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Mardi Gras Flying Unicorn

Made by Kayla Odom

I was charged with creating a wagon-sized Mardi Gras float for my daughter’s Pre-K parade. She said she wanted a unicorn, so I set to work.

I’m glad I found this template, because I had 11 days to pull this off, and the template saved me from spending a ton of time sculpting the facial structure.

I attached the cardboard horse’s head onto a piece of cardboard at the height I wanted, then formed the upper torso and back with chicken wire, newspaper, and masking tape. I used paper mache clay to cover most of the structure (strips and paste for the fine details). I used a matte white spray paint and primer to seal it, because I didn’t have time for gesso and paint.

I also didn’t have time for a sculpted mane to dry, so I used a cheap white wig. If you look too close you can see that I didn’t have time to cover the root area and make it look more natural, but because I used fairly long flange pieces on the neck, when they dried they kind of curled over, and I was able to keep the strips of wig sewn together (I just cut them free of the mesh cap) and glue them underneath the flange so they were hidden. Then the top pieces were just kind of teased up and flipped over the flange to hide it.

Overall I am pleased with how it turned out. The wings (made of wire covered with foam and individually glued feathers) are tied together with ribbon and draped over the horse. Another set of ribbons holds the tips of the wings in position over the wagon.

Mardi Gras Flying Unicorn made by Kayla Odom
Mardi Gras Flying Unicorn made by Kayla Odom

3 thoughts on “Mardi Gras Flying Unicorn”

  1. Very impressive!
    I think using the wig is excellent – gives the creature a very warm cuddly feel.
    And the wings – oh my – having worked with feathers and glue myself, I know what a battle that can be. Fantastic results for that effort!!

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  2. 11 days??? Wow – I am truly impressed. The wings are wonderful, the unicorn’s mane looks great. I don’t know how you did it all so fast! Your daughter must have been very excited when she saw it. 🙂

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