Of the two species of elephants, the African elephant is endangered as of 2011 because of overhunting for its ivory and assorted body parts. African elephants have larger ears than Asian elephants. Asian elephants are smooth, but African elephants are wrinkly. To reflect your or the gift recipient's love of elephants make a homemade gift with an elephant theme.
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Paper Mache Elephant Foot Planter
At the turn of the 20th century, elephant feet were prized for their exoticness and made into planters, umbrella stands. You can find authentic planters at antique sales, but importing new ones is illegal. Make an elephant-foot planter from papier-mâché: Place a 1-gallon plastic plant pot onto a vinyl-covered table, then tear newspaper into 1-inch-wide by 12-inch long strips and fill a 5-gallon bucket with the strips. Pour undiluted liquid fabric starch into the bucket until the strips become saturated. Cover the plastic pot, overlapping the strips, until you have covered the pot and the paper layers are about 2 inches thick. (You may have to continue to make newspaper strips.) Crumble four wads of newspaper into fist size, and arrange them around one side of the pot. Cover these wads with papier-mâché, attaching the strips to the pot and over the wads until the layers are about 1 inch thick. These structures will serve as the "toenails." Allow the papier-mâché to dry for about a week. Paint the planter dark grey with acrylic paint, and paint the toenails ivory. Place an artificial plant in the plastic pot inside the planter.
Print an elephant colouring page, and cut out the elephant. Paint the elephant with grey acrylic or watercolour paint, or colour it. Glue the elephant onto silver metallic card stock and cut it from the paper with a craft knife, leaving a 1/2-inch border of paper around the shape. Fold a piece of white glossy 8-1/2-inch wide by 11-inch-long card stock in half horizontally. Center and glue the elephant on the metallic card stock onto the front of the card.
Use a bookmark template to print bookmarks onto grey card stock. Cut out the bookmarks. Print an elephant head image onto grey card stock, resized so the image measures about 1/2 inch wider than the bookmark and about one-quarter the size of the bookmark. Cut out the elephant head, then glue it onto the top 1 inch of the bookmark. Place the bookmark onto clear adhesive paper and fold the adhesive paper over the top of the bookmark, completely encasing it in adhesive paper. Cut out the bookmark, leaving a 1/4-inch border of clear paper around it.
Fabric Gift Ideas
Using your favourite tote bag or throw pillow pattern, sew a bag or pillow from elephant-print fabric. Vintage and modern fabrics featuring elephant prints --- either cartoon or realistic portrayals of elephants --- are available for craft purposes. Use patterns for place mats and cloth napkins to create these fabric items from elephant-printed fabric as well. Or use elephant-printed fabric to sew pillowcases. You can use textured, sueded fabrics resembling elephant skin texture to make pillows and totes as well.
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