Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Moose

Remember this post when I discussed B's room and how I wanted to create a mobile and hang a map over his crib? Well, the map was a fail. After two attempts at ordering the map, I decided it was a no-go because of quality.

Then we took a trip to Milwaukee and saw these at an Anthropologie store. Found here.
Have I mentioned that Anthro is my absolute favorite retail clothing store? Well, it is. 

We could have paid the $68 for the animal, or we could make it ourselves. I wanted to have some kind of craft project that could represent both of our children in the room and didn't quite know how-- this was now the new idea. I searched online and found an amazing tutorial. Internet, you are awesome. 

We originally planned to create two animals. I was creating the moose and Ray was creating a mountain goat. When my moose started to look like a pile of newspaper with no special shape at all (read: I suck at art) and Ray's goat started to look like a moose, we abandoned our original idea and stuck to making a moose only. And by we, I mean Ray. Needed supplies: newspaper and masking tape. And also maybe some skill.
Once the shape was constructed, we took a piece of cardboard and attached it to the bottom of the neck where it would later be mounted. It creates a flat piece to attach. Next comes the paper mache. I learned through the tutorial above that paper towels are best because they allow for more sculpting. I whipped up a recipe of that paper mache goop (1 part flour, 4 parts water... bring to boil and remove from heat) and got started.
Posted this on instagram and received a comment from Tiffany about the randomness. Us Wilsons are a little crazy, we'll admit. Instagram: brandywilson. I only started up to stalk Brooke's baby pictures. Truth. And now I'm sort of obsessed and fully intend to use this website to make an awesome collage or two. Mom and Kay (B's grandmas) should really get on instagram. Download the app and find me. I post pictures there often.
This was only the first of two coats. The second was intended to strengthen and cover the colors of the newspaper.
 Does he look like a moose yet?
What about now? The board on the left was from Michael's for $15. Obvi we used a 50% off coupon. It's the mounting piece for the wall. The paper mache is completely dry at this point. A file folder was used to create ears and obviously those are coat hangers from our dry cleaning, as we have very few to be found in our house since Ray has an obsession with all white, plastic coat hangers. 
 Moose antler paper mache.
I think this was our 4th batch of creating the goop as well. Sometimes I used 1/4 cup flour and sometimes 1/2 cup. Still using 4 parts water for each batch. I scrubbed our granite counter tops way too many times, folks.
These pictures are hilarious. Look at B's face in the first and second. Here he looks pleased and like he's learning from his dad.
And here's he's like, "This dude be craaaazy. We're not related."
Moose in the background and Modge Podge. We used a sponge paintbrush we had on hand... and instead of using pages of a book (though that was the original plan), Ray gave me the idea to print out some of my blog posts to create a more family piece. I already intended to use each of our names so both of my boys would be represented in the art. It was quite the project, but I went back to every single post I'd written for the last year and used the title of the blog post and a short excerpt from each post. Then, I went back into my pregnancy with Andrew posts and selected some titles and excerpts as well. It ended up being 6 full pages of 14-sized font with only .5" margins. We cut those margins off in the end, but that's what we had going for us. We reprinted a few times to have enough (believe it or not, 6 full pages was not enough to cover the moose and I sooo wasn't making any more) and began the Modge Podge process.
In the meantime, I was spray painting ($2 can at Ace Hardware) the wood mounting piece outside. Let's just pretend this photo is in focus. Good tip: use a box so your grass doesn't turn red. As if it needs any more help looking terrible considering our intense dry spell here in the Midwest with matching temps of over 100 degrees.
The moose was finished and mounted onto the red backing using a staple gun (which we own, oddly) and hung on the wall above B's changing table. We chose red for the backing because our other moose hanger in the room is red. We thought it would provide some kind of cohesion in a room with no theme.
 See some familiar names?
All words from our family and lives. It was quite fun picking out little excerpts of what I've written from my heart over the last couple years. I obviously tried to avoid the truly sad parts of posts and focus on more meaningful and loving quotes.
 And there you have it. Le Moose.
Total supplies used:
  • newspaper
  • masking tape ($1 at hardware store)
  • paper towels (about 1/4 roll = $.25)
  • flour and water for paper mache mixture (total about 1-2 cups flour = $.25 worth)
  • 2 coat hanger and 1 used file folder (can use cardstock or whatever scraps on hand)
  • bottle of glossy Modge Podge ($9 retail, use 50% off Michael's coupon for $4.50 large container) We didn't use all of it, but you don't want to end up short... so just go for the big one.
  • Sponge Paintbrush to apply Modge Podge ($.50 or less)
  • Wood mounting piece ($15 retail, use 50% off Michael's coupon for $7.50)
  • Spray paint ($2-4 a can)
Project total was around $16. Sure beats $70 at Anthropologie and we have a unique and fun piece that is literally made up of our family stories and experiences over the last couple years. I also included the boy and girl "C" names we've already selected for our next child (no Mom, I'm not pregnant), if we're lucky enough to get that opportunity. It took a few days to complete this and plenty of hours, but it's done. 

