Introduction: 3D Sailboat Wall Art From Trash

Reusing various trash items from here and there to create some colorfull 3D wall art.


  • cardboard
  • newspaper
  • masking tape
  • scrap wood (really thin sticks)
  • worn out t-shirt
  • worn out stockings
  • sawdust
  • styrofoam
  • air drying clay
  • fine filler
  • acrylic paints
  • hot glue
  • white glue
  • baby wipe tow
  • white gesso
  • varnish
  • picture hanger

Step 1: The Ship Body

Take some waste cardboard and draw the silhouette and cut it. With hot glue attach some newspaper to make the filling and then wrap it all around with masking tape.

Then cut 7mm strips from cardboard to use them as the pallets. Glue them to the masked body. A bit wider (10mm) strip makes the ships ridge.

Step 2: Accessories

From cardboard cut out the windows and the hole for the anchor.

Step 3: Sails

Take some really thin sticks of scrapwood (I used edges of cut laminated wood flooring) and a worn out t-shirt. Cut some rectangles for the sails, but let them bigger than you want to be it big enough when you bend it.

Mix fine filler with water and white glue and then put the sails into it and mix a bit. Then roll the sticks at the two sides.

Let it dry on different objects, like a soda bottle and a plastic box, to add some final 3d structure.

Step 4: Background

From the cardboard box take 3 times a 30cm x 40cm tables and glue them together with white glue. With heavy books you can force the tables to stick. When it dried use kitchen napkin and white glue mixed with water to cover the edges. Then cover the whole table with fine filller, water and white glue mix.

Step 5: Sail Boat

Take a scrapwood stick to form the mast and wrap around with masking tape. Then the ship's body and the mast painted with the mix of fine filler, white glue and water.

Both are painted with brown (chestnut) and let it dry. Then a layer of really dark brown and before it dries smudge it with baby wipe towel. Let it dry again. The sails first covered with white gesso and after dry paint it with off-white color and finally dry it once again.

Step 6: Waves

Take some old stockings, with holes it is better. Cut it to long slices and dip in the mix of white glue and water. Then put the slices to the background to form some waves in the ocean. You guess now what... let it dry.

Step 7: Scene Accessories

In silicone mold use some clay and after dry paint it with the colors you like.

Step 8: Coastal Rocks

Take a piece of styrofoam and carve some rifts to it with a slicer. Cover with fine filler and after dry paint with light grey. After put some dark grey shades to it. Let it dry.

To add some moss effect, take some sawdust and mix with white glue and light green paint. Also do the same with dark green to have two colors. Then these dollops are put in patches all over the rocks.

Step 9: Assembly

Paint the background with turquoise green and blue.

Glue the parts together using hot glue for heavier parts and white glue for the small things.

Finish with varnish in two or three layers and put a hanger on the back.

Now you have some treasure on your wall made out of trash.

Trash to Treasure Contest

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