A Sea Horse Wall Sculpture from Trash

Just over a month ago I moved house… and let me tell you that process produces a tremendous amount of trash in the form of packing materials Although most of it got recycled I held back on a few choice pieces of cardboard and some packing paper.

Most of our stuff has gone into storage and while our lovely town house is beautifully decorated, it is missing a bit of wall art. Nothing that can’t be fixed by a creative use of cardboard and a bit of paper mache.

Behold a lovely new sea horse I have named Sebastian. I am sure he will be good friend with Sally the driftwood sea horse who is currently in hibernation, somewhere in Ohio I believe!

cardboard seahorse sculpture


This project did take a little longer than I anticipated but is not at all difficult and if you would like to make one too this is what you will need.

Project Supplies

  • Large pieces of cardboard
  • craft knife
  • hot glue gun
  • Waste paper for papier mache – packing paper was great for this but old newspaper would work just as well
  • Elmers glue or any white PVA glue
  • vinegar
  • Plaster of Paris
  • selection of acrylic craft paints. I used just four colors


  1. Start by sketching out your sea horse shape and any embellishments you’d like to have.
  2. Using a craft knife cut it out. Then by using your first cutout as a template cut out another identical shape but this time cut out the embellishments.

  3. With a hot glue gun stick down the embellishment pieces to creature a 3d texture. I ended up with some areas with 3 thicknesses of cardboard. Punch a couple of small holes and thread some string through to create a means to hang when your masterpiece is done.
    sea horse wall art sculpture
  4. Add several layers of paper mache ( paper layer stuck down with paper mache paste) to soften the hard edges of the cardboard. I experimented with several paste recipes but this one I got from Ultimatepapermache.com  was fantastic and is the one I recommend.Mix together:
    • 1/4 cup  white glue (Elmer’s Glue-All® or any PVA glue)
    • 1 tablespoon  cold water
    • 1 teaspoon  vinegar

    Then mix in:

    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plaster of Paris

    sea horse wall sculpture paper mache

  5. Finally paint …really however you like. I used just fours colors, black white and two tones of brown. I used a dry brush technique to create the feeling on stone.

cardboard sea horse

cardboard sea horse

cardboard sea horse sculpture


Love from

Creative in Chicago


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