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Fishin' For a Fancy Jar

Ever hear of paper clay? You can purchase it already made and packaged, or you can make it yourself. All you need is shredded paper from your shredder, some water, and a little glue. You can find quite a few recipes online, but these are the basic ingredients. If you don't have a shredder, don't worry. You can always just cut up paper in tiny pieces, but already shredded paper is much easier of course. Once you get it made, it looks like this below. It's not so pretty now but hold on.

Once the clay is rolled out, I take out my little hand drawn acetate template, place it on top of the clay, and then cut out the pieces with my trusty craft knife.

Then they get placed on a parchment lined pan and get baked in the oven.

This is what they look like after being baked. I think they look like small cement crackers with their unique, craggy texture, even though they are 'paper' light.

After the pieces have cooled down, they each get a coat of gesso on both sides. Then I go to town with my pencil and draw in my design lines. Now begins the fun when I paint them with very vibrant colors. I call them my 'fantasy' fish because they don't emulate any real tropical fish, but they are very colorful and cheerful, and I am going to continue to paint them this way. So there! <foot stomp>


Once they are painted, I use what's called a Rapidograph ink pen to create the extremely fine, black outlines that separate all of the colors. These pens were used by draftsmen back in the day and since I still have my full set, I use them whenever I have fine detail work to do. To complete the pieces, I always add a sealer on both sides to protect my work. It also adds some strength because they are pretty fragile being paper and all. What do you think of that ugly ball of paper clay now?

So now that I have my school of fish, I could have made pins out of them as I have in the past, but I decided to put a new spin on them. My friend, Robin, recently sent me a box of treasures to be upcycled and this is one of the items below. Thank you again, my friend, Robin!

The first thing I did was apply gesso on the glass jar and top of the lid.

Then I painted the jar with a solid turquoise blue color.

Next, I painted an underwater landscape scene on the front face of the jar. The lighting wasn't so good here, but it is the same turquoise color, however that green color wouldn't be so bad either.

And look! A fish goes swimming on by...

But wait! Are those bubbles?

Well, they sure look like them, but can you guess what I used to represent the bubbles? I'll tell you - glue gun drippings!!! LOL!


Here's a photograph of all the jars I recently made in front of an old wooden tray.

Looking at the tray, I decided that it could use a good upcycle, too, so I painted it.

And here's the final outcome for the jars and tray. Not too shabby, huh?

So, folks, this week there was upcycling of shredded paper, small glass jars, and glue gun drippings. Talk about a triple win-win-win! And if you think you've heard the last of glue gun drippings, wait until you see how I use them in next week's project.


Until we meet again next Wednesday, try your hand at upcycling something and have fun doing it!


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2 Comments


barbarabryant2010
May 05

Wow so interesting how you made these. So unique and beautiful. Your talent always amazes me!! ❤️🥰

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anupcycledartist
anupcycledartist
May 05
Replying to

Thank you for your very kind words, Barbara. I always appreciate your comments. Happy Cinco! 😉

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