Help me memorialize my fuzzy slippers!
March 15, 2017 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Fuzzy slippers => head trophies. Doable?

I finally retired my old office slippers. The soles are absolutely ruined. I can feel the floor through them, and duct-taped them, and then proceeded to wear holes through that.

The heads, however, are still in great condition, and I have this crazy(?) idea to mount them up as fuzzy head trophies.

I've never crafted anything with furry fabric before, so...
  1. How do I clean them first? The soles have duct tape, and they've never been cleaned... and I've worn them for several years. They're really filthy. I have access to (coin-op) washing machines, but uh... it would be its own load and the washing machine isn't really cheap. Would surface wash be enough?
  2. I'm thinking of cutting the heads off then glueing them to some kind of board for the trophy mount part. What kind of material would be best for that board, and what kind of glue? Foam board? Card stock? Actual wood? Doesn't have to be durable or anything since this is more of a whimsical project, but eventually these babies are going on the wall, so I don't want them to fall off.
  3. On the subject of glueing, are there better ways to attach furry fabric to semi/non-porous surfaces?
Thanks in advance! Bonus points for other ideas for memorializing my old beasts of burden.
posted by curagea to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You are my people.

I would get a deer mount plate, or make your own out of wood, though honestly by the time you bought the wood and the keyhole mounts for the back your cost and time would be about the same, and that's assuming you had the tools.

You could also run around the wood aisles at Home Depot/Lowes and look for anything that might work, like a decorative post cap for a deck post. They often have little pre-made things that might work for something like that. Check lower down on the aisles where they keep the trim and hardwood and the parts for stairs. On the same trip buy a small bottle of danish oil or shellac to stain it.

Frame and gift shops might have blank boards that you'd mount a plaque to. Something like that would work.

But yes, cutting a similar shape out of brown foamcore would probably be fine.

I'd cut the head off and maybe fill it with something hard. Maybe Good Stuff expanding insulating foam or hardening clay, and then you could screw it to the board from the back. Or just a shitload of hot glue or any 5 minute clear epoxy would probably do the trick, though that could get messy.

Wait... here's what I'd do. I'd cut a piece of cardboard in the same shape as a cross section of the neck, right where you're going to decapitate the poor, defenseless creature. Then cut the head off, pack a little bit more stuffing in the head, then insert the cardboard into the head. Put a little bead of hot glue or epoxy around the perimeter of the cardboard and then take about 1/4 inch of the fabric and squeeze it into the glue. So now you've got a head with some hard cardboard to keep the shape of the neck. Then mount the head onto whatever using glue on the cardboard.

Before cutting the heads off I'd clean them in sink filled with hot water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Focus on the heads and just churn them around in the water and squeeze them. Do it again in hot water without any detergent. Let them dry thoroughly.

This is totally something I would do if I had an old pair of moose slippers.
posted by bondcliff at 1:46 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]

Funny I just posted a link to a glue gun-fake fur-to leather situation. It will adhere to wood just fine. It was good enough for a boy to run around at halloween, it'll be good to hang on a wall. Glue gun is totally the way to go. Just take it slow so you don't get messy and leave strings. Go to the craft store. They have perfect little shaped wood pieces usually used for little signs or plaques. They have about 6 diff shapes probably just the right size. I would nail or glue some like if base so the heads don't droop over time. I'm thinking something the side of a lemon. Giant thread spool, etc. Open up hole in middle of stuffing and plop on. Glue fur towards the inside and attach, maybe add cotton so it is nice and plump.

Here is glue gunned fur.

I've tried 20 different glues for fur. It's the only one that does it.
posted by beccaj at 1:53 PM on March 15

I'd just throw the beasts in the washing machine and air dry them. They might need a little brushing to restore the nap after they dry. Bondcliff has it for the cardboard bit at the decapitated head. You can use hot glue for this. I would take a look at Michaels/Hobby Lobby for some pine blocks in a decorative shape. I think I've even seen faux "tree slices" with might look good with the moose (meece?) heads. Hot glue can be slathered/squirted on the back of the cardboard and then stuck to the wooden backer.
posted by sarajane at 1:56 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]

Craft stores will almost certainly have a piece of pine wood in a plaque shape that you can mount them to. You might even be able to find a plaque-shaped piece of red oak, which would look pretty fancy indeed. I don't think I'd mount them on cardboard; it would look cheap, and cardboard isn't very durable. (Although using cardboard to assist in mounting to the wood is a good idea.) You might consider stapling the slipper to the plaque. If you do it right, it should hold better and look more professional. That, or upholstery tacks.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:41 PM on March 15

For washing the heads, if you want to save money by not using the washing machines, cut the heads off, remove the stuffing, handwash (the heads -- I'm assuming you want to throw out the soles), drip dry, and restuff.
posted by yohko at 4:46 PM on March 15

We did this to make "taxidermy" stuffed animals for a friend's cubicle. We used wooden plaque blanks from Joann or Michaels. Our trophies were a little bigger than slipper heads, so we drilled a hole in the wood and glued in a dowel at an angle, and then glued the stuffed animal head (or butt, as it were) onto the dowel support. Also some staples to hold the fur to the base. Easy peasy.
posted by janell at 5:14 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]

Oooo, I love the idea of using cardboard to support the neck for glueing. Nifty!

I forgot to mention that I have no access to drilling tools nor staple guns. I do have a hot glue gun.

Thanks for all the advice! Now to get that board...
posted by curagea at 6:04 PM on March 15

Please post pics when you're done.
posted by bondcliff at 6:17 PM on March 15 [6 favorites]

One more thing -- if the stuffing is nasty, you can buy a bag of stuffing pretty cheap at JoAnn Fabrics if you google for coupons.
posted by yohko at 6:51 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]

Cut the "fur" way further back from the neck than you think you need to, like at the foot opening at least - you can always cut off more, but if you cut it too short you might not have enough to work with. Also you can use nearly anything for stuffing since you don't care about softness/texture. Fill it out with old cans or socks or the rest of the slipper.
posted by mskyle at 6:44 AM on March 16 [4 favorites]

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