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 Funko Pops that I had one of my SHAZAM! moments: I could turn the Cake figurine from Adventure Time 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 Epbot’s customization experience 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:
I call her Maneki Cake-O, 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 go for it! 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.