Saul the Sloth - 'Hanging Humor'
Sometimes you see a situation that just begs for something funny to be made. Being a research facility my office had electrical cable trays located throughout the ceiling. They looked like monkey bars set into the ceiling. It appeared to be the perfect habitat for a Sloth since they like hanging around and make very little commotion -- perfect for an office setting.
So Saul the Sloth was born. As most sloths do he moves very slowly. In fact so slow that no one sees him move from place to place but you know he moves since during the week he makes his way to different parts of the office. Some think he may be a bit nocturnal as he seems to move more at night. It has been fun to have Saul the Sloth around the office and to see where he gets moved to. Its a nice addition to liven up the atmosphere of the office.
Saul the Sloth is made by printing a full-size image onto multiple sheets of paper that are mounted on foam core board with two wire hooks added to let him 'hang around'.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Foam core board
Wire Coat Hanger
Paint Stir Stick or Ruler or Section of Yardstick (You are willing to sacrifice)
Pens - Broad Black and Fine-point Gray
Paper Cutter (You can use scissors if you have a steady hand.)
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Computer with internet connection and Printer
Step 2: Select Subject, Format and Print
We need a large sloth! Saul the Sloth will be printed onto multiple sheets of paper and assembled onto foam core board.
When you print something big you need to have a lot of detail in your original image. Pick the highest resolution image you can find. You will be dividing your image up onto multiple sheets so you need as much resolution as you can get. Otherwise your printed images get 'pixely' and lose detail. Many search engines have a setting that lets you find only high resolution images.
You will need to print your image onto multiple sheets of paper. This is usually done by making a selection under the Page Set Up menu or in the Print menu. Depending on your operating system and/or the application you are using to print your pages from you just might have to dig a bit to find the setting. For Microsoft Windows Paint you can easily modify the "Fit to" section of the "Page Set Up" menu to print onto multiple pages. Print them out and get ready to trim them!
Step 3: Trim Printouts and Test Fit
The printed pages will have margins on them. You don't want margins because you want the separate pages to blend seamlessly together to make one BIG Sloth. However, you don't have to trim off every margin. You only need to trim off the margins that are on edges that will join adjacent sheets. See the 6-sheet illustration. At the most you will only need to trim two margins; usually the top and left (depending on the order you lay down the sheets). Take your paper cutter (or scissors and a steady hand) and trim the appropriate margins off! It helps to lay out all the sheets to see how they will overlap and to make sure you are cutting off the correct margins.
Step 4: Make Paper Holding Jig
You are going to apply spray adhesive to the backs of those printed and trimmed sheets but first you will want to build a handy dandy Paper Holding Jig. This Jig makes applying spray adhesive so much easier! I always had issues with getting spray adhesive onto the printed side of the sheet when I laid the sheet down to spray them. The first page sprayed did OK, but somehow the subsequent pages would get out of alignment and get set down into the overspray. It would be a mess. The Paper Holding Jig avoids this problem! Take a paint stir stick or section of a yard stick or ruler and wrap masking tape over it with the sticky side out. This gives a tacky 'wand' that you can touch to the sheet and pick it up and hold the sheet while you apply spray adhesive. No setting the sheet down into overspray - No setting the sheet down at all!
Step 5: Apply Spray Adhesive
Use the Paper Holding Jig stick to hold your sheets while you apply spray adhesive all over the back sides of your prints. Spray adhesive and place the print in place, repeat, repeat, repeat....
[Note to self: Put on gloves before spraying. Spray outside where it does not matter where the overspray lands. Wear clothes you don't mind ruining. I had a nice shirt on and the wind blew the adhesive side right onto me :-( ]
Step 6: Place Gluey Prints on Foam Core
Carefully apply your sheets with adhesive on them onto the foam core sheet. Don't rush it as it's best to get them in the right position the first time! After placing each one, smooth them down and make sure they are stuck in place. If you are not applying the first row up against the edge of the foam core, take a yard stick and draw a straight line in order to line the sheets up. It helps to keep everything straight! Errors accumulate with each subsequent row you place down so try your best to get the images aligned perfectly.
Step 7: Repeat for Backside
You want to have the Sloth image on both sides. You will need to print a reverse image and line it up with the image you just stuck in place on the foam core.
If you are concerned about the images lining up you might want to consider making a cut through the foam core at an identifiable position on the image to give you an alignment point on the back side image.
Repeat the process to print, trim and glue to get a mirror image of the sloth on the back side.
Step 8: Cut Out Saul the Sloth
Take a razor knife and cut around the perimeter of the sloth. Use the cardboard to protect your work surface.
Step 9: Darken Edge and Hide Seams
Take the broad black marker and go over the cut edge of the foam core to black it out.
Hide the cut seams of the paper on the image where the pages meet. You could get multiple color markers and match the color on each part of the image, but that was too much trouble for me. A neutral gray marker works pretty good to mute the white stripe of the cut edge of the paper and is much easier.
Step 10: Make Hooks
Take the wire coat hanger and cut out two sections about 10 inches long each. Re-cut one end of each wire at an angle so that the cut edge creates a point. Bend over the other end to blunt it so it will not poke people. Take the blunted end and bend it into hooks.
Step 11: Locate and Install Hooks
Decide the best location to add the hooks. I picked the front and rear arms/legs. Push the pointed end of the coat hanger wire into the edge of the foam core. Pull it out and shoot hot glue into the hole and reinstall the wire.
Now Saul the Sloth can hang around....
Step 12: Nurture, Then Relocate to a New Home
Spend some quality time with your sloth as you will soon have to part ways as you relocate him into the wild... (office).
Find a nice open place and introduce him to the overhead 'branches'.
Saul has made himself at home and can been seen in various parts of the office, although he never moves when people are watching.