Random ramblings and TV-inspired activities

Sunday, 11 September 2011

3rd & Bird: Cowboy hat and boots

3rd & Bird is a mainly song-based animation centred on Rudy the cockatiel, Samuel and his sister Muffin (who are lovebirds, I think). The key messages are usually around teamwork, understanding, and perseverence. It's quite fluffy in many respects, fairly gentle after a busy day. I'm a bit confused about the 'worms and birds should get along' line they keep promoting (we have ravenous blackbirds in our garden, no wormy harmony here) but otherwise it seems harmless enough, and my son likes the songs.

So a recent episode had little Muffin wanting to be a cowgirl, which sparked the desire in my daughter for cowgirl hat and boots. It's cheaper, if not quicker to knock something together at home, especially given how quickly she grows. Et voila.

I was going for a ten-gallon style hat but perhaps would make it shorter next time.

Ignoring my husband's comments that the hat looks like something out of The Nightmare Before Christmas, I'm reasonably pleased with it, and my daughter enjoyed getting stuck in with making and painting the hat.

To make this, I took:

1 cereal box, of a size that it can fit round child's head
1 box which is long and fairly narrow (like a Mr Kiplings cake-bar box)
1 paper plate
Some brown paper
Newspaper and papier mache paste

For the hat:

Cut the cereal box in two, so the end of the box is intact. Squash the end of the box slightly to create a dip. Frill the end of the box so you can attach it to the plate. Using sellotape, attach the plate to the cereal box as shown.

Cut the centre out of the paper plate, leaving the edge of the plate intact, and leaving about an inch within the edge intact also. Snip this extra inch into a 'frill', but do not attach this to the box - this frill is to aid the fit of the hat.

Then, make up a papier mache paste (flour and water in roughly 2:1 proportions, and a bit of salt) and dip newspaper strips in the mix. Cover hat in strips and leave to dry.

When dry, paint brown. Add a strip of brown paper above brim for decoration if desired.

For boots:

Take a box that your child's feet can fit through. Cut box in half, removing ends so you have two tubes. Shape top edge into cowboy boot shape. Cover with brown paper.

Take some of leftover card from cereal box and cut into approximately a 10cm x 20cm rectangle. Fold into three and cut slits down the folds of around 5cm, as shown. Stick onto brown paper, roughly 30cm x 25cm (the paper shown here was a bit wider than 25cm, I trimmed it off afterwards).

Trim the brown paper level with the middle section, leave the outer sections of brown paper longer. Attach middle section to bottom of boot-leg section (you may need to bend the boot-leg section to make it rounder as you do this). Take the two strips of brown paper and overlap them with each other at the back of the boot. Secure with sellotape, to make boot-backs.

To be fair, the boots would benefit from some elastic underneath the foot to keep the sides squarer, but I don't have any elastic at present. Without this, the boots make fabulous duck-feet, don't you think?


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