Friday, October 7, 2011

Thistle Spider Tutorial

I do not at all take credit for this idea. I saw it, last year, on another blog. I looked for thistles as I saw in Arizona. No luck. My hubby left for a business trip to Ohio ON Halloween. When he came back, he brought me four such thistles. So excited. Too late for Halloween 2010, but they faithfully sat on a shelf over my workbench, in the coffee cups from the Hampton Inn, waiting for this year. He took some seeds that spilled out and even attempted to garden these thistles. Nope. They knew it was Arizona and would not grow. So, I was going to use those four, and try to be happy. Kind and wonderful guy that he is, he was even going to use a free flight he had, fly back to Ohio, and bring me a suitcase full. That was the plan.

We went for a church conference in Utah. We were touring the sites, and decided to go to Antelope Island. On the way, on the corner of Antelope Road, and whatever (don't remember) there were four vacant fields. My sweet son noticed something. "Mom...aren't those your spider thistles?" Eureka! They were. We pulled over, got out, and started to pick. Hubby then told us they were stickery, and he had hurt his fingers trying the get the four he brought me last year. Ain't he the sweetest guy ever??? So, instead of continuing the pain, we drove a block to a WalMart, got scissors, and returned to cut...and cut...till the scissors broke. Two bags full. Plenty. So, here are my instructions, but they are, as I said, not originally mine. I did it my way, after I saw the awesome arachnids.
Ain't they stinkin' cute!

Materials list:
Thistle pods...they came in many sizes...and all turn out awesome
Black spray paint...This stuff is the cheapo WalMart 97cent a can stuff. One can painted 14, and part of another 10
Fuzzy Sticks...Got these at WalMart too...for 97 cents...though I was looking for pipe cleaners. I learned that "pipe cleaners" are no longer the politically correct name. So, fuzzy sticks it is.
Wiggle Eyes... Got a package at Dollar Tree for a buck. I used the smallest, and they might be a little large for your taste, but I liked them.
Glue...I am not a total fan of hot glue (it always peels off) so I wanted Tacky Glue, but someone in my household evidently wanted it more. All I had was Elmers Wood Glue. That worked.

First, paint. These little buggers soak up paint, with each side, front, back, nooks and crannies. I let a coat dry, and then turned them to another vantage point. I did try for total coverage, but there are lots of nooks and crannies. I did like it, though, when some of the "faces" had lighter and darker tints. Also, the first batch, I trimmed the stem portion quite a bit, so there would be no "nose". Last batch, I changed my mind. The varying snout lengths give them a sort of cuteness.

The last one is only painted on one side...
Next comes the assembly. I put two dots of glue on the face, and added the two eyes.

Then, I cut the fuzzy sticks. Now, this is another place you can vary your look. I cut each stick into three me. But, with some of my bigger pods, I should have done half. Anyway, after dipping the fuzzy stick tip in glue, shove into the body at a location that resembles one of a real spider, about 2/3 of the total distance on the side.  I made eight legs for each. I then let them dry overnight in this upright position.

In the morning, after checking for dryness, I bent the leg at a good location and made them stand on their own. I also spread the legs out a bit, so they would be nearly even, front to back.

That's it.

Now, who could resist this???
Allison, you will receive a kit, with pods already painted and the elements to put these guys together,in the mail,  so add it to your schedule...though remember, they are kind of pokey, and littlest angel may very well empty another toothpaste tube onto the bathroom floor while you are otherwise occupied..

1 comment:

The White Silk Purse (Dana) said...

Should you ever need another bagful of these fine thistles, (Russian Thistles they are called in this neck of the woods) just whistle! I'll mail you a boxful!