Saturday, November 7, 2015

Wampanoag Chief Canister Character Assembly

This Thanksgiving, honor the spirit of welcome 
and shared thanksgiving offered by native Americans 
who tutored the Jamestown settlers about north American survival. 
This dimensional character is built from card stock paper
as a tall "lid" canister with shorter "base" 
where lower arm and hand with pumpkin are attached. 
Measures approx. 7.75" to top of head. 

1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A, D-F main canister body, rims & whole end
B canister base,  C base flanges,  G base end
H hair dome, front headband & accent sections
I back headband & accent sections
J left, right hair sections, side lock & braid bands
K necklace base, bead & tooth shapes
L torso   M shirt & accent   N sleeve upper
O sleeve lower with fringe section
P head feather bases & accents
Q front head with eyebrow shapes
R mid head with mouth, eyes liner, pupils
S nose    T head base   U hand and thumb
V side hair feathers, medallion and bead
W pumpkin assembly
2. Prepare the canister main shape by bending back on all vertical (long) perforation lines. Bend back along top and bottom inner rim perforation lines, and forward along tab perf lines closest to edges.

The canister shape as shown here is oriented with the top up, which end can be identified with the small 'T' cut in the tab margin, indicated by the pointing finger.

The top tab set is not as deep as the bottom tab set.
3. The canister rim tabs fold to the backside/inside of the canister body, with the inner margin attached to form the tab, and the bottom tab extended toward the canister's interior space to hold the rim ring and end cap.

Leave the end tabs opposite the long side tab unattached at this point of assembly. Fold the inner margin of top edge down, and attach in place; fold the inner margin of bottom edge up, and attach in place. 
4. Form the canister body into a tube to bring the straight long edge to overlap the long tab, adjust so that top and bottom perforation and tab fold edges align exactly, and join the seam.
5. Fold the remaining rim tabs at top and bottom inward and attach the inner margin of each as with the other rim tabs.
6. Bend the unattached rim tabs perpendicular to tube walls. Apply adhesive to the tab faces, and place the top rim over the tabs, adjusting the octagonal opening as necessary to match the ring outer shape.
Reach fingertip into the canister space to "pinch" along each facet of the ring to attach all tabs to underside of ring.

NOTE: it is easy to squash the rim ring, so take care when handling to maintain the octagonal canister shape until the glue is secure and strengthening the rim opening.

Repeat the ring placement and attachment process for the bottom canister opening in similar fashion.
7. for the TOP opening only, position and attach whole end shape over the ring shape, for strength and reinforcement.
8. Prepare the bottom "base" canister end by bending back on all vertical and tab perforation lines.

9. Fold the top edge tabs back and glue in place, except leave the tab opposite the side seam tab unattached at this point of assembly.

10. Form the base into a tube to bring straight side edge to overlap at opposite tab perforation line, adjust to align top and bottom edges precisely, and glue in place.

11. Fold the final tab down into place and attach.
12. Bend tabs inward. Position and attach the whole end cap to each tab, adjusting base shape to align corner edges and cap shape edges.
13. Prepare the eight base flange shapes (used to hold the base canister in place at bottom of main canister) by folding upper section back and gluing in place to the backside. 
NOTE that each flange includes a letter ('S' for side) or symbol (circle for corner angles; star for front, back) to indicate attachment positioning.
14. Apply glue to the backside bottom portion of each tab, then insert into the base interior and attach to the appropriate wall.
To help the flanges fit more snugly, bend them outward slightly.
"Dry fit" the canister body and base together to see how they connect. Flanges should slide inside the bottom rim of body.
15. Bend the sides back of the lower front panel (not shown in the cutting layout guide, 
Step 1). Position and attach at the center only lower front of the base, aligning bottom edges, bend angles.
16. Pre-assemble the torso shapes as shown. Bend the torso and shirt shapes back slightly at vertical perforations.

17. Position and attach the lower sleeve with fringe to the right end of lower panel.
18. Position torso unit at lower front of main canister, aligning bottom edges and perforation lines of each, and attach the center portion only.
19. Prepare the three layers and nose shapes by bending back on perforation lines. Attach eyebrows to top/upper face shape. (Eye assembly will be shown in next steps.)
20. Position and attach the eye liner rectangle behind the eye openings of the mid face shape, taking care that the nose slots are not covered. On the front, position and attach each pupil in eye recess.
21. Prepare the nose by bending to bring the center straight edge to overlap the wedge tab to perforation line, and glue edge in place.
22. Insert nose tabs through slots on mid face shape . . .
. . . then bend tabs outward on backside and glue in place.
23. Position and attach face layers, aligning and centering top edges. Attach mouth below nose.
24. Position face assembly, centered, over torso on canister, just above neckline of shirt, as shown by pointing finger.
25. Pre-assemble headband feathers (top), left and right hair braid units, necklace, pumpkin, forelock medallion and feathers (right).
26. Position and attach pumpkin unit in palm of hand on base. Position and attach necklace below chin of face on torso.
27. Prepare the hair "dome" shape by bending back on all vertical and horizontal perforation lines, and on all wedge and side tabs.
28. Bend section straight edges into position to overlap adjacent wedge tab perf line and glue in place, working first with the middle segment, then completing upper segment of each seam edge. 
29. Form the dome into a "tube" to bring the side straight edge lower segment to overlap opposite tab perf line, then attach. Also align and attach the two segments of side seam above.
30. Bend the top "octagon" down and attach to the small tabs at top of each section of dome.
31. First dry fit the hair dome over the upper portion of main canister . . .
. . . pushing into position so that the lower edge sits snugly above ears. Also check . . .
. . . hair section shapes, which have upper center curved edges that correspond to the front lower curve edge of the hair dome. Once it is understood what the final position of dome should be, along with hair sections, attach dome, left and right hair sections in place.
32. Position and attach the hair forelock over the chief's left ear. Bend the front headband section on perforations, then position and attach, with lower front center edge aligned at corresponding edge of hair dome that still shows between hair sections. 
33. Position and attach back feathers so that back headband section will overlap, then attach back headband. Bend, position, and attach front and back headband accents.

34. Attach forelock feather medallion in position shown. And the Chief is complete!
Here are the three Autumn Canister Characters.
SVG downloads are available for all three,
through SVG Attic,, 
and Silhouette America's online store


  1. coucou! bonjour

    que se passe t-il, je souhiterais acheter le superbe indien, mais il a disparu du site silhouette on line, vont ils le remettre en vente??

    merci bien cordialement martine

    1. I have inquired by email to the Silhouette America design review team. I will see what they have to say about why t was removed. It will also be available soon through our own as an svg download. I will keep you advised.

    2. Martine, le design est encore dans le site silhouette on line.