Make totem pole decorations

Use recycled glass jars and cardboard for festive tiki-themed decorations.

Use a totem vase or small totem pole to accent a buffet, and a large totem pole to decorate the patio. The poles require something inside to help hold them in place—depending on the size, it could be a can of soup or a gallon of paint.

 

YOU'LL NEED:

  • Measuring tape 
  • Can (to serve as base) 
  • Scissors 
  • Roll of brown corrugated wrapping (available at papermart.com and uline.com) 
  • Pencil 
  • X-acto knife 
  • Red cellophane or foil wrapping paper 
  • Glue gun

 

FOR TOTEM POLE

  1. Measure circumference and height of can you plan to use as a weight, then cut pieces of corrugated wrapping that are 2" wider and 12" to 30" taller than can (depending on how tall you wish to make totem). Be sure to cut wrapping so ridges run vertically.
  2. Lay cut piece of wrapping on a flat surface, ridge side down. Draw a simple face (eyes and mouth only), centering it between left and right edges of wrapping; cut out with X-acto knife.
  3. To make a red lining, measure from left edge of corrugated wrap to left edge of face and cut piece of cellophane or foil to that size. Measure from right edge of corrugated wrap to right edge of face and cut a second piece of cellophane or foil to that size. Glue in place. (There’s no need to line back of face.)
  4. Turn corrugated wrap over so ridges face up. Decorate face with pieces of corrugated wrapping. Cut a nose and eyebrows, and make a geometric band around top and bottom. Vary direction of ridges as you cut out pieces—some vertical, others horizontal; cut some on a diagonal to add a sculptural look. Use glue gun to attach details to totem.
  5. Wrap decorated corrugated wrapping around can and glue ends together so they overlap 2".

 

FOR TOTEM VASE

  1. Choose a clean, empty can in any size you want. Cut a piece of corrugated wrapping that fits can’s circumference and height. Be sure to cut wrapping so that ridges run vertically.
  2. Lay cut piece of wrapping on a flat surface, ridges facing up. Cut eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows out of another piece of corrugated wrapping and glue in place.
  3. Glue corrugated wrap to can, wrapping it around so ends meet but do not overlap.