Making the Monster for 826 Michigan

You might remember Marian Short from last week when she stepped in as a guest blogger and told us how she made a crazy two-headed dog bank for Ann Arbor’s 826 Michigan. Well, Jinx wasn’t the only bank she made. Take a look at this crazy monster, so scary you’ll be giving him all of your spare change!

The assignment was a request from 826 Michigan for a “donation box”—since they are ostensibly the National Headquarters for the Monsters Union, I couldn’t help but go a monstery route. I trolled through various hardware, fabric, and thrift stores to get me thinking about materials and shapes and finally settled on two ideas—a large monster head that could rest on top of a collection plate and a two-headed dog to eat money or hover over his dog bowl.

The local Kiwanis was fabulous for providing my monster infrastructure: an upturned hanging plant basket, made taller by affixing mesh wire to its base (thank you Mom, for all those years of hoarder-training—you DO eventually need a drawer full of baggie twisty-ties). Horn outlines provided by lovely wire from the hardware store. A nice pot of flour/water paper mache paste waits nearby.

So much more dapper after his first layer of paper mache!

I covered him three-times over with paper mache. The recipe lies, it takes much longer than 24 hours to dry. And your house smells strange. Here, I created eye pits to cradle the shooter marble eyeballs.

Must! Put on! Head!

See previous. My friends also felt the need to wear it, once it was done.

A nice smoothing layer of torn lunch bags, to help any see-through behind tassles. Bonus gold splatter not on my basement floor.

He’s halfway tassled here, kind of monk-ish. Each tassle is a sliced and diced lunch bag, which has then been glue-gunned to itself. I already made an entire Halloween costume from these same tassles, so I was kind of over the process. Thank god for movie rentals. I have spared you shots of glue burns.

He’s more excited, now that he has top fringe! Note, also, netting behind open mouth—I sewed a few bells to the bottom of that, so there would be a pleasant jingle with donation.

Monster and Jinx, almost ready to make money. Sadly, you can’t really see Jinx’s head, which is staring right at you. He has lovely light blue eyes. His fur is really soft, he’s kind of demented, his tail is bendy. So I didn’t really want to give him away!

Head, with signs. The front says: “Feed the monster, heLp 826 michigan,” while the flipside inquires: “Have you fed your monster LateLy?” Somehow between the last time I sued my stamps and this time, the lower-case “l” has disappeared. Nowhere to be found. And I have no cats. What gives?

And again, with the gratuitous head wearing. Reading “The Language of Baklava,” my most recent favorite food memoir.

Making the Monster on Flickr