Monday, May 21, 2012

Tutorial: Alice Clockwork Bomb

I now have an awesome American McGee Alice Madness Returns costume given to me by an awesome friend of mine, but no props!  What is a girl to do?

Between my friends and I, we thought of both the Vorpal Blade and the Umbrella.  However, the prop replicas I have seen of the Vorpal Blade are metal or mini and not convention safe.  I also question whether conventions allow umbrellas on the floor.  I am pretty sure some convention halls do not allow them.  I might pick up a nice black lace umbrella for photography but not convention use.

Clockwork Bomb
Stumbling through my cosplay props I came across the plush bunny I had purchased to play Angel.  This bunny has been doing nothing but sitting on my shelf since I have replaced it with a larger bunny.  Still thinking about Alice's props it hit me that this small bunny was the perfect size for a plush Clockwork Bomb.  You didn't think I was making real explosives did you?  For the record, I don't like firearms of any nature so its highly unlikely I will ever dabble in explosives.  Pepper spray is as hard core as I get.

I cheated a little on this project and I just winged a lot of it by guessing some measurements.  I also started and completed this project in three afternoons.

The rabbit is made of the actual rabbit altered, the hat, the jacket and the timepiece.  Since I used mostly glue and paint for this project each piece needed time to dry lengthening the amount of time needed to complete the project.

I started with the hat.  The hat is craft foam.  I cut two round pieces for the brim (with the center cut out) and the top of the hat.  I also cut a slightly curved piece for the top part of the hat.  My plush rabbit has ears set rather close together so I needed to cut holes in the side of the hat to allow the ears to pull through.  After I played around with how large the holes needed to be I glued the pieces together with Fabri-Tac.  I tend to have a hard time working with craft foam and it seems for me nothing holds it together.  However, the Fabri-Tac with a touch of help worked well.  I then left the hat to dry overnight.  In the morning I noticed the Fabri-Tac and the way I cut the craft foam left some unattractive edges so even though the hat should be a flat black I glitterized it.  Using the same method from the Glitter Heels tutorial.  I painted the hat with Mod Podge, shook glitter on, went over it with more Mod Podge, shook more glitter on, and then (after letting it dry another night) sprayed it with acrylic sealer.  The following day I glued a red ribbon around the bottom with super glue.

The hat by itself took me three days to complete, but I worked on different pieces simultaneously.

Note 1: I prefer the Fabri-Tac and Mod Podge over the super glue.  When Fabri-Tac gets out of place is easy to clean up and remove, especially when it gets on you hands.  Mod Podge is pretty easy to clean up as well.  Super glue is a bit of a pain to clean up and I did have glitter glued to the end of my nails because of it.

Note 2: When it comes to purchasing glitter at Micheal's I prefer Martha Stewart Glitter in the larger bottle.  The glitter is a fine grain and the price is right considering the size of the bottle.  Always hunt around Micheal's when looking for glitter.  They stock it in a few places and if you look on the wrong shelf you might wind up with a coarse glitter meant for children's projects. This is fine if you want a coarse glitter but you also might be paying the same amount as you would for the large bottle of Martha Stewart.  Martha's Glitter is in the scrapbooking section of the Micheal's near me and even in the scrapbook section there are two glitter locations.  So keep those eyes peeled.

Steampunk Bunny Bomb?
Day two I started working on altering the bunny.  My plush bunny had a pink mouth and pink ears.  Clockwork bombs have gray and studs to give them a steampunk appearance.  Originally, I had not considered altering the actual rabbit, but when shopping in Micheal's I found Tulip Beads in a Bottle and DecoFabric Paint.  The only down side is that the beaded paint comes in four packs so I now have two shades of gray, bronze, and gold.  I only needed the one tube.  The DecoFabric paint I picked up in a dark gray.  I started altering my rabbit with the fabric paint.  I have used paint markers like this before (not this brand) and generally I ALWAYS have trouble with them.  I tend to not be able to get the paint to flow out of the pen correctly.  However, the DecoFabric paint pen was a dream to work with.  It was very easy to paint over the nose, draw over the mouth and paint the pink ears a gray metallic color.  With my history of these products and how easily I was able to use this brand I highly suggest it.

