Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DIY: Broken Bowl Wall Pocket

You know, every now and then I make a super feeble attempt to shake my hoarder-habit ways. I start going through stuff, making piles upon piles of junk to either recycle, donate or "gift" to some unfortunate soul. In the middle of one said attempt some weeks ago, I went downstairs to grab a drink (of water, people. Although liquor definitely woulda been prefered) when hubs presented me with a broken bowl and a half broken cup.

Hubs: Here. I thought you might want these.

Me: Um. They're broken. Trash 'em.

Hubs: But you could make something out of them. They are broken clean in half. 

(me, taking dishes and walking over to the trash can.)

Hubs: I know you aren't going to throw those away. 

Me (with dishes poised above trash can): I KNOW! I can't seem to let them go (frantically shaking hands holding dishes over can). Argh! I can't throw away anything. What am I going to do with these?

Hubs: Eh, just glue them to a board or something and hang it up.

And, weeks later,  that's exactly what I did.
I found these wooden boards in my spare-bedroom/craft-storage/extra-clothing-space/ hoarder room. What, one of these rooms didn't come with your house? I originally picked 'em up at Hobby Lobby but I've since forgotten what I intended to do with 'em. Turns out, they were just waiting to become wall pockets.
(Big Hairy) BUT...before we get to all that, let's chat about these papers I used to cover my wall pocket boards. Without sounding too much like a bragasaurus, aren't they just the purtiest thing ev-er? Gee, thanks, I made them. I learned a technique where you can make oodles of collage paper with a super cheap supply: Deli Paper.
Back in November, I attended my state's art educator's conference. I took a two day collage workshop with just the coolest lady*. She showed us how to make that mountain of paper and use it for collage projects. However, I got so involved in the painted/printed paper process that I never did use mine to collage which left them available for this here wall pocket project. 

So just how did we create these amazing papers? I'll tell ya. We began with the supplies you see above. The white container is gesso. We mixed dullish/neutral colors with a touch of gesso. This allowed the paint to better adhere to the deli wax paper (which you can find at those Mega-Giant-Buy-the-World's-Largest-Jar-of-Peanut-Butter Stores that you have to be a member of. Which I'm not. I mean, why do I need a jar of peanut butter that big?! Oh yeah. Because peanut butter is the butter of the gods. Delish. Off to make a pb'n'j. Back in a minute).
Okay, I'm back. A dull color was used in the background so that you could build up layers of color and patterns with brighter and lighter colors.
The instructor used a foam roller to quickly cover sheet after sheet of the papers.
The paper had this cool iridescent look to it.
Once those papers were painted, we immediately started playing with the instructor's huge assortment of carved stamps. The deli papers dried so fast that you could print and over print right away.
Or stencil! The entire process was so relaxing and fun. Because we created tons of papers, you never worried about messing any of them up. It was all about experimenting which I loved. I'm looking forward to giving this a go in my art room.
After laying out my mountain of papers, I chose three that I thought would work for my wall pockets. I painted the edge of the boards to match a color on the paper, flipped the board over, traced and cut it out.
I then slathered Mod Podge all over the back of the paper, placed it on the board, smoothed out all the tiny air bubbles and then gave the paper a top coat of  the Podge.
Then I proceeded to adhere the cup and bowls to the wooden base with E600, aka The World's Smelliest Glue. Seriously, ya'll. That stuff smells like someone downed a Rubber Cement/Spray Paint cocktail and then farted up a storm. I huffed it for an hour. I should know (jk, I totally don't condone the act of huffing. Especially this stuff.)
And, done!

The prettiest, albeit the stinkiest, wall pockets ev-errr, ya'll.
 And now...where do I hang 'em?! I'm dying to put them in the kitchen...but I can't seem to justify hanging them there. Which I kinda have to do in my house because there's this dude who lives here that is constantly wincing when I hang stuff up. He's got Cracker-Barrel-Phobia. He just knows that I'm only a random-rake-hanging-on-the-wall breath away from over-decorating the crap outta our house. Bathroom for holding the necklaces I currently have strewn all over the vanity? Use 'em for mini-flower pots and hang 'em anywhere?

By the way, they are currently in the garage as that aforementioned Rubber Cement/Spray Paint Fart Smell has yet to go away. I'll keep ya posted on where they land up. Until then, whatcha suggest?

ALSO! If you enjoyed reading this ridiculous post (and honestly, how could you not?) please consider voting for this here blog for Art Ed Blog of the Year. Go here, por favor, and cast your vote!

* Sorry, her name escapes me and the link I had to the conference is now broken. Does anyone who attended happen to know the instructor's name? I'd love to give her credit.


  1. I LOVE this!!!! Wow- and those deli papers, I will for sure be painting some!

    1. I know, right?! They were so fun to make...and relaxing!

  2. So terrific. I'd love to have room on my bathroom wall for a bunch of these, for rings and things, hair ties, tweezers, and other whatnots.

    Now, about those carved stamps - are they old linoleum blocks or what? Trying to imagine what you'd use in a classroom where clearly you probably don't have something like that (at least I know I don't). And the cool stencils, too. A how, love the papers, and I can imagine so much you can do with them.

    Several years ago, I went to the Eric Carle Museum in New Hampshire, for an educator's workshop. We spent the morning creatively painting tissue paper, and let me tell you, painting tissue paper is NOT easy! Then in the afternoon, we cut and collaged the painted papers, and again, working with the flimsy tissue was tough. I wonder if that's really what Eric Carle uses, or if he actually is using paper more like the waxier stuff you used here. It seems like it would be MUCH easier to handle.

    Anyhow, thanks for the ideas! What fun!

    1. Her stamps were that's not linoleum is it? Duh, Cassie, it's rubber (I'm too tired to think). In a classroom setting, I think a collection of hand held stamps would work ... or the stencils. Those can be picked up pretty cheap at the craft stores.

      Okay, I'm with you. I really REALLY doubt Carle painted all over tissue. That sounds like a headache! Did you every attempt that with kids? I mean, I always figure, if it's tough for me, it would be a nightmare for the children.

  3. Cassie I love the printed paper. I have been having super fun with my gelli print pad but finding deli paper in Canada has so far been unachievable! Where do you get yours?

    1. Well, I got mine from the instructor who happened to get hers from one of those giant warehouse stores. I wonder if you could find them cheap online? OR I wonder if you could simply use wax paper that's found on the roll at the grocery? You could also ask your local grocery for some or for the source of their supplier...?

    2. Anonymous2/11/2014

      Costco! They sell them in perfect squares. You have to buy a box of 1,000 for about $20 I believe. Amy F.

  4. Anonymous2/06/2014

    I would put one by the door for keys! I love them! I would definitely buy some of these from you...or maybe the TAA silent auction?! :)
    Jennifer Keith

    1. Oh, that's a good idea!! If I've not found a place for them by summer, that's what I'll do. Although, with my luck, hubs will break more dishes and I'll simply make more!

    2. Anonymous2/07/2014

      You should definitely keep these, cause they are amaze-balls, but I would totally bid if they showed up! :)

  5. Phyl, the rubbery substance is "Safety-Kut". It is soft and cuts like butter. Don't even complicate your life by using the old linoleum blocks. You can order it in 18x26 sheets from Opus Art (canada) or DickBlick.

    1. Yes!! That's what it was, thank you!!

  6. These are great! Love them!

  7. Anonymous3/02/2014

    You are unbelievably CREATIVE... love your blog... an inspiration.
    PAJ Ipswich, MA


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