Thursday, November 20, 2014

Castle in the Air ~ Ironcraft Challenge

The stationery and art supply shop, Castle in the Air in Berkeley, CA recently hosted an "Ironcraft" event that I was glad to participate in.   The store invited all who were willing to pick up, or be mailed a free "mystery" crafting supply item which you would then transform into something amazing and unique.  After submitting pictures of the final art, everyone who participated in Ironcraft was rewarded with a special prize.  

The mystery item we all received was a bulbous spun-cotton (watte) shape.  

After opening the package, my first thought was "What on earth am I supposed to do with this??!!" After staring at it for a few minutes I realized that it is most likely supposed to be a snowman.  But I wanted to get away from the obvious and turn it into something else.  I turned it upside down and it was clear what I had to make it into - a hot air balloon ornament!  I already make hot air balloons using paper mache so it was a fun challenge figuring out how to work with this new medium.  Here is a tutorial with steps on how to make one yourself.

Step 1 -Cut away the middle of the "neck" area of the shape with a blade.  This will create the bottom (basket) and the top (balloon) of your hot air balloon.  Seal and flatten down the rough cut edges with glue.

Step 2 - Using a sharp object, push in four holes in both the top and bottom.  Dab glue into the holes and insert tooth picks.

Step 3 - Draw the basic design with a pencil.

Step 5 - Paint the hot air balloon using acrylic paints. Finish off with paper flags and/or bunting.  Glue a ribbon into a hole in the top for hanging.

If you'd like to read more about the Ironcraft challenge, here is the link to the Castle in the Air blog.

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