Thursday, October 04, 2012

Artful Wed--um, Thursday: glowing disco Halloween orbs

Welcome to Artful Wednesday Thursday! Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, so blogging got pushed aside a bit.
Onto the show!

Glowing Disco Halloween Orbs!
Admit it. You want one. You don't even know what it is, or how to make it, but "Halloween" and "disco" are right up your alley.

Intrigued yet? What if I told you that it lights up from within, and there's a bat-shaped illuminated outline? 
Go on and scroll down if you don't believe me. I'll wait.

Oh yeah. You want one. 

It's a two-step process, so bear with me. 
Step one! Paper Mache! You remember this from elementary school, right? Paste, balloons, and paper?

Paste: 2 parts water to 1 part flour.
Balloons: from the dollar store. 
Paper: you can use newspaper, tissue paper, or any other kind of thin paper. Avoid card stock like the plague. 

Assemble a work area. Mine's in my art dungeon in the basement. I blew up four balloons, tied them to string, tied the string to a dowel, and suspended that between two chairs.

Then I put my paste mixture and all of my torn paper on the floor and worked from there. 
Work one layer at a time, and let dry between layers so you don't get mildew. I was letting my layers dry overnight, but you can let them dry 3-4 hours.

At this point, expect someone to walk in a snicker at the pendulous-looking paper-mache orbs. Do at least three layers, but no more than 5 or you won't be able to cut through the paper-mache.

Now that your orbs are good and dry, it's on to Halloween-disco fun. Untie your orbs from the dowel and assemble some other supplies.

ModPodge, matte
Sponge brush (or old paintbrush)
Exacto blade
Paper-mache orbs
Assorted Ribbons
Glitter Glue (or white glue and glitter)
Black tissue paper
Hot Cider and Halloween music to put you in the mood

Cut a hole in one side of your orb with the exacto. This will also pop the balloon inside, which you will want to pull out and throw away. Make sure the hole is big enough to put the LED candle inside.

On the side opposite the hole, draw a bat shape in pencil.

This step is optional, but I find it make the next step easier: take a thumbtack and poke holes along the bat outline. Homemade perforation!

Use your exacto to cut out the bat shape. 

Stick your fingers through the back and pop out the bat shape. .

Set the bat shape aside--we're going to use it Friday.

Paint a thin coat of ModPodge on the front of your orb.

Lay one large sheet of tissue paper over the ModPodged section.

It will look like this below. You may need to make additional cuts in your paper to get it to lay flat-ish.

Cover the rest of the orb with ModPodge and black tissue paper--leave a hole for your candle!

Get out some ribbon--you can use orange, but I like white. Measure around the orb to figure out your length. This ribbon will go around the sides that do NOT have the bat or candle hole.

After you have your ribbon cut, apply a thin layer of ModPodge to the ribbon, and then affix the ribbon to the orb.

Next you'll want a thinner ribbon to go across the front. Measure it & cut it.

Then tape it in place. I used silver tape so it's easier to see.

I even taped on the inside.

Put your candle in and go somewhere dark to check out your handiwork.

Wooo! Boo-spooky!

Alternately to Ribbon, you can use decorative tape.

And now it's disco time. Take the candle back out. Get out your glitter glue and get spotty.

Set that aside to dry. Once it's dry, hang in a window or from your dining room chandelier.

Thoughts on the process: 
In hindsight, it may have been easiest to use black tissue paper for my final paper-mache layer. 

I'm also going to make white ones with skull cut-outs to look like Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls. Because sugar skulls rock my socks.


Nicki Mann said...

Ooooh that looks totally cool! I want to do that! I don't know if I can draw a bat that well though!

kara d said...

Fear not, Nicki! Martha Stewart has free bat templates! No drawing required.