Christmas Mouse

Materials

  • Vintage high top baby shoe, 2-1/2”x5-1/2”
  • Dow STYROFOAM Brand Foam: egg, 2-5/16”x3-1/16”; ball, 1-1/2”
  • Lara’s Crafts Toy Wheels: 1-1/2”, four; 1-1/4”
  • Polyform Model Air Modeling Compound
  • Wire, 20-gauge, scraps
  • Wooden dowel, 1/16” diameter, 24” length
  • Polka dot ribbon, 1/8” wide: 24” length
  • Hot pink boa or fringe trim, 6” length
  • Jute twine, 12” length

Tools

  • Polyform Sculpey: Super Slicer, Acrylic Roller
  • Awl, drill bits
  • Loew-Cornell American Painter Paintbrushes: Series 4300 Shader #4, 8, 12; Series 4000 Round #1, 3; Series 4350 Liner 10/0; Series 272 Small Dome Round
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Apple Green, Black, Fuchsia, Hydrangea Pink, Ivory, Spice Tan, Think Pink, Trail Tan, White
  • Delta: Gesso, All Purpose Sealer, Sparkle Glaze, Matte Interior Varnish
  • Eclectic Products E6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive

Basic Supplies

stylus, scissors, ruler, craft knife, pencil, sandpaper, toothpicks, soft cloth, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

STEP 1

  • Remove laces from shoe. Clean sole and outer leather area of shoe. Seal shoe and wooden parts with sealer. Let dry. Apply several coats of gesso until opaque. Sand wooden pieces lightly; wipe with soft cloth.

STEP 2

  • Use craft knife to cut from dowel: four 4” lengths (axles), 3” length (steering wheel shaft), 5” length (mouse’s body). Basecoat 3” dowel and wheels White. Basecoat all 4” dowels Apple Green. Basecoat 5” dowel Trail Tan. Use pencil to mark holes for axles, steering wheel shaft, and jute pull. Use awl to puncture holes. Use drill bits to enlarge holes for dowel to pass through. Be sure to place holes for axles above inner sole of shoe. Basecoat 1-1/2” wheels (car wheels) and 1-1/4” wheel (steering wheel) Fuchsia using appropriate-size round. Drybrush highlights on wheels White using #1 round.

STEP 3

  • Condition clay in hands until soft and pliable. Roll four small balls of clay for hubcaps. Flatten one side of each ball; gently press axle into flat end. Remove axle from hubcap; let hubcap air dry. Once dry, basecoat hubcaps Apple Green + touch of White using #1 round; let dry. Add White dip dots using stylus; let dry. Apply light coat of varnish to wheels and hubcaps. Set aside.

STEP 4

  • Basecoat upper leather area on shoe car Apple Green + touch of White using #12 shader. Basecoat sole and upper pink leather area using Fuchsia and #8 shader. Basecoat trim on back of shoe White; let dry and paint wide stripes along trim Fuchsia using #4 shader. Paint swirls on green area on shoe Fuchsia using liner; let dry. Dip dot center of each swirl White using stylus. Apply several coats of Sparkle Glaze to pink area on shoe. Apply light coat of varnish to sole and green areas on shoe. Set aside.

STEP 5

  • Cut 12” length of jute twine. Roll 3/4” ball of clay for pull bead. Use toothpick to make hole through ball for twine insertion. Let air dry. Basecoat pull bead Apple Green + touch of White. Add White dip dots using stylus. Let dry. Apply light coat of varnish; let dry. Thread one end of jute through bead and knot end.

STEP 6

  • Use craft knife to cut off small piece of foam from large end of egg. Cut “v”-shape into flat bottom side of egg to allow for axle. Carve top and sides of egg so egg fits loosely inside back of shoe (for mouse’s body). Roll 2” ball of clay into sheet large enough to cover egg. Use Super Slicer to release clay from rolling surface. Firmly press clay onto body, smoothing seams. Use craft knife to remove excess. Smooth clay seams with wet hands. Use dowel to poke hole in top center of body. Use toothpick to make hole in clay for arm insertion. Remove dowel and toothpicks. Set aside to dry.

STEP 7

  • Roll sheet of clay to cover 1-1/2” foam ball (head). Firmly press clay onto head, smoothing seams. Use craft knife to remove excess. Smooth clay seams with wet hands. Roll 1/2” ball of clay; press onto top of head to elongate shape. Smooth edges into wet clay. Roll two 1/3” balls of clay (cheeks); press onto face. Smooth edges. Roll pea-sized clay ball (nose); press on face where cheeks meet. Blend top of nose upward into wet clay. Use wet paintbrush to help smooth and blend clay in tight places. Use wire scrap to poke holes for ear insertion. Roll two 1/2” clay balls (ears); flatten slightly with roller. Use fingertip to indent front of ears and pinch ends together at base. Insert 1-1/2” wire scrap halfway into each ear from base; set aside to air dry.

STEP 8

  • Roll two clay balls into log shapes (arms). Insert toothpick halfway into one end of each log. Bend logs into boomerang shapes; flatten slightly. Set aside to air dry.

STEP 9

  • Use sandpaper to smooth rough areas on clay pieces. Apply sealer on all clay pieces; let dry.

STEP 10

  • Basecoat dark fur areas on mouse (including inside of ears) (1:1) mixture of Trail Tan + Spice Tan. Drybrush edges of face and inner ears (1:1) mixture of Trail Tan + Ivory using dome round. Fill in remaining areas on face Ivory using shader. Drybrush inner ears and cheeks Sunkissed Coral + touch of Think Pink; use same mix to paint nose. Paint teeth and eyes White; let dry and dot pupils Black. Add Titanium White highlight dots to eyes. Paint details on hands and face with thinned Black and liner. Let dry. Apply several coats of varnish. Let dry.

STEP 11

  • Re-lace shoe with 18” length of ribbon; leave untied. Tie jute pull onto front of shoe. Insert axles into shoe; use craft knife to trim if needed. Position wheels on axles; adhere hubcaps on wheels. Let dry. Position mouse’s body inside back of shoe; remove and apply glue. Reinsert body into shoe. Tie shoelace into bow. Spot glue steering colum and insert into shoe. Apply glue to toothpicks on arms; insert into shoulder holes. Apply dot of glue to end of fringed trim (collar); roll around paintbrush handle and adhere end into circle. Let dry. Position collar on top of body. Insert dowel from head into top of body; trim using craft scissors if needed. Apply glue to dowel (neck); reinsert into body. Cut 6” ribbon length; tie into bow. Adhere bow on top of head.
by Linda Hollander
Christmas Mouse
Christmas Mouse