Friday, 14 September 2012

Traction Man by Mini Grey and Laura K

Now for something totally different.

A couple of days ago I was asked by a colleague to  decorate a shoe box,  she wanted it to resemble toy packaging for an action figure.
As she will be reading the  book "Traction Man" by Mini Grey to her class.
It's a lovely book with fabulous art work. The story is a little bizzare. But I am sure the children will love the adventures of Traction Man.... My Hubby did! Especially the bit about the knitted green jump suit.

I personally  had never heard of Traction Man, so I borrowed the book to give me some ideas what it was all about and how to decorate the box.
Low and behold the illustrator (who I am guessing is Mini Grey) had made my job relatively easy as she had a picture of the packaging in the book.
All I had to do was produce something similar so the children will think this the real deal , so to speak.
Jenny only asked me to  decorate  the shoe box.
Upon seeing the figure she had brought in with it,  I thought
kids being kids, are not going to think much of a decorated shoe box with an everyday figure, wearing a white woolly  jumper and a pair of green  trousers in it.
So  me being me thought I would take the project a step further and attempt to make the  Traction man outfit  to make it a little more realistic and exciting for them.

Some off cuts of curtain lining I had been hanging onto finally came in handy.  I  painted the multi coloured zig zag design onto the fabric with acrylic paints for the trousers and wrote the words POW!.  ZAP! & BAM! onto a second piece of fabric and outlined them with orange paint, then filled in the background with blue paint.
Once the paint was dry I proceeded to cut out and sew the pieces together.
I didn't have any red trim for the neck line and armholes. So I used white stretchy binding.
I used some black grosgrain and an old shoe buckle for the belt.

I made a false bottom for the box to bring the figure nearer to the acetate window.
I sponged clouds onto the background and  punched  two holes through the false bottom (at the figures waist)  then threaded  a length of clear elastic through the holes to secure the figure to the background.
Then wrapped the shoe box in the brown paper , the stuff Stampin' up!  use in the packaging of our  orders (after I had ironed it of course)  I stuck some old stamps on it and with some  rubber stamps I stamped  a couple of post mark images over the real stamps and addressed it to school.
 It looked quite authentic by time I had finished.

Next week Traction Man will arrive at school in the post.
As he arrives in the post in the book.
The children will  hear the story and will then be writing their own stories based on the character Traction Man .
Creating the figure makes the character more real to them. Which hopefully will have an impact on their story writing. 

I am quite pleased with the way this project  has turned out.
 I am quite sure Jenny will be very surprised to see her figure dressed as Traction man and hopefully  she 'll be pleased with the finished project too.


Emma Clement said...

That is absolutely brilliant! I came across your blog post because my little boy (year 1) is learning about traction man and wants one for Christmas! In school they've been using an old action man. Considering most schools seem to be doing Traction Man for the past couple of years, I'm surprised none of the big toy companies have just made one! Thank you for sharing, you did an amazing job!

Laura Kimber said...

Awww thank you Emma. I am surprised the toy manufacturers haven't jumped all over this one. Traction man is very popular in schools. We were using an old action man too. The kids loved it when a parcel arrived at school addressed to their classes. I played postman/ photographer that day so I could see their little faces when the parcel was opened and take photos. Obviously I can't post those photos on here. It was a joy to see their faces and hear the gasps as traction was revealed.

L said...

Wow! Would you make another one to sell? I would be interested in buying one.

Laura Kimber said...

Hi L... Sorry I wouldn't make another to sell ....I'm afraid I may break some copyright laws by doing it to sell.

L said...

That's a shame but I understand your reason.