May 24, 2009

Glitter Wire Napkin Rings

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 9:05 am

Pastal glitter napkin rings On a napkin

I made this set of six napkin rings as a wedding pesant for my cousin to go with a dinner service set, place matts and table cloth and napkins.

I used pink, blue and white irredescent glitter craft wire that I bought from the Works in Stroud – unfortunatly this chain of shops has been closing down so I got the last two packets they had so decided that I would make the napkin rings in three colours. Each packet had three coils in of wire in it – one of each colour.

The only other equipment I used was Artistic Wire’s Wire Worker – which has several sharft of didfferent diameter and cross sectional shape – ie long sticks of either plastic or metal that are either round rods or triangular prisms or square cross section. These fit into a handle that allows you to twist and wrap the wire around the shafts very easily. It also has holes in the handle so you can poke the wire through and twist it round the handle so it doesn’t slip when you initially start work.

And wire cutters.

Wire and wire working equipment

Unfortunatly the wire that I had was thicker than the bead making wire you normal use with this as I wanted the napkin rings to be sturdy. The wire would not poke through the wholes with out skimming off the glittery outer – which was actually Fabric!

Twisting around the wire former

So I had to hold the wire in place and wrap the wire around the square shaft slowely – I find you can’t really just twist the wire quickly around anything thats not round as you have to press the wire onto each flat side of the square (or triangular shaft) inorder to get the square shape. Also you have to be careful to make each twist of the wire sit net to the last on the shaft.

Once all the wire from the coil was on the shaft I eased it off – the result was a sqaure twist spring or coil.

pink glitter wire coil

I gently eased the coil into a slightly looser spring until it was the right length to wrap round into the napkin ring. I pushed the two ends of the spring together so that the coils over lapped. Making sure it was sucurely fixed I cut the ends of the wore off and bent them into the inside of the spring so there were no sharp ends sticking out.

Finished pink glitter napkin ring

I then did this with the other five coils of wire I had – I discovered that the first one I had made was a looser spring than the subsequent ones but apart from that it was easy to make them all about the same size.

May 17, 2009

Arty Hospital

Filed under: Art and Drawings,Science and Art — sarah @ 11:10 am

I have unfortunatly ended up in hospital recently but this turned out to be quiet a creative thing to happen – first off I ended up writing poetry and a short story for my duaghter and then I scetched an idea of the view from the hospital window (drawing with a canular in is a bit of an issue as bending arm is not really ideal :/). It was a sketch of what was there as such but the bits of the landscape I wanted to keep for a future picture and possible story. In biro in a reporters note pad – and its not very good!

But it also ment I got to see my Art teatchers work – Gloucester Royal has a lot of art and stuff lurking I assume to cheer up the staff and patients – in one of the main walkways by the reception there is a section of wall that is pieces of plaster moulded into various shapes – including two feet places above the end of a wooden bed sted – giving the illusion of a plaster patient asleep inside the wall.

The 3D topical relief on this piece of work lent it a depth and the plaster casts where of various things like stethoscopes, and vials, plus a doll and her foot steps 🙂 He’d told me in class that he had turned up at the hospital with bowls of sand and mixing stuff for the plaster – set it up on tables and then got passers by to stick objects into the sand and gently take them out again. He then poured the paster of paris in to the impression in the sand. Eventually it hardened and he took out the casts – they are coated in sand most of which he brushed off leaving a little to bring out the definition of the finer detail of the object.

Obviously a lot of the casts weren’t any good as they had bubbles and things in them and Mark said some of the things people decided he should try and cast couldn’t really go up! :/ But he viewed it as a community project and I personally think its one of the best pieces of hospital I have seen and as I’ve used to go to Chelsea and Westminster hospital that is saying something!

May 4, 2009

Shark Fin For the Shark Infested Custard

Filed under: Kids Projects,Paper Craft,Upcycling — sarah @ 8:25 am

For our Cub pack we made up a large Shark Infested Puzzle Solving Game but of corse that means we needed some sharks so we set about making some!

Al with his pride and joy


corrigated cardboard – an old cardboard box will do nicely!

Sturdy scissors or a stanly knife


Black Sack, paint or paper – if using paper you will need glue as well

shark fin

Cut out the fin shape – this is two curves making up a sort of curvy tapering triangle shape – think rose thorn. Then bend the bottom inch or around 2.5 cm of the fins base up to create a ridge for sticking it too the base. If you are having trouble folding the cardboard then use a metal ruler and a knife to score but not cut all the way through, this will make the cardboard easier to fold.


Cut a rectangle to fit the fin – this will be the base and as such you can scale the shark fins to what ever size you want though bigger fins will need thicker card and smaller fins thiner card.

attatching the fin to the base

Tape the fin to the base.

with bright green gaffer tape

tape to make it stand up

one fin on base its thin

bin bag

Cut a black bin liner up into panels you can wrap around and tap to the fin.

wripping the cellotape

We used clear cellotape for this and thick green packing tape for the structure of the fin.

wrapping it around

forming to the fin tearing the cellotape the base needs covering too you know

And you have a shark fin ready to play! If you paint and vanish it or use a glue to attack the bag then the fin becomes waterproof too! (well to a certain level!)

Al with his pride and joy

Here it is at the village hall awaiting the fin fun!

serious health and saftey issue

May 3, 2009

Aladdin’s Lamp

Filed under: My Drawings/Paintings,Papier Mache — sarah @ 8:59 pm

For World Book Day my little girls pre-school was having a Come as a Story Book Character Day so I had to think up a costum. We decided on Alladin and I set to work making an Alladdins lamp complete with genie.

