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Make It : Safari Animal Hooks

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Friday's Martha Stewart Show was our annual "Baby Shower Show," featuring our favorite baby finds, a recipe for a "reveal cake" and, of course, a craft: these nursery hooks, which turn animal rumps and tails into a convenient organizational tool:

Click on the photo for the animal hook how-to ...

Audience member Lizzy McGlynn did a fantastic job making these with Martha. Even though my one-year-old Jack's nursery is ocean/nautical themed, I liked making these so much that I made one for the back of his door:

And Art Director and mom Anduin Havens hung one at her daughter Harper's level, so she could help with clean up - GREAT idea!

If you are planning on making these yourself, click through the gallery below for my more in-depth instructions on how to pattern the animals:

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The zebra was painted with a black base coat, then I used skinny patterning tape in a zigzag to make his (or her) stripes.

1 The zebra was painted with a black base coat, then I used skinny patterning tape in a zigzag to make his (or her) stripes.

I found that pressing the tape down with a bone folder, especially where it meets the edges of the stencil, prevents having to do a lot of touch-up work later.

2 I found that pressing the tape down with a bone folder, especially where it meets the edges of the stencil, prevents having to do a lot of touch-up work later.

Then I simply pounced over the zebra with white paint...

3 Then I simply pounced over the zebra with white paint...

The whole stencil and tape can be peeled back at once, when you're finished ...

4 The whole stencil and tape can be peeled back at once, when you're finished ...

Now, for the tiger. I wanted him (or her) to have black and white dart shapes to give sort of a tabby effect. For this I used the thicker patterning tape (with thin tape at the ears and legs).

5 Now, for the tiger. I wanted him (or her) to have black and white dart shapes to give sort of a tabby effect. For this I used the thicker patterning tape (with thin tape at the ears and legs).

Pounced the whole thing white - but don't peel off the whole stencil yet! This tiger needs some black markings too. Only peel off the tape ....

6 Pounced the whole thing white - but don't peel off the whole stencil yet! This tiger needs some black markings too. Only peel off the tape ....

... to reveal the white markings. Let it dry, then ....

7 ... to reveal the white markings. Let it dry, then ....

Add more patterning tape, slightly offset from the white markings.

8 Add more patterning tape, slightly offset from the white markings.

Pounce the whole thing black! While we wait for that to dry, let's work on the elephant.

9 Pounce the whole thing black! While we wait for that to dry, let's work on the elephant.

The elephant was stippled with a darker gray to give him (or her) some texture. I found that stippling a piece of scrap paper to get MOST of the paint off first gave me the best effect.

10 The elephant was stippled with a darker gray to give him (or her) some texture. I found that stippling a piece of scrap paper to get MOST of the paint off first gave me the best effect.

Here's the gray elephant with the darker gray stippled over.

11 Here's the gray elephant with the darker gray stippled over.

I did the same for the lion's body, but this time with a lighter color.

12 I did the same for the lion's body, but this time with a lighter color.

Ta-da!

13 Ta-da!

The lion texture is subtle, but I'm happy with the result. Zebra is still my fave.

14 The lion texture is subtle, but I'm happy with the result. Zebra is still my fave.

My husband suggested a row of all elephants with hooks for trunks would also be cute. Maybe in different colors? Pink elephants? Who wants to try it?!

 

Comments (15)

  • This is a great idea! Perfect as a birthday present or as a baby shower gift.

  • Cute and funny, and useful! Very cool idea

  • These could be changed to cats or dogs or any pet with a tail. Great for hanging up your pets supplies.

  • I love this! Where did youget the stencils?
    Thanks!

  • This is the most delightful project that I just finished. Thanks for the step by step instruction. Can you tell me what kind of hanging hardware I will need to put on the back in order to mount on the wall?

  • Crafter Comment:

    Hi Linda! I used D-ring hangers like this on the back:
    http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Hardware-Fasteners-Fasteners-Picture-Hanging/h_d1/N-5yc1vZaqpq/R-100058482/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051
    and then carefully measured and placed screws in the back of a door to hook them onto.
    Another option is to remove one screw from the "tails" of the two animals on the ends, and use a long screw to screw directly through the board into the wall or door. (This is obviously a more permanent solution!). Glad you enjoyed the project - please send us pictures if you get the chance! Cheers!

  • I am in the process of making the safari animal hooks wall plaques. I painted my board with matte paint, but the adhesive film is not sticking. I am just pressing it down and hopeing for the best. So far, it looks good, although I haven't removed the paper. Has anyone else had problems with the film sticking?

  • Oops, I sent the earlier comment to soon. It appears I did not read the directions correctly. The film is actually stuck to the board, but I did not remove the paper template. So, all is good. I will procede. Thanks, Dianne

  • I don't seem to get the patterns except for the Elephant. I have tried all the highlighted areas.

    Betty

  • I was putting these up at a Infant Center to hang diaper bags on in the hallway outside the classroom.
    They will get used several times a day. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can keep paint from peeling off the hooks. I thought just varnish unless you have a better idea.

  • Crafter Comment:

    Betty, under "Tools and Materials," try clicking on the highlighted words "Tiger" ... "zebra," and "lion." You may need to check the "downloads" window of your browser if they do not pop up immediately. Have fun!

  • Crafter Comment:

    Donna, great idea! I would let the hooks air-cure for about 3 weeks so that the paint is maximally bonded with the metal, then spray or paint with a matte varnish like Martha's Satin Enamel Finish. If you have already been using the hooks, touch up any worn areas first, let dry for at least a few days, then seal. Enjoy!

  • When I apply the paint with the pouncer I get air bubbles in it. Am I pressing too hard? Did anyone else have this problem?

  • Crafter Comment:

    Hi Donna!
    You will get a few bubbles with the pouncers - most of the bubbles will pop as the paint dries, and the texture that results is unique to pouncing paint. If you find that you are getting an extreme amount of bubbles in your paint, first make sure that your pouncer is completely dry from the last cleaning. Don't overload the pouncer with paint, and don't over-pounce, as more pouncing introduces more air. Hope this helps!
    Cheers,
    Kirsten

  • Crafter Comment:

    Hi Dianne,

    If you are using Martha Stewart adhesive film and burnishing it down, it should stick. If you're still having trouble, we suggest spraying it with Martha Stewart stencil adhesive to give it extra strength.

    Good luck!

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