Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY: Papier-Mâché Taxidermy, Part 3 (Complete!)

There comes a time in every paper fox's life when he must abandon everything he knows about this life and settle himself on the living room wall. Sounds simple enough, right?

Do not be fooled. I warn you, oh I warn you: mounting my paper fox was one of the most stressful, challenging undertakings of my life. Dramatic, yes. And I suppose if this is as challenging as it gets for me, I may be in luck. But seriously, I can't even begin. Nothing made sense in trying to get him on the wall. You're probably thinking, "I did well in physics, I could probably figure it out," or "I took wood-making class, this is no big deal." Well, you are wrong. You will struggle.

Let us start at the beginning.

As strange coincidence would have it, I happened to have a plaque on hand from a previous project. While I may never have the proper shoes to complete an outfit or even a fridge stocked with anything remotely edible for breakfast, rest-assured I'll have a wooden plaque up for grabs. But my plaque was a little small and had no hardware on the back, so I went to Michael's and did the only reasonable thing one does in this situation: bought another plaque that still has nothing to hang it with. A trip to Home Depot later, I had a sawtooth hanger.

Having the plaque ready was only half the battle as it presented a unique challenge as to how one hangs a fake fox head. Some things you just can't Google.

I will now list all the ways I tried to hang Javier and failed, with the big reveal (sort of) at the end.

1. Hot glue (not strong enough)
2. More hot glue with liquid nails thrown into the mix (still not strong enough and the paper started tearing away from the wood)
3. Staple gun (couldn't get down close enough to his neck otherwise this may have worked)
4. Cardboard cutout attached to the back of Javier then stapled to the wood

Do yourself a favor and plan ahead better. The "planning" thing has never been my forte and I'm sure I will never learn. I thought I knew best. I thought leaving that little neck would make my hanging activities a breeze. How wrong I was.

And so my quest to make sense of this continued.

Here are the things I thought I needed:

And the things I ended up needing:

What I ultimately ending up doing is using my smaller plaque in between Javier and the new plaque, drilling holes (with a borrowed drill - thank God for boys with drills) into Javier plus the wood and using two of some sort of 5-inch or so spike/nails that I found at Home Depot (second trip, people).

I should note that all of this could not have been done without a FaceTime call with my Dad. I kid you not: he walked me through the entire process from changing my drillbit to the very end. Apple, are you reading this? I smell a very relatable iPhone commercial in the making. Doesn't everyone do this?

Finally, I got to the point where he was attached to the spikes, but there was about an inch between him and the wood due to how. freaking. hard. it was to get the spikes deep enough into his neck. I even drilled directly into his neck, but it just wasn't working. Since his neck sustained some damage from the many efforts of getting him mounted, it worked out that I needed to add some extra neck to cover the spikes. So out came the newspaper and papier-mâché for a late night mâch-sesh.

The next day, I touched Javier up with some fresh paint, painted the center plaque gold using this gold paint that I've used on several projects before and at last, he was at home on the wall.

Thanks for joining me on this project! Javier also says thank you and asks won't you come visit?

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