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I know this blog is generally about sewing, but sometimes a costume requires the right prop to make it look really finished.  I don’t have a props department to do my bidding, so usually I’ll take a stab at making the prop myself.

Gandalf Timmy needed a monkey-sized version of Gandalf’s staff to complete his ensemble. Since I lack the necessary Elvish wood-carving skills, I decided to make it out of Sculpey instead. My first few attempts involved trying to make each of the three sides of the top of the staff separately, and these failed miserably. I hoped that adding a wire framework would make the piece more structurally sound, despite the delicate, almost lace-like design, but the wire I was using was too thick to maneuver into the correct shape at the scale I was working on. In a last, desperate attempt, I took a lump of Sculpey and formed it into the basic two-triangular-pyramids shape of the top of the staff. To approximate the design of the original, I poked holes in it where the openings should be.

Not quite as delicate and ethereal as the original, but far less likely to fall apart in my hands when I attach it to the main part of the staff.

I may have over-cooked the Sculpey, because it turned sort of a dark brown color when it was done. You can see the design has been refined a little since the first photo.

Here’s the top of the staff after it had been painted.

Looks much more like a staff now, instead of a mutant asparagus.

Here’s the 3/4 length shot. You’ll notice a weird little loop at the very bottom of the photo. I added this to the wire structural support inside the staff so it could eventually be attached to Timmy’s hand, by a method that has yet to be figured out. I’m getting there…

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