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It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I read the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce and was utterly smitten with them. One thing that stuck with me was that one of her strong heroines had a collection of maneki neko figurines (aka lucky cats). For many years I kept a single lucky cat with me. However, over the past month or so I’ve gone a little maneki neko crazy and have an actual collection (some at home, and some at work).
It was when I received one of my online orders in which I had added a few <em>Funko Pops</em> that I had one of my <em>SHAZAM!</em> moments: I could turn the Cake figurine from <em>Adventure Time</em> into a customized maneki neko!
Now, I’ve never attempted to customize any of my vinyl figures (one of my other collections), but I had recently read <a href=”http://www.epbot.com/2014/08/diy-pop-crowley-tutorial.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Epbot’s customization experience</a> which encouraged me to give it a go.
Obviously, from the image at the top of this post, I tried it, and it turned out crazy-awesome! I’ll share some info on the process below all of the following photos in case you’re curious. If you’re not curious, then I hope that you enjoy the photos:
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<img class=”alignnone size-large wp-image-2508″ src=”https://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/maneki-cake-o4.jpg?w=584″ alt=”” width=”584″ height=”745″><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-2503″ src=”https://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/sunbeam-cakeol.jpg” alt=”” width=”401″ height=”317″>
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I call her <em>Maneki Cake-O</em>, and she takes a very special spot in my special collection.
I had to make two paperclay BMO’s – the first one was rather sad and flat. When I started building it out – that’s when it finally looked good. After the paperclay dried, I painted a coat of gesso over it, and then gold leafed it. I had never used either paperclay or gold leaf before – so I was sweating a bit. But both were easy enough. I was very glad that I bought a set of three basic clay sculpting tools to use – they immeasurably helped the process.
Other than that, I used E6000, several cheap small basic paint brushes, a gold leaf pen (to hide a few cracks in the gold leaf), a red ribbon, and a tiny bell to complete the look. The only thing that I would do differently in the future is that I’d like to try Loctite instead of the E6000.
If you’d like to give this a go, then I say <strong><em>go for it!</em></strong> If you have any questions for me, then don’t hesitate to either ask in the comments or email me. I’ll happily try and answer as soon as I can.