And just for kicks, here is my favorite moose shot we took in real life. Amazing creatures.
  • Road trip from CA>IL when we moved here in 2009, just before boarding our plane to Germany from O'Hare. This was at Grand Teton National Park. We were about 30 feet away. It was amazing.


Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! I am humbled by your crafting abilities! If I tried to do that it would come out looking like a demented mouse. It looks incredible! What a unique and from the heart idea!

Gina said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness, that is impressive. I consider myself crafty but there is no way I could make that. My step-MIL LOVES moose so I wish I could make her one. Maybe you just need to open up an Etsy shop so your readers can buy your awesome moose.

I'm also impressed that your husband got involved. When I pull out any craft supplies, mine runs for the hills and calls for me to try to not ruin the table/floor/walls.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Dude! That is awesome! Love the idea about using things you've written. Inspiring!

SG said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! I really don't know what else to say...Also I may have a blossoming Instagram addiction as well.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Been toying around with joining instagram and with all my favorite BLMs doing it maybe I should take the
plunge :) I love the Moose and love Rays idea to include your blog posts. How wonderfully personal.

AlliFerg said... [Reply to comment]

AHHHHHHHHH. No words for the amazingness that is this moose. Totally impressed :)

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

Awesome job Ray! It is just so much fun to paper mâché! I really like that you used excerpts from your blog. It turned out really cute...
I'm on instagram: renelralston
I'm a lover of that app!

katie illingworth said... [Reply to comment]

This is total awesomeness.

Kristi said... [Reply to comment]

I love the moose! Does it have a name? :-) Y'all did an amazing job. I love that you created this for B's room and that it is so personal on all levels.

Emily said... [Reply to comment]

You must give the moose a name. Something that cool (and homemade) deserves a name. I vote for Morris.

Addi's mom said... [Reply to comment]

Whoa...that made me tired just reading, but I really love how specific to your family it is. What a special piece, one both your boys must love <3

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

I lol'd at "dude is crazy, we are not related"- B has the best facial expressions!!! :)

Colour me impressed- I love the moose and I love the use of quotes from your posts- perfect!!!!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Btw I too am anal about cost hangers! I like wooden ones for Scott and I (his co-mingled with dry cleaning wires), white plastic for hallway closets, and felted ones for my babies (pink and blues, naturally). :)

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

That is impressive!!! Great job :)

boo and stacy said... [Reply to comment]

WOW Y'all are GOOD!!!! That is awesome and love the wording!! SO neat thanks for sharing.

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

We have a very similar moose photo from Grand Teton in 2008. That's one of my favorite places.

Your craft moose is awesome!

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

That is an awesome project! I wouldn't have ever thought of using your blog for the words...I would have used lame-o newspaper or something! It looks great!