Coral has always been one of my favourite ornamental decor pieces. It’s angular and irregular features add texture and impact to any display. I have picked up replica resin coral in Hawaii as they are some of the most realistic I’ve seen. Alas, I can’t just pop to Hawaii every time I want some more. Boo. So, when a friend found this piece of sea-foam in a beach side car park, they rescued it and gave it to me. Time for a DIY makeover… I had previously seen some fluro pieces of coral in Waikiki but they were extremely expensive, so I decided I’d try to replicate it. Now this piece of loveliness had obviously been through a bit – it was torn in many places and all squished. So to give it as much depth as possible, I soaked it in water then held it open with toothpicks so that it stayed in that position once dry. Next was a coat of paint. A tradesman had left behind a tin of fluro pink line-marking spray paint when replacing my fence. So I decided to put it to good use. You can buy proper fluro spray paint but this was handy and free so away I went. The foam wouldn’t stand on its own so I had to create its own little plinth. I found a piece of off-cut timber in my shed. Key here was to ensure it was big enough that once the foam is attached, it could hold its weight and not tip over. I set about staining it “black” and luckily I had left over coco-black stain from doing my floors to do the job. Otherwise, you can get small tins of stain from the hardware store. Note how un-impressed Site Manager, Buddy is in this shot. No amount of staring was going to make me put down my brush and start throwing balls I’m afraid!
As the foam was quite stiff and light, I hammered just a few fine nails into the timber plinth. This was enough to push the foam down onto and keep it upright. This will also allow me to take it apart whenever I want – I may want to change its colour in future and gluing them together would never have allowed for that to be easily done.
As I mentioned this piece was washed up and blown into a car park in a storm. I was fortunate to be given it but I certainly would not set about on an underwater mission to destroy or remove any of our beautiful reefs or living marine life. If you want to have a go at this at home, there are plenty of other materials that would work just as well – a gorgeous branch maybe or scallop shell perhaps?