Sunday, February 9, 2014

Creative Freedom and Seagull Heads

Size the hat to the head of the person wearing it before you begin.  
Make sure the beak is short enough so the wearer can see!

Every time I've worked with someone new on a creative project, I've always learned something new.  Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and we all bring something unique to the table of creativity. 

After gluing your beak on the appropriately sized baseball cap,
cut many strips of felt about 1-1/2 inches wide.

Slice the felt into tabs, and then round off the edges of each tab to make feathers.

Using a glue gun, glue each strip of felt feathers onto your cap, beginning at the bottom rim of the cap.

If you're going to ask for help from people, they might ask for very specific directions on how to do the task you've assigned them. Or, they just might want some creative freedom to do it their own way.

Continue making smaller and smaller circles, overlapping the feathers as you go.

Either way, be careful to give clear directions but still allow for some variation in the finished result.  Appreciate that the finished product might look different than you had originally planned, and that's ok. Sometimes I have problems with this myself, but years of working in a preschool changed the way I look at things.  You can give ten children the same set of materials and every one of them will use them in a different way.  Many times you'll be astounded and impressed with their results.

Add an extra strip of feathers on any side necessary to ensure that the center
of the open circle stays roughly near the top of the hat.

Last year I asked a parent to paint two mermaids for me.  She asked me what color scheme, and I asked her what she had in mind.  She told me, and it was something I had never thought of.  The results were AWESOME.  Whenever you ask for help, it becomes a collaborative vision, not just YOUR vision.

Glue on eyeballs of concentric circles in black, white and grey.
Glue a vertical feather on the very top,  just for the sheer heck of it.

Appreciate your helpers, and realize that they'll only enjoy what they're doing if you let them have enough creative freedom to be proud of their creations.


  1. Great did you make the beak?

    1. I crumpled up newspapers and taped them together with masking tape until I had the shape that I wanted - that's why each one looks a little different. Then I paper machéd each one only on the top. I gave each one about 3 layers (I use Bounty Paper towels for that and just a thick flour and water mixture) and the dried beak was nice and hard (knock on it with your knuckles) I cut the masking tape on the underside and pulled the newspaper out.

    2. Once I had a nice, beak in the shape that I wanted and the underside was empty of newspaper, I believe I gave it one more layer of paper mache underneath - adds strength and makes it looks nicer. When that is dry, I cut the wider end of the beak to match the circumference of the hat, and glued it on the brim with a hot glue gun. I like hot glue better than the cool glue because it sticks much better - watch out for your fingers, though! Hope this helps! If you make one, or a different animal, let me know how it goes! Good luck!!