You don't need to come up with creative ideas yourself all the time. Others can provide fantastic blueprints that are ready to be used. It's like Kareoke – the music is there …. you just need to add the lyrics.
With displays it's the same. You have the display board - someone else provides the idea. You just need to 'read' it from the sheet – in this case a magazine with a lovely drawing but it could be a photo, something you see in a shop window or ideas you discover on this website.
The ‘Sea birds’ display on the back wall was ready for an upgrade but that display area is quite large. Making a totally new display would be elaborate, so we decided to take it easy by giving it a new look with minimal effort and using materials previously used in other displays.
Flicking through the Metro magazine of December 2011 I saw a fantastic drawing with the above title and immediately imagined how I could use the images of the male and female mermaid to create a summery display using the same blue background and the flying seagulls. And …. even better….. I could use the images of colourful fish and anemones that I made when creating the Sea Life Display.
Such a challenge and a great opportunity!
The difficulty was that we have a TV screen in the top middle of the display area which meant that I couldn't put the two mermaids so close together. I covered the TV with the title of the display surrounded by seagulls – a very prominent place.
I also wanted to change the mermaid tails by making them pointing more upwards into the empty blue space. That meant I couldn't use the images on the above photo but had to Google mermaid tails. I also could have copied the tail on A3 and paste several sheets together and subsequently cut them in a different shape, but that would have given problems with the pattern.
To give the display extra 3D accents I used crumpled brown and whitish/grey paper symbolizing rocks, Hawaiian flowers in the female's hair and a real book in the mermaids hands.
What you need:
• Blue wrapping paper- one or two colors and green wrapping paper for the sea grass on the bottom of the board
• A variety of fish – laminated
• Seaweed and sea anemones – laminated
• Seagulls, or other shore birds – laminated
• Mermaids – male and female. I used the male and female upper bodies and gave them both a new tail – increased the size of the mermaids on the copy machine a couple of times to make them fit the display
• Tail of mermaids – Google images – creative commons – large size – I used two different colours for the male and female tail. I had to increase the size on the copy machine a couple of times till they fitted the upper bodies
• 10 A3 Images of brown rocks in water – Google images – creative commons – large size
• 4 Images of white/Grey rocks as an add on to the brown rocks
• Tin foil, to give the mermaids tails and parts of the rocks a wet, shiny look
• Two weeded novels or summer reading books
• Flower heads for the hair of the female mermaid
• Shells and mussel shells – I collect the shells from the beach and use them over and over again. Whenever we eat mussels I keep the shells, soak them in bleach and scrub them clean. The bleach takes out the smell and you have fantastic cheap material to go with any sea display
• Netting, also used for the Sea life display and various other displays
• Title – I used yellow font on a black background – size 150, Times New Roman
• Black cart for background of the title.
• Seagulls or other sea birds for adorning the title
• Christmas lights
• Carton boxes (supermarkets)
What you do:
• I used our old display background but if you start anew you will need blue wrapping paper to fill up the display area. Use one colour of two – a darker blue for the bottom part and a lighter blue for the sky. Also have a look at the sea birds display to see how I cut and attached the green sea grass at the bottom of the board.
• Staple the seabirds to the wall – imagine where your focal point is in the display and keep that in mind when adding images. Where do birds look at, or where is something going on…… It doesn’t need to be in the middle but if you situate a point of attention, your display will make more sense
• Pin the mermaids to the wall. Look from a distance to make sure they are in the right place. When they are exactly right you can staple them. Because I had two smaller size tails as well (and I hate to discard material) I used them at the end of the wall as if they were just jumping out of reach. Because we didn’t want to show the breast of the female mermaid I covered it up with a piece of her own hair (cut from a smaller size image)
• Use some seaweed images to cover up the line between mermaid bodies and tails
• Crumple the brown and white rock paper and staple it to the wall. In nature nothing is exactly square or straight so if you do a nature display make sure you copy natural lines and shapes. Follow the contours of the mermaids and their tails. I used this tactic during a SLANZA display workshop called: ‘Reach for the sky’. It’s easy and makes a fantastic impression
• Step back and have a good look – are the rocks in the right place, is the balance between brown and white rock OK? Now is the time to add rocks or finish them off.
• Cut small strips of tin foil and add them to the mermaid tails and rocks to give them a shiny boost. Imagine where the sun/light is coming from. Add the tin foil to those surfaces that would catch the light – top parts tails and rocks
• Add fish and seaweed – anemones and other sea creatures you want to display
• Staple the Christmas lights to the wall. Cut strips from the material you used as a background and use those to attach the lights to the wall – never staple them directly!
• Use two weeded books with a nice cover and suitable as summer reading as reading material for the mermaids. Staple the back covers to the wall. Fold the hands of the mermaids over them and glue or staple them to the book cover
• Staple the flowers to the hair of the female mermaid
• Wrap the boxes in the same color paper as used for the background. Use left-over fish, anemones and seaweed to adorn the boxes. Tape the book stands to the boxes
• Drape the netting around the boxes and spread the shells over the netting and on top of the boxes. Use a glue gun if you want to fix some of the shells to the boxes
• Put the books on the book stands and put books on the shelves