Wrapped and Tied 3D Fabric Animals

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This creative tutorial will show you how to make your own imaginary animals to display out in the open! Author of "Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals," Carla Sonheim expresses her love for fabric and how her collection of vintage and recycled fabrics has turned into a collection of imaginary animals made from wire and fabric. She shares how to make these creatures in this tutorial.

- 1–4 feet (0.3–1.2 m) of baling wire (or other thicker wire that you can still bend with your hands)
- Fabric scraps, cut to small strips or pieces about 3"–4" (7.6–10.2 cm) wide
- Some string, twine, or ribbon
- Wire clippers
- Optional: buttons, needle, thread, glue, found objects

Step 1

Clip a piece of baling wire about 2 to 6 feet (0.6 to 1.8 m) long, depending on the desired size of your final animal. Decide on an animal and just start making a frame. Twirl and twist the wire around. Think legs, heads, bodies, wings and so on.

Step 2

Gather lightweight fabrics. Cut pieces out as you go in small strips or patches, about 3 x 6 inches (7.6 x 15.2 cm). Wrap and tie with string or twine. Continue until you have a creature you like!

Step 3

Sometimes you might need a needle and thread to secure some errant fabric or buttons for eyes. But mostly everything can just be held together with string, twine or ribbon.

Step 4

A few tips:
- Baling wire gives your creature a sturdy framework and can be found in most hardware stores.
- When collecting fabric, I look for pieces that are lightweight and look nice on both sides. I tend to gravitate toward blacks, grays, and browns but will add a bright color every once in a while to spice things up and force myself out of my comfort zone.

Step 5

This wire animals how-to is excerpted with permission from "Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim" from Quarry Books.

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