In Pebble Pets, Steve and Megumi Biddle teach you how to make expressive animal keepsakes from pebbles, paper and a handful of basic craft supplies. Based on traditional Japanese paper arts, Pebble Pets is an enriching crafts experience, teaching you to select the proper papers and stones, develop techniques for creating fur-like textures and add the details to bring your pet projects to life. These multilayered, mixed media projects require time and care, but may well leave you with new crafting skills and a fresh appreciation for familiar materials. To try your hand at a Henry the Bull Terrier pet rock.
You will need:
- five A5 (21 x 15cm / 8¼ x 5¾in) rectangles of handmade paper: one each in black, dark brown, pink, reddish-brown and white for the body, collar, ears, head, nose and tail
- two A5 (21 x 15cm / 8¼ x 5¾in) rectangles of craft paper: one each in black and white for the ears and eyes
- one 3cm (11/8in) length of 24-gauge white covered florists’ wire for the tail
- one pink facial tissue
- glue mix*
- teardrop punch
- gold coloured brass paper fastener
- basic tool kit
- Pebble focus: for the body, you will need one broad bean-shaped pebble that is slightly plump at one end to suggest the rump. It should be about the same size as a hen’s egg. For the head, you will need one oval-shaped pebble, approximately half of the size of the pebble used for the body.
DIY Pebble Pet Instructions
Henry’s collar is functional as well as fashionable! In addition to giving him a smart appearance, it cleverly hides the joins between the head and body rocks. Follow the step-by-step instructions and make your own.
To make the ears
1. Use a pencil, ruler and scissors to mark, measure and cut out two 3 x 4cm (11/8 x 1½in) rectangles for the inner ears: one each in pink handmade paper and white craft paper. For the outer ears, cut out two 2 x 3cm (¾ x 11/8in) rectangles: one each in reddish-brown and white handmade paper. Using the template below, make up the ears using pink handmade paper for the inner ear colouring. Be careful to make one ear’s outer colouring reddish-brown and the other ear’s outer colouring white. Set the ears aside.
To make the tail
2. Use a pencil and ruler to mark and measure out an isosceles triangle with a base of 2cm (¾in) and sides of 3cm (11/8in) onto the white handmade paper. Tear it out and smear glue mix* all over the paper. Place the florists’ wire on top of the triangle’s apex. Slant the paper at a slight angle and wind it spirally down, covering the wire by rotating it. Make sure that one end is pointed to create the tail’s tip and the other end is slightly thicker to form the base of the tail. Set the tail aside.
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To make the body
3. Use the glue mix to cover both pebbles completely with pieces of white handmade paper. When the glue is dry, use a pencil to outline the place on the body pebble where the head pebble is to be attached.
4. To attach the patch and ears, tear out a circular-shaped patch from reddish-brown handmade paper, the size of which should fill half the forehead. Using the glue mix, attach this onto the appropriate part of the forehead. Attach the ears onto the back of the head using a little PVA adhesive. The pink inner ear should face towards the front of the dog. Use small pieces of reddish-brown and white handmade paper to hide the join between the ears and head.
5. Apply a little glue mix to the muzzle area and attach small pieces of pink facial tissue over the glued area. Tear out a thumb-tip sized circle from brown handmade paper. Apply a little glue mix to the paper and mould it into a triangular-shaped nose. Using a little PVA adhesive, attach it onto the tip of the muzzle. When the adhesive is dry, cover the nose with a layer of clear nail varnish.
6. To make the eyes, use a teardrop punch to create two teardrops from black craft paper. Using a drop of PVA adhesive, attach them onto the face in the desired position and add a tiny dot of white acrylic paint to each eye. When the paint is dry, cover the eyes with a layer of clear nail varnish. Use a grey brush-tip pen to draw on an upside down Y for the bull terrier’s mouth.
Take your time creating the facial details to get them just right for each breed. Bull Terriers are known for their long, slim ears and slanted, closely set eyes, so take care when positioning these.
7. To make the body, tear out one circular-shaped patch from reddish-brown handmade paper, the size of which should cover one side of the back. Tear out another patch of a suitable size to cover the rump. Attach these patches onto their appropriate areas of the body using the glue mix.
8. Using a little PVA adhesive, attach the base of the tail onto the underside of the body’s back-end. Use a small piece of white handmade paper to hide the join between the tail and body.
9. To join the pebbles, use a pencil, ruler and scissors to mark, measure and cut out a 1 x 6cm (3/8 x 23/8in) rectangle of white handmade paper. Join the head and body pebbles together, making sure that the paper ring is glued onto the outlined area created in step 3.
10. Create the collar with a nametag from black handmade paper and a gold coloured brass paper fastener. Fasten it around the dog’s neck to hide the join between the two pebbles.
*To create a glue mix, make up a small amount of wallpaper paste that is lumpy in consistency. Add an equal quantity of PVA adhesive (white glue) and mix it into a smooth paste to make an ideal mix for attaching handmade paper onto your pebble. While not in use, cover the dish with a piece of plastic to prevent the mix from drying hard.
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