By Deborah Albertson
At the picnic I showed how to build a mountain using scraps of foam and spackling compound. I thought Iíd put how I did it† in this short article.
The first step in building a mountain is to put together pieces of foam in the general shape of what you want to build. Scraps of foam are great for this and sometimes their shape will actually inspire your final project. I had some pieces that looked like tunnel entrances. I used my hot knife and cut stonework into them and put them on the sides of a mountain and had a train tunnel running through it. My two favorite ways of connecting the foam are the U shaped floral pins and foam glue. Donít forget to cut holes in the top for your cords unless you are going to drape them down the back.
Once your general shape is created, you may want to tape or glue it on top of a piece of cardboard, foam core or even a sheet of foam. Use whichever one gives you the strength you need and allows access to the cords. Make sure your base is large enough to accommodate any expansion that might occur in the next step.
Now mix spackling compound with a small amount of water to the consistency of pancake batter. Dip strips of newspaper or plain newsprint, if you have it, into the spackling compound mixture and start paper macheing your
mountain. Add crumpled up newspapers and or additional small pieces of foam to finalize the shape, build an access road, or add roc outcroppings. Donít forget to leave access for you cords.
You can add spackling compound over the top of the entire structure and texture it to look like a soft blanket of snow, a rutted road, rock cliffs or even brick walls or streets if you want. If you want a smooth texture, you may want to add a little water to the compound. If you want a rougher texture, you should be able to use it right from the container. Allow to dry. This may take several days.
The final step is to paint or add the ground cover that railroaders use if necessary. The ground cover is great if you want to make a fall or spring scene or even an Ohio winter scene, i.e. lots of brown grass and very little snow.
The combination of foam and spackling compound can also be used to make other objects such as steps, benches or fences.
I hope this inspires you all to take your displays to new heights.
Ronald McDonald House Setup
.Setup for the 2007 Ronald McDonald House North Pole display will be November 15th. Please let Deborah know if you can help. The setup is always a lot of fun Ö except when too few people show up to help, so please plan on giving up a Saturday morning for this good cause. The look on the face of a child gazing at the display makes it all worthwhile.
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