My first experiment with paper mache clay, Fairy House Jar Tea Light, was so successful, I made another one. This time I used a small glass bouillon jar with a plastic lid, cardboard, and CelluClay.
I found that using hardware cloth for structural support was overkill, except for the stair railing, so cardboard was used.
Slideshow of the beginning of the Den with paper mache clay over glass jar, roof, planter pockets, porch and stairs sections constructed.
Gesso was applied as a primer/sealer over the clay before painting. Two coats of indoor/outdoor clear matte sealer was applied over the paint for protection. There were a total of 12 (more in some places) layers over the clay including primer, paint, washes, and sealer. That’s a lot of waiting for stuff to dry, not to mention the glues!
Slideshow of the Den’s tea light shining through in the darkness.
Other than the clay, paints, and assorted glues, everything was created from recycled materials. From top to bottom, here’s how the recycled materials were used:
- Fractured Orb Beacon = fried clear marble
- Cupola/Roof = cardboard paper towel roll and clear plastic water bottle for window panes were mounted atop the plastic jar lid
- Sign (above double doors) = clear frosted label over scrap of Spam can
- Backdoor window = black eyelet (grommet)
- Torches = cut down ballpoint ink pen nibs, clear glass seed beads with a touch of orange neon
- Door handles = hammered and shaped oxidized steel wires
- Railing (back porch and stairs) = 1/4″ hardware cloth
- Plants = various dried mosses
- Base = broken slate tile; cut up to form walls; miniature terrain “dirt”; bottom covered with a scrap of eco-friendly felt produced from recycled plastic water bottles
The Dragon’s Eye Den features a beacon light, dragon eye windows, and stairway torches that allows a battery-operated tea light to shine through. Around back, dragon-hunting travelers will find sleeping quarters at the top of the lighted stairs. The basement door (possible cellar or dungeon) is not for public use. The Den measures 3-1/4″ across at the widest point, stands 5″ tall, and is suitable for HO (1/87 scale) miniature landscapes, indoor fairy gardens, or a desktop conversation piece.
I hope this post inspires you to use more recycled materials in your crafting!