Muttley

Time taken: 8 hours
Materials: 12cm thick mattress foam, short velvety black fun fur, hot glue, soft toy eyes and nose.
Tools: Craft knife, pen, scissors, glue gun.
Techniques: Carving, fabrication.
Difficulty level: Easy.

The directive here was to make a foam labrador for a window display.  I could only get 12cm foam in the form of a single bunk mattress, so first I had to draw the shapes that would make up the dog on it.  There was the central body and tail, and two sides which had the legs:

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Once these were cut out with the craft knife, they were glued together to form the ‘block’ of foam that would eventually look like a dog.  I had to add a couple of bits to the sides of the head to make it wide enough, but eventually the basic shape was there.

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From there, it was a matter of a couple of hours spent with a craft knife.  I ended up taking the blade out of its case and using it like a single-edged razor blade to get fine slices.  The most important thing was the sharpness of the blade – they go blunt surprisingly quickly cutting foam.  But after three or so changes, it looked like a dog:

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There was a bit more fine detail carving after this, fixing up the shoulder and whatnot, but the carving is basically done in that pic.  Next up, ears!  These were made by cutting a basic ear shape from the fun fur and a matching one from nylon lining fabric, and sewing them together, then gluing onto the head:

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From there, it was a matter of cutting pieces of the fun fur to shape and carefully gluing them on.  I would like to have made it in one piece, but fun fur isn’t stretchy enough for that,  so there are some ‘seams’ which have been glued edge-to-edge.

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The eyes and nose come with little plastic stems on the back for sewing onto soft toys.  I coated them liberally with hot glue and placed them into holes I’d cut into the foam. They are deeply embedded and should stay put.

After this I simply added more and more bits of fur until the whole body was covered.  If I were keen, I’d add whiskers and claws, but this is a budget job for a temporary window display and doesn’t need to be that perfect.   The finished article:

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Not bad for a rough job! 😉

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