Creative Joyful Thing No.9

*Make something out of paper mache*

There are various websites that give you tips, have a google if you need help!

(Send me some photos, no need to send the actual creation)



So, that was the brief. I had an idea of doing something abstract inspired by both a shell and a wave. I have a broken shell that I found on the beach and imagined it looking something like that, only bigger. I think the spirals within shells can really echo the shape of waves.

This is the shell:

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

So I researched some shell and wave images on the internet and tried to do some sketches to develop my idea. The drawing didn’t work very well as it was so 2D but looking at the images was good.

I have no experience of paper mache at all, or making 3D objects and getting something made in reality that looked anything like what was in my head was going to be difficult. What was made was certainly nothing like I planned!

I wanted to use a kind of minced paper mache mix that is a bit like clay and you can mould into whatever shapes you want. But on the day I ended up starting the project I had no help to prepare that mixture and it was very labour intensive, so I went with the old-fashioned strips of paper glued together method. I covered various curved objects with clingfilm and covered them with the glued strips. They then had to dry before adding more layers.

Here they are drying:
cjt9 dry

Here are some stages of assembly:

cjt 3 cjt9 1

Here is the final piece:

IMG_5238 IMG_5226 IMG_5236

I painted it with spray cans to get into all the tricky bits. I was going to paint more detail onto it, but I quite liked it as it was. It is far from the beautiful object that I imagined, but it has pretty much met the brief I set for it, with the spiral inside the wave being reminicent of the inside of a shell (maybe!).

I did also make another shape, which was more shell than wave:


I was going to paint/stencil tiny waves breaking down each raised spine, but in the end I decided not to use my energy for that as I liked the other form better.

Here is what Rachael made:


He is a special dog with a secret compartment!



Look at his gorgeous felty tongue! I need to name him – suggestions welcome!


I have been to the coast a few times in recent months and have found some beautiful shells, sea glass and bits of coal.

I had been thinking about doing something with them, but had not come up with anything specific. Then a friend’s birthday was coming up and I wondered if I could make some stickers to decorate her presents.

I spread out the shells but needed a background, then remembered another friend had given me some postcards she made which had a sandy background! Perfect! So I had a photo shoot and really enjoyed it. The fiddling about with the sticker set-up for the printer was less fun, but I got there in the end and I made a sheet of tiny but lovely stickers. I stuck them all over my friend’s presents and also gave her a sheet so she can decorate letters and packages for other people too, as she loves that kind of thing.

The best bit is that it is all set up so I can print more off or change the images quite easily for new stickers!