Saturday, July 19, 2014

Craft a Snow Baby From Cotton Batting

Close up of my first snowbaby.
     This cotton spun snow baby is made by layering cotton batting and white glue on top of a chenille stem figure wrapped with masking tape. The process, although contemporary, is very similar to those used by German and American cottage industries before and during the First and Second World Wars. If you should choose to make one for yourself, be patient and and allow for plenty of drying time between applications.

Supply List:
  • white cotton balls
  • translucent white glitter
  • white school glue
  • white tacky glue
  • chenille stems
  • newsprint
  • masking tape
  • a small china or clay head of a child
  • acrylic paints (black, brown, blue, red, flesh tone, white)
  • flesh tone oven bake clay (if you are making your own head)
  • fur and/or hair trims
  • wire for hanger
Step-by-Step Directions:
  1.  Twist and bend a small figure from chenille stems, crushed newsprint and masking tape.
  2. Apply white school glue to this figure and wrap a first layer of cotton batting around the limbs. Let dry.
  3. Crush and mask a snowball for your figure to sit upon.
  4. Cover the snowball with one layer of cotton batting and white glue. Let dry.
  5. Now glue the figure and snowball together with white tacky glue.
  6. Glue a hook firmly to the back of your figure at this point so that it may be covered with several layers of cotton batting.
  7. Use tacky glue to adhere either a china, composite, or clay mask or head to the body. Let this dry over night. You can see by the pictures below that I twisting wire around my clay mask in order to hold the face in position while it dried over night.
  8. Now you can layer rolled cotton into place with glue in order to "fill out" the body of your snowbaby. I chose to give my snowbaby a plump belly and bottom. 
  9. Next, add with glue a soft shaped hood around the mask.
  10. Let the figure dry overnight again.
  11. On the third day I am ready to add my last cotton batting layer. Let this layer dry completely.
  12. Add a dusting of translucent white glitter to the snowy areas. My snowbaby is holding two snowballs in her hands. I also glued glitter onto these.
  13. Paint the snow baby's facial features and glue on bits of hair and fur.
  14. I twisted a layer of cotton to a hook for hanging my snow baby as well.
Step-by-Step photo process of making a cotton batting snow baby.
Different views of my cotton batting snow baby figure.

More About Snow Babies:

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