(UPDATE: These blank paper mache dinosaurs are now available in my shop Old Raven on Etsy. Just click on the Etsy button above and go to my “Supplies & Neat Stuff” section to view the listing.)
We’re down to the final part on this project and isn’t that triceratops looking fine all shiny and bright? Well no, not really. Give me grunge!
I’ve really been looking forward to this part – the process of “aging” and “steampunking” my triceratops. For the aging part I start with some black paint like Distress Black Soot (or any acrylic or latex paint). I pour a puddle into a glass dish, add some water to dilute it a bit and then…
…I just start slathering it on with a swirling brush stroke so I’m sure to get black into every seam and crevice. I started with the legs and belly areas, waited until it was tacky and then with a paper towel, start wiping it off. The harder you wipe/rub the more paint you’ll remove but if you find you’ve taken too much just reapply and go again.
A Q-Tip can help with those tight areas. I’m pretty close to the ‘Distressed’ look I favor, here.
See how the paint pulls out all the details in the metal work? Now this guy looks like he just walked (I guess that would be rolled’) out of the Industrial Revolution instead of the Jurassic.
And now it’s STEAMPUNKING time! To start, metal brads that look like bolts – these will be the eyes after I add a black sequin behind each one. I leave the brads just as they are, not spreading the arms at all. First, I make holes where the eyes will be using my Tonic punch. Then add a touch of glue to the brad and slide it into the hole, and we have eyes.
The black sequin really added the right touch here with a bit of shiny behind the dull metal and also gave me just a bit more eye dimension as one size brad was too small and the other too big. Now there just right.
My craft room is stuffed with cabinets and drawers of treasures. It’s a continuous acquisition of supplies for me, I find them in craft stores but also at garage sales, second-hand stores – you name it. I might not know at the moment of purchase ‘what I’m going to do with that’ but sooner or later these things all wind up in a project.
This is what I was after, metal clothing studs. Look at all the different colors and textures of metal here – and they’re really inexpensive. This is what I want to cap off those three cool horns on the tri-t.
Normally you would bend the points behind the fabric (or paper, etc.) to secure the stud, but I left the points the way they were and just slipped them onto the horns. I like how the points add to the visual of contrasting metal colors, shapes and textures.
But those horns were just too perfect to resist some dangles. In my stash I had some brass pendants. To suspend them I just twisted some 18 gauge bronze colored wire to make a loop for the pendants to hang from and continued the twist until I had about a little over a 1/4 inch length that I could insert into the end of the horns (after I punched a hole). Starting to look Steampunk now.
More Tim Holtz goodies here. These are Memo Pins and they come in three different colors per pack. I just laid out the assortment rotating from silver to copper to brass. Since these are sharp pins, no need to pre-punch holes. I just started pushing them through the foil and paper mache.
Can you see where I’m going with these? You got it – a spinal ridge.
More SP goodness. I took a wheel faucet handle, glued a screw through the center hole (with E6000) and mounted it to the tail. You can also see another piece in the making on the bottom right of this photo. A couple of gears glued together and a decorative straight pin will add a nice touch a bit later.
Speaking of straight pins, I always have piles of these on hand. They come in lots of different sizes, colors and shapes. Time to accent the “bony frill”.
I had seven of this gold color on hand – so that’s what I used.
But I wanted a bit more detail and variety so I added some small silver ones, too. The little silver ones are the pins that come on new men’s dress shirts – can’t tell you how many of these pins I’ve used in crafting.
Found and extra gold one and knew just where it should go, with a few more little silver ones. Note: if the pin shaft is too long and threatens to poke out the other side, just cut off the unnecessary length AFTER you’ve made a starter hole where it will go.
For me, this is what makes my projects complete. It probably seems like a lot of fuss but I LOVE adding all these little details that, when the project’s finished, most folks may not even notice. But somehow, they ‘balance’ the project out and just makes it all fit together.
With some E6000, I mounted the gear piece I made earlier.
This feels like the right place to stop adding goodies. And now it’s time to pull all these pieces of supplies that I’ve cobbled together here and make them meld as a unit.
To do that we need one more layer of grunge, and alcohol inks are the answer. Using a piece of felt, not mounted on a tool, I added a large swirl of Pebble and another of Sandal and then I just started smearing, dabbing, pressing – whatever gave me the effect I wanted in a given area of tri-t’s metal skin. I was also careful to make sure I got ink on the wheels, brass pendants, studs, pin heads, etc – and unity is achieved!
Here it is – my completed STEAMPUNK TRICERATOPS:
I had a blast making this guy! I’ve never done the riveted metal on an animal before and I love how this turned out.
This item will shortly be listed in my Etsy shop if you’re looking for a Steampunk treasure of your very own. Just click the Etsy link at the top of this page and it will take you right to my shop.
Thanks for following along – hope you craft on.