I had seen some excellent shrink wrap sculptures at various high schools and have worked with shrink wrap in my own artwork, but during this years' Springfield Arts Festival I was presented with an excellent project for elementary students. A few different methods seemed to be used, but here I will share what I learned there and through experimentation as well as a few of my own added ideas. This project can be fun for children (and adults) of all ages!
What you'll need:
Stuffed animal or toy (small simple toys for young children)
Shrink wrap (amount depends on the size of your toy)
Packing tape (colored tape can be fun!)
What to do:
First, wrap the toy in shrink wrap one to two times. You will probably want to use with a very soft and flexible toy the first time you try this. You may cut pieces of wrap also, instead of trying to just wrap it with one big roll. Children will love the way shrink wrap clings! Also, I should mention to let children know beforehand that their toy will remain unharmed!
Next, using cut strips of packing tape, no longer than 4 inches depending on your project, add two to three layers over the entire toy. You may add more layers* for a stiff sturdier sculpture. And if you are making a very large sculpture, the best way to sculpt in sections. For example, if it is an animal, make the head sculpture, remove it from the toy/object, then make the arms and legs sculptures, remove them from the toy. Gather all the sculptures together and tape them together piece by piece for one grand piece of art!
Lastly, cut a slit in the back of your packing tape so you are able to reach in and pull the toy out unharmed! Put a couple pieces of tape over the hole and the sculpture is finished! If you are using clear tape, a fun addition is to put some multicolored yarn and/or glitter or confetti inside the sculpture! Let the child/children put some things inside, have fun with it and try new things!
*This will be done after the toy is removed.
I hope you enjoy this project and don't forget to mark your calendars next summer for Springfield's Annual Artsfest! Happy art making!