Make a Jurassic Christmas decoration

Darell Wakelam with some of his recycled cardboard creations Photo: Richard Budd

Darell Wakelam with some of his recycled cardboard creations Photo: Richard Budd - Credit: Archant

Dorset 3D artist Darrell Wakelam shows you how to create a Jurassic inspired Christmas decoration from cardboard and paper

I spend lots of time working with children in schools, museums and theatres. During the lockdown in spring, I posted simple 3D art projects on Twitter using the hashtag #ArtJumpstart , this daily mini art project was followed by children and adults around the world! Being based in Lyme Regis on the Jurassic Coast, I get asked to do lots of artwork relating to the unique geology of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and the amazing fossils that can be found here; after all Lyme Regis is the home town of Dorset’s famous fossil hunter Mary Anning , there are even ammonite design street lights to reflect our fossil-filled heritage.

So, inspired by this, here is a little idea to keep all of you ‘crafty’ children and adults busy in the lead up to Christmas. I’ve designed some simple ammonite Christmas decorations for you to have a go at making - hang them on your tree or on a festive wreath or use as Jurassic-inspired gifts tags. All you need is some scrap cardboard, a pencil, some masking tape, a pair of scissors, some kitchen foil and maybe a bit of glue, tissue paper, and paint for decoration. You could add a bit of biodegradable glitter too for a touch of Christmas sparkle!

Step 1

Step 1 - Credit: Archant

Step 1: First draw some simple ammonite shapes onto the card and cut them out, don’t make them have too many spirals!

Step 2 - using tin foil option

Step 2 - using tin foil option - Credit: Archant

Step 2: Take a long thin strip of card and tape it from the centre of the spiral outwards following your pencil line. Add another strip to it if it isn’t quite long enough. Make sure you leave the ‘extra’ hanging off the end of the ammonite – this will make a loop to attach it to the tree when finished.

If you wanted to use tin foil instead, roll some up tightly and use the same process.

Step 2

Step 2 - Credit: Archant

Step 3: To make the decorations stronger, use pieces of ripped up tissue or wrapping paper to papier-mâché over the ammonites. All you need is a bit of watered-down glue, PVA is best, to paste over the pieces. Then leave it to dry.

Step 3

Step 3 - Credit: Archant

Step 4: Once dried, paint and decorate your ammonites. I’ve painted one of mine with some gold and brown paint, for the other I’ve just squeezed some glue onto it to make a pattern and sprinkled biodegradable glitter on top. Once your decorations are dry hang them on the tree.

If you would like to try some of my other simple ‘making’ projects at home, using easy to source everyday materials, you’ll find plenty of inspiration at my website here

Finished decoration ready to hang on the tree

Finished decoration ready to hang on the tree - Credit: Archant