Monday, November 4, 2013

Humpty Dumpty Sat On A Wall

For my sister's baby shower, we picked nursery rhymes as a theme. Little did we know we would have the hardest time finding decorations in stores. We didn't want to budge on the theme, so I had a go at designing decorations and centerpieces. Something that I treasured the most was the Humpty Dumpty scene I made to place near prizes to give out to guests. I think this could be used for any number of reasons (Humpty is now sitting on a shelf in my niece's nursery, and I kept the stone wall!) I hope you enjoy this as much as I did designing and realizing it!

Materials for Humpty's Wall and Base:
  • Two Rice-A-Roni boxes
  • Newspaper strips, flour, and water for mache paste
  • Piece of cardboard for base
  • Faux vines from craft store
  • Faux flowers from craft store
  • Grass
  • Hot Glue
  • White glue
  • Green, black, grey, white, and dark brown paint

Materials for Humpty:
  • Wooden oval from craft store (I got mine from Michaels)
  • Scraps of felt (I used black for shoes and shorts and white for hands)
  • White pipe cleaner
  • Ribbon
  • Small button
  • Embroidery thread
  • White and black paint
Step 1: The Great Wall

Start by gathering two empty Rice-A-Roni boxes. You could also use any box you think would make a good wall. This will serve as the mold for the wall. The measurements for the Rice-A-Roni boxes are roughly 11"LX1"WX6.25"H when combined. Hot glue them together at their sides, and your wall mold is formed.

Next, paper mache a couple of layers of newspaper all around the boxes. I boil water and flour to create my paper mache paste. You could, instead, cover the boxes in white paper to reduce wait time, but I liked that the paper mache hardened when it dried and reinforced the "wall." When this is completely dry, you can paint the wall entirely white. Now we can paint in the "stones."

Step 2: Detailing the Wall

Painting stones in is a little tedious, but the final appearance is worth it. Begin by penciling in stone shapes on all sides of the wall except for the bottom. Leave small gaps between each so that you can paint in "mortar" in gray. Once all of the stones are drawn in, paint the spaces between them with grey.

To detail the stones, water down a little black paint. Dip a paintbrush in the watery black and blot it on a paper towel until the paint appears very faint. Lightly paint different spots on the stone. Repeat this again with a dark brown paint and again in black. The stone wall is complete!

Step 3: Adding Greenery

To create a grassy base, grab a cardboard box and cut out a round shape. Paint the entire top green. Once the paint dries, place the wall in the center and trace around the bottom edges. Then set aside the wall. No grass will be added to this section.

Pour white school glue all around your base, except where you traced your wall. Then simply add grass until the cardboard is covered up.

To finish off the wall, take some plastic vines and hot glue them on the left side. Make them long enough so that they can creep around the side of the wall and maybe even on the top. Add some flowers to different spots on the vines. Finally, glue down the wall to the grassy base using hot glue. On to Humtpy!!

Step 4: Humpty Dumpty Himself!

Take the wooden oval shape and measure it all the way around. You will use this measurement to help make his clothes. Once you have the number, you can paint the oval white. Paint another coat if the wood can still be seen through the paint. While the paint dries, you can begin working on his outfit.

I dressed my Humpty in black shorts made out of felt material. Allow for a 1/4" seam. I didn't use a pattern here. I just cut out two "shorts" shapes and sewed them together. I stitched around the waist with purple embroidery thread for decoration. Finally, I sewed on a purple button in the center of the waist. Glue Humpty inside of his shorts.

Arm (right), leg (left)
To add the pipe cleaner arms and legs, cut down a white pipe cleaner to a length that looks proportional to Humpty's eggshell body and attach them with hot glue. When gluing, you may want to bend the tips of the pipe cleaner. This will give you a greater surface area to be glued to the body and create a stronger bond. In the picture, the leg is on the left with the "foot" at the bottom, and the arm is on the right with the "shoulder" at the top. After adding the arms, I also glued on purple ribbon "overalls" to complete his outfit.

For his hands, cut out two glove-type shapes out of white felt material and glue one to each arm. Using black felt material for the shoes, cut out two small elliptical shapes for the soles and four boot sides. You can also cut out a white "foot" like you did for the hands and glue them to the legs. Since these pieces were so small, I hot glued them together instead of sewing. Glue or sew two boot sides together from 1-2 and them from 3-4. Finally, you can attach them to the boot sole and then on Humpty's foot.

Now all that is left to do is paint Humpty's face (my Humpty is surprised).  Now Humpty Dumpty is ready to sit on his wall. Hopefully you will be able to put him together again should he fall, using this tutorial.

Here are the other nursery rhyme decorations from the shower! I added a scroll with the nursery rhyme written out for each scene.

The Woman in the Shoe

The Dish and the Spoon

Little Miss Muffet

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