Quilled Mickey Mouse


 

This is a birthday gift for a girl who is fanatical (way beyond being a fan) of Mickey Mouse. She makes me laugh even while I’m crying, which is just one of the magical things about her.

Here’s how I started Mickey:   1) Traced and cut Mickey’s outline.   2) My sketchbook of how I imagined shooting out fireworks from his hands.   3) As I curved each strip with 80lb cover thick quilling paper (I cut my own), I’d put it aside to glue at one time.   4) Using a light table helped me see where some lines travel from outside into his body.   5) Even a small amount of error would show.   6) Had to cut the corner to trim off excess to fit.   7) Completed Mickey outline. I had left the hands undone, to allow fireworks dictate paths.   8) Side shot of outlined Mickey. I used a black felt to shade in the thin white backing that sometimes peeked out from the side.   9) Just a few scraps of paper from the “cutting room floor” as each strip was made to fit.

 

I had initially hoped to quill something remotely like Yulia Brodskaya’s with movement, but as I went along I realized Mickey is so definitively Mickey, and to insert lines where the artist did not draw them kind of took away from Mickey – especially his shorts, which just kept looking like striped pjs! It took an hour just to fill the left shoe with her initial “B”.

As I finished his shoes I realized how much the color along the sides glowed almost neon-like into the white backing and realized I didn’t need to fill in his face or shorts after all. I decided not to quill in them at all, and instead applied glue to each “wall” and pressed the quilling paper against the black. Since the black outline was made of thicker paper, it could withstand that much pressure – I don’t think a regular thin strip could manage so easily. I used tweezers to ensure tight corners and pre-softened my quilling paper beforehand by giving it a soft curl.

I formed his nose with a tight coil and squished in between tweezers to form the oval, flipped it upside down and gently pushed it out, then glued in place on the inside. I’ve included a close up of the red ovals in his shorts so you can see my work is far from perfect, and by then my neck said “good enough already!”

 


Here are some experiments with fireworks. In the end, I cut out long teardrop shapes on my Silhouette die cutter and enjoy the dimension they add when seen from the side. I used a hole puncher to cut a circle from a post-it note and inked in a center dot. This helped me visualize the center as I glued each spark in place. After much debate (my poor hubbie), I decided to have the fireworks stream up on their own accord rather than from Mickey’s hands. I simply ran out of room (I had already bought the 8×8 frame and it was the day of the birthday – gulp!).

Admittedly, Mickey kind of looks like he’s had a tattoo job, but I was really striving for a “magical” kind of outfit – ah well, next year… The fireworks paper was metallic  Stardream in a text weight.

 

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26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. B
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 18:46:10

    Thanks Cec, you are the best. It is the bestest gift EVER!!

    Reply

  2. Lisa, your Fairy Cardmaker
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 15:40:53

    Wow, this is fantastic. The way the swirls are, it is truly (appropriately!) magical!

    Reply

  3. Chaitali N.
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 08:59:50

    This is just beautiful! Very pretty and very inspiring!! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  4. Ola (Ikemo)
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 11:57:13

    Girl, you are amazing!!! I have never seen such beatiful thing. Congrats!

    Reply

  5. Deen
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 20:58:09

    Absolutely incredible! Especially the 3D nose!! Congratulations!!!

    Reply

  6. Kristina
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 10:39:06

    Absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

  7. Oana Raluk
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:37:04

    talent…and a loooot of pations…but the result is just worth looking at…

    Reply

  8. Jen
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 19:11:49

    Oh my gosh this is absolutely fantastic! BEAUTIFUL, you are a very gifted artist. It IS magical. Do you make these to sell? Because I WANT one. (I am beyond nuts about Mickey). Your friend “B” and I would probably get along swell. ( I’ll be writing a paper about the exclusion of Daisy from many of “the Gangs” outings. I think Disney is hiding something from us)

    Reply

    • Cee
      Mar 23, 2012 @ 05:02:59

      Thanks for the kudos Jen! I’m sorry but I don’t make Mickeys to sell. Yes, I think you and B would be stars in the Mickey Mouse Club! :D

      Reply

  9. Dipti
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 06:38:08

    Amazing work,I especially like the fireworks.How long did it take you ? If you don’t mind can you tell me how do you cut your own paper? Keep up that imagination.It inspires amateurs like me.

    Reply

    • Cee
      Mar 26, 2012 @ 06:47:36

      Hi Dipti, thanks for your kind words. It took over 20 hours to quill – that was after I had done the drawing portion. I used my Silhouette, a digital die cutter to cut those tear drop shapes. I wouldn’t have the patience to do it by hand! Cecelia

      Reply

  10. Jennifer
    Mar 31, 2012 @ 13:11:59

    Just stumbled across your blog. This is amazing! Great job!

    Reply

  11. Chely Lpz
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 05:21:45

    Monica, me parece que está muy fácil para que lo hagas cómo vez?

    Reply

  12. Chantel Negoshian
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 13:07:11

    If you do ever decide to make these to sell, PLEASE contact me. My 2year old son is almost unhealthily obsessed with all things Mickey. And the obsession has turned the entire family into hardcore Disney freaks! We’re even planning on redecorating the kids bathroom in Disney, this would be the most awesome addition to the wall!

    Reply

  13. Alyssa Casalina
    May 06, 2012 @ 14:44:00

    Hey cee my mom is like the biggest mickey mouse fan, she collects them and everything she even painted a huge 5 mickey mural on the wall going down the stairs, i would love to be able to give this to her as a gift one day if there is anyway u could help make that happen i no she would love it

    Reply

  14. Alyssa Casalina
    May 10, 2012 @ 16:05:47

    thats ok i was really wondering if u help me recreate it like if u the finale pattern u used for it i would be willing to pay u for it, i could never draw it out my self and make it look anything like mickey mouse lol!!

    Reply

    • Cee
      May 11, 2012 @ 05:10:50

      Hi Alyssa, I basically Googled Mickey on the internet and used tracing paper over the print out, outlining his features in quilling paper. I’m sorry I don’t have a pattern for you.

      Reply

  15. Linda
    Apr 11, 2014 @ 03:49:16

    I know this thread is old (ish) but your work is simply stunning!

    Reply

    • Cee
      Apr 11, 2014 @ 05:47:38

      Hi Linda, thanks so much for your kind words! You’ve made my day. By the way, I’ve started a new blog, Paper Zen, where I hope you’ll be inspired by my new work.
      Cecelia

      Reply

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