A few weeks ago, on a very hot summer afternoon, we slipped into a cool, dark movie theater to watch Monsters University. Have you seen it yet? It was a very cute movie, and because I just can’t help myself sometimes, I kept thinking about how Mike Wazowski was perfectly shaped like an egg of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. Enter the real star of this show, Kathleen George, who created the tutorial to DIY your own Monster Mike. Now we worried a little about copyright issues, so she changed him up a bit. But, I think everyone will recognize this favorite green Cyclops monster, don’t you?
NOTE: I know the kids will love this one, but please note that an Exacto® knife is used to cut out some of the facial features. If kids are involved, please have an adult use the Exacto knife and closely supervise the making of Monster Mike.
To make Monster Mike, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 3” egg
- Crayola Model Magic Air-Dry Clay: Green, Iced Green, White
- Decorative wire, 12-gauge
- Wiggle eye, 1”
- Optional: Powder blush
- Thick, white craft glue
- Tools needed: Scissors; small nail scissors; rolling pin; Exacto knife; knippers; wooden skewer
To make Monster Mike:
1. Mix together a small ball of green clay with an equal amount of iced green clay. Mix until they’re blended into an even, light green color.
2. Roll half the light green clay into a very thin, flat circle. Wrap around the 3” egg, making the surface as smooth as possible. Trim away excess clay with nail scissors, and continue to smooth with fingers and the rolling pin. Save the scraps for building the face.
3. Build Mike’s face:
- Eye: Place the wiggle eye on the narrow end of the egg, and gently push down to create an impression. Remove the wiggle eye – you’ll glue it on later.
- Nose: Roll a tiny ball into a nose shape and press firmly onto the center of the egg under the eye depression. Make two nostril marks in the nose with the point of a wooden skewer.
- Mouth: Cut out a mouth shape from a scrap of the rolled clay using the Exacto knife. Press the mouth in place with your fingertips.
- Cheeks: Roll tiny balls of clay into flat circles and press onto the face for chubby cheeks.
- Hair: Create little tufts of hair by rolling very thin strands of clay. Press together the ends of six short strands, and then press onto the top of the head. Gently separate the strands.
- Eyelid: Cut a half circle from the flat scraps. Check to see if the piece will cover the eye properly before attaching it to the monster face. Glue wiggle eye in place.
4. Make the arms and legs:
- Cut lengths of wire for arms and legs, adding an extra 1” to the arms and 1-1/2” to the legs.
- Bend the wires to the shape you’d like.
- Roll clay out into very, very thin sheets and cut 3/8” wide strips to cover the arms and legs. Wrap the clay around the wire, firmly pressing clay together at the back and leaving one end uncovered. Cut away extra clay, and smooth the joints with your fingertips.
- Make small hands and feet and attach to the ends of the wires.
- Carefully insert the uncovered ends of the wires into the body. Add a small roll of clay around the base of the wires where they enter the body for support.
5. Gently set aside the monster to dry thoroughly. This may take overnight, and/or set up a fan to speed the process.
6. When the clay is dry to the touch and no longer shows finger marks when you press the surface, you can gently reposition the arms and legs to make the monster stand.
7. Add tiny white teeth made from a scrap of white clay.
8. Optional: Brush cheeks with blush.
Mike’s invited a couple of buddies to stop in next week – any guesses who will join us?
Have you seen Monsters University? Or any other summer movie you would recommend?