Hi fellow party planners! A reader recently requested a tutorial for the fire hydrant seen here:
I will give you the step-by-step directions below. I should have taken pictures as I worked, but I was in my basement craft room and haven’t properly lit the place for photos yet…soon, I promise!
Materials: 10″ Quik-Tube, 10″ bowl, cardboard, packing tape, Elmer’s White glue, water, Baby Food Squeeze Lids (6), ribbon spools (2), toilet paper roll, newsprint, red paint
1. Buy a Quik-Tube at your local hardware store. I got a 10″ diameter tube.
2. Saw your Quik-Tube to the desired height of your hydrant “body”. Mine is about 2 feet tall. A Sawzall works great for this, but a regular saw or heavy-duty Xacto knife should also work.
3. Cut three circles that are 2″ larger than your Quik-Tube opening (In my case, the circles were 12″.) I traced the mouth of a trashcan for my circles. Glue these circles on top of one another so you get the desired thickness for the top rim of the fire hydrant. Tape them to the top of the Quik-Tube with packing tape.
4. Find a 10″ bowl, flip it upside down, and cover it with Saran Wrap so that it does not get damaged. Mix Elmer’s white glue and water in a 1:1 ratio. Dip strips of newsprint in the mixture, squeegee excess mixture off the paper with your fingers, and layer over the Saran Wrap. Let your paper mache dry between layers. I used three layers.
5. Remove the dried paper mache shell from the Saran-wrapped bowl. Keeping it upside down, center it on top of the cardboard circles you just used as a lid to the Quik-Tube. Stuff some extra newspaper under it for stability. Tape the shell to the lid with packing tape.
6. Now it is time to make the knobs on the side of the fire hydrant. This is the tricky part. I cut a 6″ circle from cardboard and a long strip of craft foam. Wrap the craft foam into a 6″ circle and tape the cardboard circle on top. On top of the cardboard circle, tape a ribbon spool. On top of the ribbon spool, tape a lid from a baby squeeze tube, like those from Ella’s Kitchen. When attaching the entire “knob” configuation to the side of the Quik-Tube with packing tape, you will need to cut a little sliver from the top and bottom edge of the foam (the side without the cardboard attached) so that the knob sits flush on the tube. Repeat these directions for the other knob and position it 180 degrees around the circle from where you placed the first knob (Mine were slightly off, but it wasn’t obvious).
7. Cut a 2″ piece of a toilet paper roll and tape to the top of the upside-down bowl shell. Cover the top of the roll with tape so that it is closed.
8. Tape 4 more lids from the baby squeeze tubes onto the cardboard around the paper mache bowl shell at the positions of 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock.
9. Paint the whole thing red. I used Krylon Fusion “Banner Red” spray paint. It worked like a charm in 1.5 coats.
Note: For best results, use paper mache and glue to adhere all parts of the fire hydrant together. However, if you are short on time (like me) tape works fine and the Krylon Fusion paint adheres well to the tape. There will just be a few spots on your fire hydrant that look a little “shiny” (see my image above).