I then used the Tulip Beads in a Bottle (which is basically Puffy Paint, hello 80's) to give the rabbit a studded appearance around the ears, down the nose, and on the hindquarter.  The beads were really easy to work with.  However, I did mess up the ear by sticking my hand on it.  the hindquarters got a touch messy because I over did it with the paint and it started to drip.  Because of the fabric on the rabbit, after sitting overnight I was able to pull off the two messed up dots on the ears and for a few that came out a bit more tear drop then round the beads were easy to manipulate once dry.  I fixed the few and reset the two I messed up on and left my project to dry while I went to work.

Main part of the jacket with
the holes cut for the arms.
On the third day I made the jacket and attached the time piece.  This is where MAJOR cheating happened.  I can not stand hand sewing, especially with something so small.  I purchased a red quarter from the Wal-Mart and cut out a small block.  I measured the rabbit for length and height of the jacket.  My first piece was an oval shape that wraps around the body and then has holes for the arms to push through.  I did hand sew around the edges of the this part of the jacket.  I then put the jacket on the rabbit and used Allen's Fabric Glue to glue the jacket pieces where I wanted them to fall.  I also glue around the sleeve holes to prevent fraying.  I then cut two small pieces for the actual sleeves and this is where I really cheated.  I did not sew the sleeves at all.  I glued the seams together and then glued them onto the rabbits arms.

With the glued jacket

Note: I do not like the Allen's Fabric Glue.  I purchased the pen thinking it would be easier to handle and I found it to be be difficult to get the glue out when holding a delicate project.  At one point I thought the cap was not opened enough and I twisted it open more to end up with glue pumping out the sides of the cap and not at the nose where it should be.  It did the job, but I think the Fabri-Tac is much easier to work with.

The timepiece
Because I couldn't wait a fourth day to complete this project I sewed the time piece into the rabbits hands and feet.  I picked up the time piece for $5 at Micheal's and I had hoped for a larger clock but this one was the largest I could fine that fit the style I was looking for.  To be sewn to the rabbit the clock has to sit sideways.  I tried to open the clock up so that I could turn the face of the clock and hopefully paint it red, but I was unable to pop the back of the watch out.  The instructions make it looks so simple, but the back plate refused to budge.  I let it go and employed my curved needles to sew the piece to the rabbit.  I started with the hands and then realized the time piece needed to be anchored at the bottom to stop it from slipping.  I then decided to sew the feet/legs to the time piece as well.

I let the rabbit sit overnight and dry again.  I am very happy with the outcome.  Sure there could be a few tweeks here and there, but this project came out better then I had originally pictured (everything is better with glitter, haha).  I now have my very own plush clockwork bunny bomb prop and to make things better one of my awesome girlfriends picked up a plastic cleaver prop for me.  So I will have a Vorpal Cleaver (boo yeah!) and a Clockwork Bomb.  Good thing the costume has pockets!
Crafty Tools

Fabric Paint $5.00
Tulip Beads in a Bottle $10.00 (4 pack)
Craft Foam $1.00 (I already had some)
Red Ribbon $1.00
Martha Stewart Onyx Glitter $10.00 (already owned)
Fabric $.97
Fabri-Tac $8.00 (already owned)
Mod Podge $10.00 (already owned)
Time Piece $5.00 (on sale, lucky me)
Plush Bunny $8.00 (already owned)

Cost of project: Approx $22.00 considering I had quite a few items from previous projects.  Which just goes to show projects get less expensive over time.  I also did not use all of the items I purchased.  So I have some more items for future projects.

All products except for the bunny (eBay), ribbon and fabric (both Wal-Mart) were purchased at Micheal's Arts and Crafts. 

The Original Plush Bunny... He is very small.  About 6" with his ears.

Drum roll please.... The Finished Product!

Ta Da!
Vicki thinks I should make more of these?  What do you think?  I can't imagine myself having the time to make more then a couple but they could be a good candidate for eBay and since I would not be purchasing the exact same plush rabbit each one would be unique.  That and I do not think I would be able to always have the same time piece either.  I am not sure I have the time, but it's an idea for the quiet months of mid summer and the winter.

For more pictures please visit my fan page gallery.


  1. So cute! I am working on an American McGee cosplay myself, and plan to make a bunny bomb. This will be very helpful! Just have to get my hands on a stuffed bunny.

    1. That's great! This was a really fun project! He needs some fixing now, but that happens over time.


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