This year for Halloween, I wanted to revisit an idea some friends had from last year – this You3dMe website goes into how to make a giant head using glue and card stock paper. an AMAZING idea I think might be next year’s feat – but I wanted to do something more locally relevant.
If you haven’t been to a National’s baseball game, or watched them on TV, you may not be familiar with the Presidents’ Race that occurs at every game. they have George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt running a race around the outfield and ending on the first base line. The one standout is that Teddy never wins, to the dismay of Let Teddy Win. I resolved to go as Teddy Roosevelt for Halloween this year.
So as always, I start with a design. I wanted to use a wireframe internal structure with papier mache covering, painted to look like Teddy Roosevelt. This was a massive undertaking that kind of took more time than I first thought.
The wireframe was a little frustrating because I chose to use a hexagonal thin chicken wire and cut and bend it to make the shapes of the head, the nose, mustache, lower lip, and glasses. I tore up a pair of work gloves working with the chicken wire and its incredibly sharp points at the cut ends. I molded and bent the chicken wire until I was happy with it and added foam to make it shoulder mounted. I added a hook in the back to use a strap to stabilize it front-to-back. then it was onto the papier mache!
The first task was to attach papier mache anchor strips in order to allow the papier mache covering to stick to the wireframe properly – papier mache wouldn’t have stuck too well to the chicken wire directly. I could have applied a few layers of mache and not really worry about it, but I wanted to keep the weight down. I used a 3:1 Elmer’s school glue to water ratio for the adhesive.
The papier mache covering was easy enough, I should have used duct tape or something for the glasses, because it wasn’t easy to cover smoothly.
I used a paint primer for the base coat of paint. I didn’t realize it, but papier mache absorbs a LOT of moisture. I applied a relatively thick layer of primer to make sure there was even coverage.
I got several sample bottles of “oops” paint of Home Depot for pretty cheap, and combined a bunch of beige colors for the base “skin” layer for Teddy. I had a dark brown and a black to make the mustache and teeth details. This was the most tedious part because it took a while to paint the mouth and nose.
I wanted to use brown yarn for the hair, but realized it takes a lot of glue and yarn to cover a small area like the mustache. If I had more time I would have laid out the hair in a nice sweeping part. Here is the video of the final stages:
And finally, slap on a jersey, add a “finish” ribbon, and there you have Teddy Roosevelt Winning the Race!