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MakeBox – Mermaid’s Locker

The August MakeBox ( was mermaid themed and based around air dry clay and was the box that just kept giving! There were four projects included in this month’s kit; three air dry clay projects and a mini postcard painting.

Included in the box was:

  • Air dry clay
  • Silicon shell mould
  • Acrylic paint set
  • Pearlescent acrylic paint
  • PVA glue
  • Hair comb
  • Bamboo boat x2
  • Bamboo bowl
  • Pearl beads
  • Paintbrushes x2
  • Craft knife
  • Wire
  • Paper templates

The three clay projects were a shell dish, a mermaid dish and a hair comb. The two dishes were built in a similar way by using the paper templates to cut shapes out of the clay and layering them up to create the design. They were then dried using the bamboo bowls to keep their shape. The instructions said that they should take around 48 hours to completely dry out before you could paint them, but I found mine took a lot longer, even when I turned them over to allow the bottoms to dry. In the end I used my dehydrator to speed the process up a bit, but as I’ve mentioned before my studio has a tendency to be a bit cold and damp. If I had brought them up to the house and left them in a sunny window they might have dried a bit quicker, but I didn’t want to walk them up the garden in case I dropped them!

The hair comb was made using the silicon mould to create lots of different clay shells. In order to attach them to the comb a length of wire was fed through each one whilst the clay was still wet. They dried a lot quicker than the dishes, so it was a nice project to do in between. Once the shells were dry the wire was fixed in place and they could be painted using the pearlescent paint and finally attached to the hair comb along with some of the pearls.

When the dishes were dry it was time to paint them. I thought that the instructions for painting the mermaid were really well laid out with a section for each part of the dish. I particularly liked the section for the skin tones as the instructions showed how to create a variety of skin tones using the paints in the set. There was also lots of options for different tail colours and designs. I actually made up my own combination that wasn’t in the book, but I liked all the patterns in there. I think the best thing about it was that you could customise it anyway you wanted with different skin tones, hair colour, tail colour and pattern, and you didn’t have to stick to realistic colours if you didn’t want to as it’s a mermaid, so she could have had green skin, blue hair and a purple tail if you wanted! 

Finally there was the postcard to paint. I thought this was a good addition to the box as I painted mine when I was waiting for the mermaid to dry so I could apply the next coat. By watering down the acrylic paint the details still showed through. It would be a cute surprise to send a friend in the post.

This box was a big project, but I really enjoyed all the components of it and I can see myself reusing the bamboo bowls and shell mould to create more seaside themed crafts.

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