21 November 2014

How I made my Minion


Cardboard tin - coffee, custard, gravy, etc
Styrofoam balls
Plain paper
Spray paint -yellow and black
Glue - PVA works fine
Iron-on Vilene 
Googly eyes
Plastic tube to fit eyes
Split pins
Coated wire
Pens and pencils
Assorted tools -screwdriver, drill, hammer, cutters

First, make sure your ball is going to fit the tin. You can do this by placing the ball in the neck of the tin.

Cut the ball in half - I use an old serrated bread knife - and glue it to the BOTTOM of the tin.

Cover the ball with layers of glue. The tin, in this case, is quite dark, so I painted a layer of white to lighten it before covering with paper, which was measured to fit with a small overlap. Make sure any bubbles are removed as you go.

Once it is dry, cover with two light layers of spray paint. Allow to dry completely between coats. The paper layer on the body absorbs most of the first layer. The second creates the glossy appearance. Be prepared for a bit of a lingering odour, but this will disperse once dry.  

While this is drying, you can go ahead with making the legs. Cut the dowell to length, and mark the centre of each end. I punched the centre with a nail, and used my screws to make the holes. You can pre-drill if necessary. Also, mark the location of the legs on the lid and make the holes. 

Test screw the legs in place.

To make the shoes, take a smaller ball and cut in half. Trim each half by cutting a bit off each side.

Drill a hole in the other end of the dowell to accommodate a length of bamboo skewer. Glue in place.

Cover the styrofoam with layers of glue and allow to dry. This can then be sprayed with paint and set aside.  (I used a chunk of pool noodle and bamboo skewers to hold up my shoes. Pool noodles are the most useful things!! And cheap, too. :) )

Trace pattern for overalls onto iron-on vilene. Do not cut out! At this point you can also cut a strip of vilene wide enough for the legs. 

Add the stitching details to the trousers.

Trim on the lines...

... and glue in place on the base of the tin. Cut the strip to fit onto the legs. Trim if necessary.

Put glue on the end of the legs and secure feet in place.

Make the goggles by trimming tubing to the depth required. Paint or trim with foil. Allow to dry and glue eyes in place from the back. Glue ribbon trim in place along edge of tin and glue on the eye/eyes.

Choose the hair type, then make the holes in the head for the hair strands. Insert the lengths of wire and mold them to fit. Once happy, glue in place.

Draw mouth design onto scrap paper. Colour with pens and pencils. Trim and glue into place. I made several types, and tend to freehand draw a bunch and see which one suits best. In this case, he has a toothy smile

I painted the top of the split pins to blend them in better. I have done this on before on Dorothy, and simply sprayed the tops with paint after an undercoat of gesso.

Trace the arms onto some cardstock, then lightly sprayed on both sides. You can see the bubbles where my paint was a little thick. My bad! It's still ok on the other side... ;)

Once dry, cut out the shapes. Paint the gloves with black paint. Mark the holes and put through the pins. Given the narrow piece, I trimmed the pin once it was flattened out, so it cannot be seen from the front.

Pop them onto the body with the split pins, and open the pins as flat as possible inside the tin. Put the legs back on....

And that's it!! Minion number two is done!!

They are a naughty pair.....

I have 4 more prepped for paint, so let's see where I go from here! :)

Meet my Minion!!

Made from a coffee tin and half a styrofoam ball, I am pleased how he turned out!

Since he is the first, I had to experiment to get the right look. Firstly, I tried covering with yellow felt, but was unsuccessful on the curved top. Secondly, I tried a paintbrush. Better, but not as flat and shiny as I would like. I know spray paint and styrofoam don't mix, but in order to get the shiny look I needed, I had to work out how to make it work.

(I was trying techniques on two at the same time. Will try and take pics on the other one as I go. This one has been painted, but already has two layers of glue already on the styrofoam....)

I tried with paint as an undercoat but it didn't work so well. Instead, I used two coats of glue. Yes, glue!! The type that dries clear, cheap and cheerful... Worked BRILLIANTLY!!

To get the body flat, I used plain paper to cover the streaks from the paint. Two coats of gloss yellow, and I am done!! Bonus feature - easy application of the hair, since it can just be stuck into the foam!

Next, eyes. Looking at pics of various Minions, you can see they all have their individual features - one eye or two eyes, big or small - but they all have the silver goggles. I already had some pvc tubing (used for necks on previous can people) that fit perfectly with the googly eyes that I already had. How to make the silver?? Aluminium foil! Worked ok, but will try silver paint next time.... Anyway, I glued the eyes in and job done! The band is ribbon, with the eyes glued on top.

Clothes next.... I taped some paper on and traced out the outline of the overalls. Once I removed it and  tidied up the pattern, I traced it onto iron-on vilene and fused to the back of some denim. Worked ok, but will try some lighter weight fabric next time. 

This is the first time I have used actual legs, and although they are bigger than the cartoon, they need to be for stability. I actually turned my tin upside down, so the lid is at the bottom. I could still access the inside to add the arms, and this made the legs so easy to do. I bought a length of dowell, cut it into a random length, put holes in the ends and screwed the to the inside of the lid. Then I covered it with denim to match the overalls and glued them on.

The feet were another challenge. How can I give him more stability? Bring on another styrofoam ball, smaller this time, cut in half then trimmed to create a shoe-like shape. Another two coats of glue, and a coat of gloss black spray paint, and voila! I had originally planned on using a screw up through the foot and into the dowell, but this was not successful. Instead, I grabbed a bamboo skewer and glued into the leg, then I just pushed into the foot with some more glue. Awesome!!

So, what about arms?? Cardboard, spray paint, cut out, black out the gloves, holes, split pins, done! 

Finally, some hair. I bought some tie wire from the hardware, poked some holes in the foam and stuck in short lengths of wire.

For his mouth, I just freehand drew some designs on paper, coloured with pencils and Textas, picked the best one and glued it on.

I now have all the tools to make more of these! So much fun!! 

Banana!! ;)

08 November 2014


The Canning Show has been and gone, but I did come away with a couple of prizes. 😊

My "quilt" from last year became a "wall hanging" this year and picked up a highly commended.

My Dutch quilt came third against the one above. I'm surprised, since I thought the other had more impact. 

These guys also came second in the Christmas category.

And lastly, Dorothy and the gang came second in the Recycled section.

I also put in my Witch and pink baby wrap/doll quilt, but they didn't score a prize. No matter, there's always next year. Better get cracking!! 😄