite side of the mouth as the eye light remote.
Step 9: Feet
- i simply wrapped old shoes in duct tape and apply fur with the hot glue gun
- before you apply fur create some duct tape claws.