Thursday, September 24, 2009

Le Petit Corsaire Danseurs! by Lisa Kettell

These are small ballet dancers that are made from cat toys, which I up-cycled from my cat's toy collection, and have given them a new look!

The inspiration for this project actually came from a project I made for my art book: Altered Art Circus, Quarry Books, Feb. 2009. The original project was made from recycled rubber toy animals, which were similar to circus/carnival toys that you might have won at the circus or amusement park, using your tokens or tickets to redeem them.

To update this project, show variation and recycle at the same time I tried the cat toys I had from my cats toy box, these were less played with and in great condition, so I decided to transform them as I had done with the carnival toys in my book.

For the "Le Petit Corsaire Danseurs" I used a stuffed mouse toy as the base, then embellished them with layers of crepe paper, sequins, trims, mini tree ornaments, tiny pearl strands, white floral wire, recycled Christmas tree light bulbs for the crowns, and either faux snow flakes or a variety of glitters, from art glitter.

Then I had to name them, their names are: Muffy, Matilda, Miranda and Millie!

Art Glitter: Designer Dries Clear Adhesive (for fine glitter)
Art Glitter: Designer Dries White Adhesive (for faux snow)
Art Glitter: Faux Snow
Art Glitter: Ultrafine Opaque Glitter #111 Victoria
Art Glitter: Ultrafine Opaque Glitter # 245 Night Lights
4 mouse style cat toys
Crepe Paper Streamers: Pink, Cream, Lime Green, Pumpkin
White floral wire
Hot Glue and Hot Glue Sticks
Quilting needle or sewing needle
Glue Stick
Other: Exacto knife, Paint Brush, Small Cup, Ribbons, Trims, Tinsel Chenille Stem, Sequins, Pearls, embellishments

1. Pierce four thin holes into the sides of the mouse cat toy using a quilting needle.
2. Cut four pieces of floral wire 2 inches long, insert each end into hot glue, then insert each piece of floral wire into the pierced holes of the mouse cat toy.
3. Cut 6 pieces of crepe paper streamer 12 inches long from each color, then accordion fold (paper pleat) each piece, once folded hot glue around waist of each toy, use all 6 pieces of cut and folded crepe paper, this will make for a fuller tutu.

4. Decorate your toys with trims, ribbons, sequins, tiny pearl strands and other embellishments.
5. For crown use an old bulb from lighted tree garland or cut cardstock covered in glitter.
6. Coat each crepe paper tutu with glitter or faux snow. For the crème crepe paper tutu I applied designer dries white adhesive to it and coat with faux snow flakes, let dry, for the green and pumpkin crepe paper tutu apply designer dries clear adhesive then coat with Ultra fine Opaque Glitter # 245 Night Lights and finally for the pink crepe paper tutu apply designer dries clear adhesive then coat with Ultra fine Opaque Glitter # 111 Victoria.

I experimented with various glitter colors against different color backgrounds, which gave me fun and unique effects.

-This project could be done using tiny stuffed bears or animals, plastic animals, felt animals, clay animals, wood animals, pet toys or what ever you have calling for a tutu or crown.
-Replace faux snow w/glass glitter shards
-Coat entire doll w/glitter, instead of adding a tutu, for an even more enchanting effect.


  1. AWW..these little mice are absolutely adorable! Very creative :)

  2. Thanks so much, magic and glitter joy!