My grandpa is a retired fisherman and one of the many things he liked to do was to collect sea conch shells that were caught in his fishing nets. He would then proceed to dry them under the sun, then he would clean them thoroughly and display them on shelves. He is very proud of his big collection and he happily gives conch shells to family and friends as a gift.
At first, we didn’t know what to do with the numerous conch shells that he gave us but in the end we realized that we could repurpose them instead of keeping them as decorative pieces only. And therefore we transformed them into pots for small cactuses and other succulent plants.
Needless to say that my grandpa is very pleased that we found a creative way to use his gifts instead of keeping his conch shells hidden in a drawer.
This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose
Decoupage is a well known technique that everyone can use and create beautiful decoration for their homes. You can use old things you have at home. For this craft project, I used an old photo frame.
Is good to know that…
Decoupage derives from the French word découper (= to cut out ). It is the art of decorating surfaces of an object by gluing colored paper cut-outs onto it. Each layer is sealed with several coats of varnishes until the result looks like painting or inlay work. The traditional technique used 30 to 40 layers of varnish which were then sanded to a polished finish.
Decoupage may seem like a new trend, but the technique actually dates back in 12th century. Actually the first origin of decoupage is supposed to be East Siberian tomb art. From Siberia, the practice came to China, where by the 12th century, cut out paper was being used to decorate lanterns, windows, boxes and other objects. The history of modern decoupage, starts from the 18th in Europe. This art form was also known as arte povera – poor man’s art, because in the olden days those who couldn’t afford to hire an artist to decorate their furniture could obtain quite elegant effects with cut-outs pasted on and covered with multiple coats of varnish.
Materials for decoupage
- Objects to decoupage onto like furniture, trays, boxes, photograph albums, plates, ceramics, shelving, frames, mirrors e.t.c.
- Pictures such as newspapers, magazines, old books, printed clip art or photos, wrapping paper, fabric, tissue paper, paper napkins and so on.
Materials that I used:
- old wooden photo frame
- tissue napkins
- white glue
- paint brush
Additional materials for the flower:
- orange color fabric -petals
- green felt – leaves
With a pair of scissors you cut out long pieces of colorful paper napkins. Apply the glue on the wooden surface with a brush and paste the cut out paper napkins. Then cover the object and pasted paper napkin with a few coats of glue to protect it. At the end you can apply a layer of varnish.
Another hobby of mine is crafting. And this project is one of my favourites. I decorated my living room with these yarn wrapped bottles of ‘LOVE’. We had learned this technique at elementary school in art&craft. It’s probably a kid’s craft so if you have children, this is a another way to spend some creative and quality time with them and have a good time yourself. Plus, It is very easy.
Materials you will need:
- glass bottles or jam jars
- yarn or thick thread
- white adhesive (mod podge)
- paint brush
- for the details – leather cord, ribbons, buttons, zips, piece of cloth, flowers, wire e.t.c
Apply the adhesive with the paint brush on the bottle. Start wrapping firmly the thread/yarn around it, until the bottle is completely wrapped. At the end you can decorate your bottle with flowers, letters, butterflies and other things you like.
Be creative and have fun!
Every time I am visiting Slovakia or Czech Republic, I always buy these handmade traditional corn husk dolls. Not just for me, but I give them as small gifts to friends and family. I like them very much. They are cute, interesting, small and very light-weighted, so its easy to carry them with you home. You can use them as a home decoration and a small souvenir to remember the country you had visited.
A little bit of the background
I didn’t find much information. Just that during the second half of 20th century, the production of corn husk dolls had developed and turned into a traditional industry in former Czechoslovakia. As the name implies corn dolls, are made of dried corn husks which are joined together with thread – all made by hand. Some of them even carry small objects like flowers, basket, bread – made with real dough e.t.c. Slovak rural life was a big inspiration when creating the dolls, so it became the main theme. They are sold in souvenirs and folklore shops.
My mum has a lot of corn husk dolls. She created a small miniature village with corn people on a shelf in her living room! These photos are from her collection.
I don’t have space in my apartment to place them – as small as they might be – so I keep them in a drawer. I know, not a good place to keep them. They should be in plain view. Some day I will find them a place! But I have a corn lady bookmark that I use when I am reading a book.
A small memory of Slovakia!