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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
Not bad for a rough job! 😉