I am a member of a local amateur dramatics group who put on a May play and a Christmas pantomime each year. This year the May play is Calendar Girls and my father has been given the task of gathering the props (I'm informed there are lots). During late April he came to me asking if I could turn five pine cones into Westlife.
I don't know the context of this. I don't know where it comes into the play. I didn't ask. I just said yes straight away. Because this sort of thing is right up my street. Hell, I made and paved that street.
So began turning these:
It is basically all felt. I love felt. It does just about everything I've ever wanted in crafts so far. The jackets are white felt, stitched closed with gold thread to look like buttons. The front pockets were stitched on with black thread and the little collar details added with black fabric paint. A little bow tie was made for each with black felt and stitched on.
The hair took the most trial and error and was definitely the most fun. It was first suggested that I use cotton wool and so that was what I tried. To colour it I watered down some yellow paint into a little spray bottle to spritz onto the cotton. Once it dried I glued it to the pine cones while trying to style it. But it just didn't look good, so I defaulted back to felt. Which I had more control over when cutting into styles and sticking down. I'm really pleased with how the hair came out and so it feels a shame that barely any of it will actually be seen by the audience. But I hope the cast enjoy them.
It's worth posting the pictures I took of the back of the heads at this point. You will notice some of the dried glue making it look a bit messy. But it won't be seen by the audience so on this occasion I don't mind as much.
With the eyes, it was another case of defaulting back to what I knew. I was considering googly eyes but was then advised against it. One of the pine cones needs to fall at one point during the play and so it was decided that googly eyes would come off too easily. So I cut those from felt using the smushed-together style which you see on characters such as Dennis the Menace. The pupils are added with black fabric paint.
The last thing to add were the microphones. These are black pipe cleaners, cut to size and then with one end dipped in silver paint. They were then glued to the bottom of the pine cones.
(somehow this one really reminds me of Wash Your Face from Stoppit and Tidyup)
So there you have it! I have tickets to see the play, so I look forward to spotting my handiwork I just hope that my crafting can withstand being dropped to the floor a few times until then.