Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Make a Dr. Seuss Truffula Tree [PROPS]

Lets get some things out of the way first - these are likely not the most cost effective Truffulas, however, they look great. Next, I don't have a lot of patience so these photos are via cell phone and not the best quality. That being said lets move on.

Materials needed:
-paper lanterns - any size desired, I used 10" and 6", color does not matter
-Mongolian fur (which is a little pricy) - for a 10" round you will need 16" x 32" minimum, for 6" round 9.5" x 19" minimum
-1.25" wood closet rod
-hot glue gun
-hot glue
-yellow paint
-black paint
-upholstery stapler
-circular saw (or any saw that will cut through the wood poles)
-wine. Just kidding but it wouldn't hurt.

Step 1:  Open the lanterns. This is key to the operation.

(Alternative: There are many ways to get the shape here. Styrofoam balls could also work. You could pin the fabric on since hot glue doesn't work great with styrofoam but these are not cheap. The 10" diameter balls run about $22 which is why I opted for the paper lanterns. Michael's has them but even with the 40% coupon they are more than I want to pay.)


Step 2: Lay the lantern in the center of the fabric making sure the openings are facing the long sides. Also make sure the fabric width will wrap the entire lantern opening center to opening center - make. sure. it's. centered.



Step 3: Start to hot glue the center of the fabric to the center of the lantern and wrap it around the entire lantern - center only.

and wrap, glue, wrap, glue

Step 4: Once it's wrapped then the cutting can begin.  **TIP** do NOT cut straight through. You need the wispy fur like quality to remain. If you cut straight on your seems will be obvious.



You get the point. Try to wedge your scissors in between the tufts of "fur" at the base.

like this.

We have two sides -above the center glue line and below the center glue line. Start one side.  The cuts will be in the shape of a triangle where the point is right under the glue line.

this should be your cut out shape(ish)

if the fabric was laying flat your cuts would look like this:


After each cut glue down the piece to the right. Repeat. The goal is to butt the pieces side by side. You have to somewhat eye the cuts and don't worry you can always add pieces where/if you cut too much. You will have flapping/non-secure material where the openings are - that's OK. Finish one side then do the other.



 Get the pieces right next to each other.

To better hide the seams run a bead of glue along the line and pinch both sides together or fold over the fur so the glue connects one side to the other.



Step 5: Cut the wood closet rod...or not. It all depends on the height you desire. Should you skip the cutting then this step is really painting. I chose the wood rod because the grain can somewhat show through if you leave the paint somewhat thin. More tree trunk like. Now Truffula's are a little bent if you look through Seuss's book. I tried to bend these rods. Left them in the pool for days. Zero bending. I got a slight bend from a rod that was barely holding my husband's suits in one of our closets. Slight. If I was more brave I would have hung more suits.




For the black stripes I simply painted with a flat wide brush like I was dusting back and forth.



Step 6: Cut a slit at the end of the pole to cradle paper lantern frame.



Then insert the pole through one opening. Since the ends were left open you can push them aside to make sure the lantern frame sits in the divot.

To secure the lantern to the pole use the upholstery stapler at the top


Step 7: Hot glue the loose material to the top of the pole so it is no longer open

Step 8: Trim the excess material at the bottom of the lantern around the new trunk and your done!!



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1 comment:

Anika said...

The truffula trees look fantastic! They make me want to throw a Dr. Seuss party.