Friday, 11 December 2015

A Namibian Christmas | Part 2 – Paper reef

I've taken inspiration from our dry landscape to make this reef of golden hues. It does require some time and patience so set aside three hours or so – you won't be disappointed by the outcome.

  • An A3 piece of light cardboard or A4 for a smaller reef
  • A dinner and side plate, a compass or rotary cutter will also do
  • A pencil and fineliner pen (optional)
  • A ruler
  • A pair of scissors
  • A small piece of paper
  • A selection of paper for the leaves – at least 4 sheets of A4. One type of paper will also do
  • A stapler
  • Staples
  • Press-stick or double sided tape or a ribbon

  • Work in stages. Complete one whole process like cutting the leaves before moving onto stapling. 
  • Slightly thicker paper is best for the leaves to hold the shape, but don't go too thick as it'll be hard to work with.

STEPS 1 – 5
1. Place the dinner plate in the middle of the A3 sheet and draw an out circle for the guide.
2. Place the side plate in the centre and repeat.

3. Using a ruler, draw a cross section in the middle circle.

4. Fold along one of the lines and cut through, repeating on both lines.

5. Cut around the inner circle, you'll be left with the outside edge about 5 to 7cm wide.

STEPS 6 – 8
6. Draw a leave shape onto a piece of paper about 5cm long and 3cm wide. Cut it out. This will be your guide to cut out the rest of the leaves. For a reef this size, you'll need about four sheets of A4.

7. Fold the leaves length-wise to create more character and shape, instead of just the flat shapes. 

8. Pinch the leaves together at the bottom as shown. This will lift the leave off the back base.

 STEPS 9 – 12
9. Staple the leaf to the base, making sure to staple over and into the leave – securing it properly to the base.

10. Overlap a second leaf and keep stapling.

11. As you start to stack the leave over each other, cover the staples of the previous set.

12. Mix and match different paper types to create and even distribution of colours and textures along the reef.
STEPS 13 – 14
13. Carefully lift the first and last set of leaves underneath each other to cover the staples.

14. Once done, secure to the wall with double-side tape or a ribbon. It'll also look impressive as a centre piece.
Photography by Rémy Ngamije |

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