DIY: Bowtruckles!

I’ve been on a HUGE craft kick lately, and that, paired with my current Harry Potter obsession, has led me to experiment with some materials and build my very own bowtruckles!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

These guys were a huge hit in the film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Pickett really stole each scene he was in. According to Harry Potter lore, the bowtruckle acts as a guard for wand-quality trees — so they have a serious job! They’re pocket-sized, utterly adorable, and, come to find out, easy to craft with some materials you might have laying around your house.

Supplies

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

  • Floral Wire — the kind I used I had left over from another craft. It’s long, thin, dark green wires that are used for attaching various elements to faux floral arrangements. You can also get them in spools, I think.
  • Wire Cutters — you can use legit wire cutters, if you have them, or if you have some needle nose pliers lying around, they usually have a wire cutting element on them. Scissors probably won’t work to cut the floral wire.
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint Brush — Something with a smaller head works best, to get into the nooks an crannies.
  • Acrylic Paint — you can use nearly any green shade to paint your bowtruckle, but I used a bottle of Americana acrylic paint in Evergreen, and a bottle of Crafts Smart acrylic paint in Lush Foliage. You can get these at craft stores for about $1 a bottle.
  • Small Gold Gems — I used some small gold gems left over from another project for my bowtruckle’s eyes. You can also use black or gold puff paint, or even a marker to dot its eyes. Get creative!
  • Something to set it on while it dries — I used my paint pallet to rest the bowtruckle on while it dried, but paper or newspaper would do the job as well.

 

1. The Frame

I built the frame with three segments: the bottom half, the top half, and the leaves. Keep in mind that it should be about pocket sized!

Bottom Half: Start by making a bend at one end of your floral wire. You can use the pliers to squeeze the end to make the loop/bend tighter. Don’t bend it entirely in half, because making a small loop at the end will help the figure stand up. Then, twist the two pieces around each other. You can then make another twist for a second foot, or even a third. Look around at drawings of a bowtruckle to get ideas for how to shape the feet. Once you finish with the feet, make the spine. Twist any extra wire you have here so it has a nice strong back. Leave a loop at the top of the back to attach the top part of the torso.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Making some legs longer or shorter, having extra feet, or having extra legs will give your bowtruckle some individuality and will also help it stand up!

The top half: for the torso, follow pretty much the same idea. Twist in two arms, and twist a piece up for the head. Remember to leave loops at the end of each limb. Leave a loop at the top of the head for the leaves. Leave one piece of the wire loose to attach the body.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Remember to leave the loop at the top for the leaves.

Attaching them: Slide the open end of the torso into the loop at the top of the bottom half.  Twist it as tightly as you can around the spine so the pieces are attached well. If your bowtruckle is a little loose or floppy where the two parts meet, don’t worry! You can tighten it with the masking tape later. It took me a lot of practice to learn how to get the wire to behave the way I wanted, and now I have an army of bowtruckles! When it’s all attached, you should have a little stick figure body.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Don’t bend any of the pieces into shape yet! It’s easier to apply the tape if it’s still straight.

The Leaves: This is the trickiest bit! Taking a shorter piece of wire, maybe between 4-5 inches long, slide it through the loop on the top of the head and twist it around. Again, if you can’t get the wire to twist tight enough, you can use masking tape in the next step to make it more stable.

2. Masking

Taking a piece of tape about 1-2 inches long, begin wrapping segments of the body. Leaving twists and wrinkles in the tape will give the bowtruckle a more leafy and twiggy appearance. Use extra around the joints to keep them stable.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
If I can’t get the leaf stems tight enough, I’ll leave them out until I finish masking the body, but leave the loop uncovered. When I’m ready to finish the leaves, I can go back, reinstall the leaf stems, then use the tape to keep them in place.
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
At the ends of the limbs, fold leaves to give character! Cut them into more leaf-like shapes when you’re finished.

For the head leaves, cut a length of tape that is twice as long, or longer, than each stem. Fold the tape around the wire, then cut the tape into leaf shapes.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
After I get the leaf tape on, I use smaller strips to secure them to the head.
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Cut them into unique shapes so each bowtruckle is a little different. Later, you can bend them to give them more body.

3. Painting

Once you have the entire body taped up like a little mummy, you can begin to paint them. Use different shades, textures, or coats to give it some variation and color. The paint will dry pretty quickly. Make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies.

4. Finishing Up

Once the paint is dry, you can spray it with a gloss to give it some shine, or leave it as is. Attach your eyes. Bend the feet so he’ll stand, give his leaves a little wrinkle, and viola! You have your own pocket bowtruckle!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

What will you name your bowtruckle?

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s