Nursery, country and “shabby chic” decorators have embraced Noah’s Ark and its animals as a common element. The theme provides a wide-open canvas for creativity, since you can add pairs of any species of animals, including exotic or unusual animals to make your set uniquely personal. Making the animals yourself is not a difficult project. Gather pictures of animals from coloring books, greeting cards, magazines or online images, if you want a departure from the traditional menagerie of the commercial patterns.
Trace the outline of the pattern onto tracing paper or make a photocopy, enlarging them as necessary.
Spray the back of the pattern copy with adhesive and affix it to the wood. Alternatively, use graphite tracing paper to transfer the outline to the board.
Sand all the surfaces to smooth the wood. Use an emery board to sand hard-to-reach small spaces. Alternatively, use differently-sized sanding accessories on a rotary tool to sand any type of cut edge or shape on the design.
Base-paint the animals with white acrylic paint. This will stop the absorption of the paint and allow you to use fewer coats.
Transfer the main divisions onto the painted pieces with transfer paper. You do not need to transfer the finer details at this point.
Paint the sections with acrylic paint. Apply a second coat as needed and allow the animals to dry.
Trace the smaller details from the pattern onto the painted surfaces. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
Spray the finished pieces with acrylic varnish to seal and protect the paint.
Tips & Warnings
- Speed paint drying with a blow dryer set to cool or low temperatures. Hold it 6 inches above the wood and move it slowly back and forth.
- Wear safety glasses when using power tools.
Things You'll Need:
- Animal patterns
- Tracing paper or photocopies of pattern
- White pine boards
- Spray adhesive
- Scroll saw
- Rotary tool with cutting and sanding accessories
- Medium grit sandpaper
- Emery board (optional)
- Sanding attachments (optional)
- Acrylic paint
- Wax or graphite transfer paper
- Spray acrylic varnish
- Safety glasses
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