Friday, December 18, 2020

Dumpster Ornament

My friend Jen called on her friends to get their craft on and contribute to her 2020 themed tree. I decided to paper mache a dumpster fire. I’m a lifelong perfectionist, but this was a good lesson in letting go and not worrying about perfect. It’s okay that it’s lumpy and crooked—real dumpsters are too! 

I started with thin cardboard and decided on a size and shape. Then I started gluing 

The first layers of paper mache were torn pieces of newspaper, then I switched to cut strips because it mimicked corrugated metal. I wasn’t precise for once 

I added skewer strips to define the top edge 

A straw + pipe cleaner for the lid closure. Initially I was going to make this move, but decided it wasn’t necessary. 

Paint emphasized all the lumps and crookedness. Oh well. Let it go 

And no, Barb, you don’t need to spend $6 on dollhouse-sized castor wheels. Beads are fine! It’s an ornament, it’s handmade, it’s fun to make something again. 

Oops painted before I realized I forgot to add the side pieces. Also added signs and dirtied it up with wood filler.

For the lid I used woven cardboard and attached it via a pipecleaner wire strung through a ball point pen ink tube. So the lid opens and closes 

I hadn’t paper mached in decades. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I had planned to stitch the fabric flames together like a pilllow, but my friend Michelle suggested gluing it to cardboard, and I think that was a better option. It has a cartoon effect 

I wanted to fill the interior with colored styrofoam—notoriously wasteful and thrown out versus recycled, which seemed apropos, but I couldn’t remember where I put it, so I just added red paper. Everything was sealed with a coat of Mod Podge, and a chain added for hanging 


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