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Braid, coil, and glue tissue paper ... that's all you do.

Our barnyard rooster, rabbit, basket, and huge Easter egg all start with tissue-paper braids. To build them, you coil and glue the braids; each takes about 4 hours.

Materials. For each basket, you'll need three or four 20-sheet packages of tissue paper (about $2 each) in your choice of colors; also scissors, about a quart of white craft glue, a wooden stick for spreading (or use your hands), and satin-finish polyurethane. For the egg, you'll alos need a 2- by 28-inch piece of cardboard or poster board and a 2-1/2-foot strip of plastic wrap.

Cut the tissue-paper sheets in half lengthwise and twist each half to make it loosely strand-like. Tie or tape ends of three strands together and weight ends down with heavy books. Braid tightly and evenly; every foot or two, stretch braid to smooth out any bumps. When 3 inches from the end of a strand, insert about 3 inches of a new strand, twist old tightly around new, and continue braiding.

Later, as you coil the braids to make the shapes, glue them together with lots of craft glue, pinching coils and shaping form with your hands before the glue dries. (The glue disappears when dry.)

To start the basket, coil braid on edge to form a 4-1/2-inch-diameter disk. Apply glue to top edge of coil on perimeter of this disk. Continue coiling braid to make 4- to 5-inch-high sides, but now stack coils flat. To slope sides, place coils toward the inside or outside edge of the coil beneath.

To make the 8-inch-high handle, leave the two upper coils of the sides unglued. Weave a new segment of braid back and forth two or three times under the coils, gluing as you go. Pinch braids firmly where handle meets coils. Glue a braid of contrasting color to underside of handle. Tuck under ends; glue upper coils.

Form the rooster's 6- by 7-inch oval bottom and sloping body by following instructions for the basket.

Make tail loops by continuing braid from top body coil. Extend the same braid to make a 4-inch-high tapering neck and the beak. Form comb with a different-color braid; secure with a short piece of body braid. Add tissue-paper wattle; glue on buttons for eyes.

To make the rabbit's 5- by 7-inch oval bottom, coil the braid on edge. Build up the 3-1/2-inch-high body by gluing each coil three-fourths of the way up the inside of the coil beneath it.

Extend top body coil forward to shape the outermost coil of the head (the distance from nose to tail should measure 11 inches), then loop back to fill in the chin area. With a new braid, coil upward to form the 4-inch-high sloped head, gluing each concentric coil about halfway up the inside of the coil beneath it in front, three-fourths up the inside of the coil beneath it in back.

Before gluing top head coils, use a separate braid to make 4-1/2-inch-tall ears; tuck ends under head coils. Before glue dries, attach a contrasting-color braid segment to ear fronts; press firmly.

Make the 7-inch-long legs, 1-1/2-inch-diameter tail, and 1-1/2-inch-long paws; fold under braid ends and glue pieces to body. Glue on buttons for eyes, a piece of tissue paper for the nose.

Make each half of the 14-inch egg separately, using a large kitchen bowl as a mold for the first several coils. Coil the braid on edge; build up sides by overlapping each coil partway up the outside of the coil beneath it.

Make the bottom half first; its rim diameter should be 1 inch less than that of the top half. As you approach the rim, glue 1/2 inch of the cardboard strip around the interior coils, then continue the rim to the top of the cardboard, gluing and flattening braids against the cardboard as you go. Next make the top half. Shape its rim against the bottom half's rim, after protecting that rim with plastic wrap.

To hinge the halves, form a loop by extending the rim coil of the top half onto the side of the bottom half, and back. Glue securely; snip and tie braid end.

Let the baskets dry for 24 hours and then spray or brush on polyurethane.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1985
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