Wednesday 13 February 2008

Now with added feet

Well, the theory behind these was sound; in practice they are mostly hot glue and not very well cut out. Anyway. Dimensions given are for K's feet, a size 6.5F at the moment.

Draw around your child's foot and measure the length (14cm) and breadth (6cm), and note how far along the length the widest part is (10cm). On another piece of paper, draw the length in the centre and then where the widest part of your child's foot is, draw a horizontal line the breadth you measured before, bisected by the length (ie in this case the line is drawn at 10cm from the heel with 3cm either side). This is where the elastic will go. Now measure over the broadest part of the foot, floor-to-floor (11cm). Subtract 1cm. This is the length of elastic you'll need to go over the foot (10cm).

Now the fun part: draw the shape of your monster foot around the cross you've just drawn. Leave a good 5cm all the way round at least, preferably more for trimming/cutting accidents, but be aware that small kids will have trouble walking if they're too big. Cut out the template.

Now you need some craft foam. I heartily recommend you get thicker foam than I did, but this 3mm stuff was all I could find, so I used six sheets for a final depth of about 1.5cm once you add in the glue etc. This is hard to cut through with a scalpel, though, use a long blade if you have one. We alternated the colours green-yellow-red-red-yellow-green. Cut 2x6 sheets round the template in your colour combination (NB it may be better to do the gluing first then the cutting, not sure).

Once you have your shapes cut out, glue the bottom three sheets together. We used hot glue to laminate them, which has the advantage of slightly melting the foam and giving extra strength, but is exceedingly messy, uses loads and blebs out everywhere. PVA may be preferable but perhaps less strong. Leave your bottom three sheets to dry.

For the straps, cut pieces of 20mm width elastic to your required length plus 3cm or so either side (so 16cm for these), and mark your length in the centre with tailor's chalk. You may wish to laminate the top three layers of foam together first - we didn't, and regretted it, see what works for you. Lay your template back over the top layer and locate the breadth line again. At the ends of this line, draw vertical lines 2omm long, bisected by it (so 1cm above and below the line). Pierce the template carefully at the ends of each of these lines, remove template and cut a 2cm vertical line through the foam between each pierce mark. Now slide your elastic all the way through each line and line up the marks you made with tailor's chalk with the top layer, giving you the loop for the child to slide their foot into.

Turn over the top half and glue the ends of the elastic into place. Trim if necessary, it should not overlap. Now glue the top and bottom halves together.

Leave to dry. If the laminating has slipped or glue has blobbed out of the sides, you can trim this with a knife and sand gently if necessary. Finis.

All in all, this took 12 sheets of foam, six sticks of hot glue and 30-odd cm of elastic, and probably 2hrs or so plus some drying time. There is certainly a better way (with thicker foam), but it was fun and K loves them (not enough to smile for a pic, but she says RAAARRH!).

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