Jeany Aladine

For the lamp I used:

  • News paper preferable two colours so you can keep track of layers

  • PVA white craft glue

  • Scrape card – the sort junk mail comes on!

  • Cellotape

  • Scissors

  • Tissues or loo/toliet roll

  • Hot melt glue gun

  • Pencil

  • Paint brush

  • Pots to put water, paint, glue in – old yogurt pots or dip containers are good for this

  • One small balloon

  • One cup or sturdy pot

First off all I blew up a small balloon to the size I wanted the body of the lamp to be. I then placed this in a cup to stop it rolling around. I laid some of the newspaper on the table as a working surface and then tore up some to make a pile of pink paper and a pile of white paper. Becuase the size of the lamp was quiet small I tried to make sure that my pieces of newspaper where not bigger than 2 cm. This is to give a smoother finish over the curve of the balloon.

I made a mix of PVA white craft glue – mine is quiet thick so I mike it with about five times the amount of water as I have glue. It takes a bit of stirring to get it a good consistancy.

I then dipped the news paper pieces in the glue water mix, smoothed off any excess liquid and placed it on the balloon. Making sure that the tied off end of the balloon was in the cup I covered the large end of the balloon and worked my way down until I had covered about 2/3rds of the balloon. This would give me a bowl shape without the balloon being there – where the sides of the bowl would curve in again.

I made sure the area I wanted was completely covered and waited for an hour before applying the next layer in a different colour of news paper. I waited an hour as otherwise the already existing layer is so wet it slips about underneith the new layer your trying to lay down. You can also only do a maximium of five layers a day otherwise it doesn'[t dry properlly. Once there are a few layers on already you can do upto three layers before leaving it the hour to dry though this did still cuase a kind of crenulation/wavey effect on the papier machie bowl around the balloon.

balloon as a former

I did fifteen layers which took three days. I was running tight on time so I popped the balloon on the fourth day but this really wasnt enough time for it all to have dried properlly. This ment that it slighly stuck to the balloon when I popped it – peeling off about three layers in some places inside – this was soon remedied by smoothing the paper back down with a PVA’d finger.

popped balloon

I was then left with I nice bowl shape – this would be the body of the lantern.

balloon popped

Once the inside was completely dried as well I cut a 1 cm strip off of some card in our scrap paper pile and cellotaped it into a ring that was a good size to be the rim at the bottom of the lamp.

the rim

I then cellotaped the rim onto the bottom of the bowl/body of the lamp.

rim for the bottom added

I then turned it over so it was standing on the rim and cut a slightly wider strip for the handle, and cut the remaining card into a rectangle to roll into a tall incomplete conical shape for the spout. I wrapped cellotape arround the tube of card so that it stayed in the shape I wanted.

the body/bowl

I then cellotaped the spout to one end of the lamp.

spout added

I then made two folds either end of the wide strip of card and cellotaped it on the other end as the handle. I struggeled to try and make look not like a teapot :/

handle added

I then covered the rim, spout and handle with more papeir machie – this included screwing up some strips into ‘balls’ to act as padding to build up the shape – especially on the top of the spout where it meets the body of the lamp.

the rim at the bottom

Now it was time to make the lid.

My dad drew around on of my cups for a circle which he sliced to the center off then pulled on side of the slite over the other and taped it to make a shallow cone. He also cut a strip of card which he then cut little triangles out off along its whole length giving it a cerated edge.

bits for the lid

He then folded the strip round into a loop and folded the triangles in so that they could act as brackets to glue them onto the disc. This will make the inner rim of the lid that fits into the top of the lantern so he had to do some measuring.

disk for the lid

I then layered on the paper strips on the lid layering out from the centre. I also build it up on the inside in the way I had the rim on the bottom of the lamp. This ment that on both the top and the bottom of the lamp’s lid I had over hung the edge with paper. I also had to wait for one side to dry before I did the other. I found the shiny card made it a bit difficult to make papier mache stick in the first place. I put five layers on each side of the lid.

structurally reinforced lid

Once it was thourally dry I trimmed off all the over hanging paper.

trimmed lid

I then checked that it did actually fit the lamp.

papier machie lamp

I wanted a nice worn matallic texture to the lamp, even though my daughter had decreed it needed to be pink! So I decided to cover it in tissue paper to get a crinckeled texture. I did this by laying the tissue on in one two or three sheets, dry and then adding the watered down PVA with a thick paint brush. Dad had also made a ball of papier mache about 1.5 cm tall which I covered – this would be the bobble/handle for the lid.

lid overed in tissue paper

lid without handle

Once it was all dry – I used a hot melt glue gun to attatch the bobble.

hot melt glue gun adds bobble

body of lamp covered in tissue

I then had a white textured lamp ready for painting.

tissue covered for texture

Jean then painted her lamp and the lid pink with a little help.

about to start work jeany painting her genie lamp

pink lamp

Once dry we applied gold poster paint with a tissue so that it only went on the raised wrinkels of the lamp.

PVA'd lamp

We then PVA’d it with neat PVA glue as a sort of sealing coat.

painted pink with lid

The PVA dulled the metallic luster of the gold which was a same but it still had a sort of metalleness about even if it was pink! I also made her a genie to in!