Friday, 22 February 2013

Oh, what a tangled web . . .

The box of toys has finally been assembled for the loft, including the mini baby doll I had mislaid earlier. Rather than blow dust over the arrangement, I wanted to try the cobwebbed effect. It seemed logical to use genuine spiders' webs and so I set out for a prime source - the festoons hanging inside the windows of our garden shed. 

I made a loop of wire and harvested what I thought would be enough, keeping a wary eye open for any spidery movements. Not that I'm particularly scared of them but I am very allergic to being bitten (don't let anyone tell you we have no venomous spiders in the UK, I was sensitized by a harmless-looking little number that crawled out of a bag of grapes).

The initial problem was carrying the web material back up to the house in a keen easterly wind. Of course, it promptly wrapped itself around the wire. Once indoors I had to tease the stuff apart  in order to spread it over the toys. I was surprised it didn't disintegrate, quite the contrary, it's really tough and has a lot of stretchability. 

The snag is that web silk is designed to stick to any living thing that isn't a spider, so half of it kept coming away with my fingers. And it was so strong that I found I couldn't break off the unwanted bits without dislodging the toys. It was definitely one of those frustrating times when you think 'only a miniaturist would even contemplate this!'

So here's the result. It's only an experiment, I could try teased-out cotton wool instead. Or perhaps I'll just leave the toybox down in the shed for a few weeks and let the spiders deal with it all by themselves.



  1. what a great idea! It looks fantastic and very realistic (of course, it's real spiderweb!) and in scale. I can imagine it was hard to handle, being so sticky, more to fingers, than non-living things ;)

    1. Thanks Monique, I'm honestly surprised that the experiment worked so well. To date, the cobwebs have survived OK, as for a realistic layer of dust - well, I only have to leave the box somewhere around the house to collect it quite naturally!

  2. Oh! Those poor toys!

    Fabulous effect though. :)

    1. Glad you like it Christine. There's something quite poignant about abandoned toys - but hey, these guys should be glad, they've got starring roles in the loft after all - and it was only a web transplant, no toy was actually touched by a live spider!