You can make cunning, soft, downy hens and roosters simply of raw cotton and clothespins . The little creatures may be pure white, dark colored, or part dark and part light, according to the cotton used.
|Fig. 102—Slide the prongs of|
two clothespins together.
|Fig. 103—Tie a piece of raw|
cotton over the head of
With a string tie a piece of raw cotton over the head of one clothespin; have the string tight, but the cotton cover rather loose. Bring the cotton partly down the clothespin and tie it again ; then use your fingers to shape the top cotton into the form of a rooster's head; gently pull a little of it out to make the beak; tie a string around the beak where it joins the head, and, with thumb and finger slightly dampened, twist the end of the beak into a point . Cotton which comes in sheets is best for the tail, but the other will do. Lay the centre of a generous piece of cotton over the head of the second clothespin, plait the loose ends around the pin, and fasten with a string, making the edge of the tail in a line with the opening of the prongs of the pin. Cut the folded end rounded on top, and slit it up a short distance into wide fringe to form the long feathers of the rooster's tail .
Fig. 104—Pull a little of the cotton out to make a beak.
Fig. 105—A fine little rooster that will move his little head.
With another piece of cotton cover the back and sides of the rooster, as you would put a saddle on a horse. Bring the edges of the cover together down the neck and body; when fitted lift the cover, put paste here and there on its under side near the edge, replace the cover and it will stick fast; then, with the top of a wire hairpin, push the edges of the cover, front and back, in between the open prongs of the clothespin. Ink round bits of paper and paste on the rooster for eyes; make his comb and wattles of red tissue paper , and you will have a fine rooster which can actually
Fashion the hen in the same way you made the rooster, only have the tail smaller and without long feathers . The comb on the hen must also be smaller than that on the rooster. The general shape of the hen is the same as that of the rooster. Notice that the direction of outline along the lower edge of tail and body is one continuous slanting line; remember this when adjusting the tail that it may not stand out backward at right angles from the body.
Fig. 110—Such a funny little long-eared rabbit.
Fig. 111—The doggie's head is large.
When tying beaks, ears, and tails of the various animals, cut the string ends close to the knot; then the string will sink into the cotton.
Fig. 112—Begin to dress the doll in this way.
Fig. 113—A strip of cotton for arms.
To dress a
Fig. 114—Little girl doll made of a clothespin and dressed in raw cotton.
Fig. 115—Miss Dolly's back.
Fig. 116—The clothespin boy.
Fasten a belt high at the back and low in the front around his waist, giving the coat a Russian-blouse effect; make him a ribbon bow necktie, and ink the features.
These small people are very bewitching, as are also the animals.
You can color the sheet cotton slightly here and there with water-color paint if you are clever with a paint brush. As you work with these little dolls and animals you will find ever so many ways to vary them in effect. They are so soft and fluffy that a baby can play with them without injury, and a school or college boy may be amused by being presented with one, appropriately dressed, as a souvenir of pleasant experiences at a college luncheon or dinner.
To make a foot-ball player, finish the blouse without necktie or belt; make the shoulders wide and the hair rather short, like a college boy's rough head. So much for the boy. Paste a letter cut out of colored paper on the front of the blouse to make it look like a college sweater, and gather the trousers in a little at the knees. You can tuck an egg-shaped ball made of brown raw wool under one arm for a realistic touch, if you choose.
Little girl dolls may be similarly made to represent basket-ball players in short skirts and school or college sweaters, with appropriate emblems on the front, for a special entertainment.
Making these figures is much less trouble than dressing dolls entails, and much more of a novelty, too. They take so many shapes that they fit almost any occasion.
In fact, the possibilities of these cotton and clothespin toys are almost endless in the hands of ingenious young people.