Friday, September 16, 2011

Mummy Head

Going in the theme of decorative heads, I thought I would post my mummy head.  I made it using Martha Stewart's Head Waiter Tray instructions.  I call it a mummy head because I have no intention of putting it on a tray, it will most likely end up in my entryway on the table there.

As per Martha's instructions I found a foam head at a local beauty supply store.  They are surprisingly affordable, this one cost me something like $4.

Step one is to crinkle up paper towels.  I would like to add one note to what Martha directs.  Don't use paper towels with little dot like divots on them.  Get the fancy ones, like Viva, that are nice and flat.  The divots don't melt out when you get the towels wet or start gluing them and, honestly, the whole ply thing gets in the way too. If I were to do this again, I would use different paper towels.

I then dipped the crinkled paper towels into coffee as instructed.  They don't look like much at this point, just a sodden blah-ish brown. I didn't try for an even soaking, just a quick dip and wring out.  The lighter patches look nice later on.  I also dunked some cheese cloth to age it.  Martha uses gauze, I found gauze to be more expensive since it's usually sterile for use on wounds.  Cheese cloth is cheap and can be found in the paint aisle of places like Walmart and Lowes.

Next, I had to let the dunkes bits dry out.  Being the lazy person I am, I figured what would happen naturally would happen faster outside in the sun.  So, I put my paper towels and the cheese cloth out in the back yard to dry.  It really didn't take very long.  I checked them every 10-15 minutes and when the outside was crispy  feeling and had some very dark brown sections I stretched them out a bit so that they could dry all the way through.

Drying done, I tore the paper towels into smallish bits.  This part isn't in Martha's written instructions, I found it in the accompanying video.  I think it was a good call; it was much easier to blend towel bits when they had uneven edges.  I would actually suggest tearing off the factory cut edges because they leave weird lines on the head once you start assembling it.

Here we have the head as I started covering it with the paper towel bits.  Again, I varied my technique from the instructions.  I didn't want a food based glue as I store my Halloween decorations outside and I saw no reason to go buy Mod Podge so instead I used Elmer's glue and thinned it a little with some warm water. Worked like a charm.

After a bunch of gluing and getting covered in glue and bits of paper towel I achieved this:

You see the line from the chin, over the cheekbones to the ear area?  That's what happens when you don't tear the natural edges off the paper towels.  On the whole, I think she looks pretty good though.  I'll post pics of where she ends up when I actually start decorating.  I get over excited about Halloween so I do try not to put decorations up for real until October 1st.  Sometimes it even works. (-;

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