Crocodile Armlet

In the art of Benin, the crocodile represents the power and supreme authority of the Oba (the king) as a strong ruler. Gold gilded bracelets worn by the Oba were designed as ornamental sleeves or armlets

Crocodile Armlet

Skill Level

Beginner

Time to Make

2 hours + drying time for ModRoc and paint

Adult Supervision Needed

Yes

How to Make

  1. Measure a 15cm wide strip along the full length of a piece of A2 card. Cut it out to make a 15cm x 59cm strip. Curl the strip into a tube wide enough to fit over your hand and wrist, 6-7cm diameter, or slightly smaller to fit younger children, then stick the end with masking tape or sticky tape to hold the shape.
  2. Measure 5 x 1cm wide strips along the length of A4 craft foam sheet (any colour). Cut out the strips to make 5 pieces measuring 1cm x 29cm. Trim 5-6cm from 2 strips to make them shorter.
  3. Wrap a strip of double-sided tape around both ends of the card tube. Peel off the backing paper then wrap the 2 shorter foam strips over the top to make a raised band at each end of the tube. If you need to, trim the foam strip so it neatly fits around the tube without any overlapping.
  4. Cut out 2 foam rectangles 6cm x 3cm, draw a simple crocodile head shape with a long nose onto each foam piece then cut them out. Stick a piece of double sided tape along both crocodile heads. Peel off the backing tape from one crocodile head then stick it near the top of the tube.
  5. Stick double-sided tape onto the remaining 3 long foam strips. Peel off the backing from one strip then wrap it around the tube in a spiral, starting from the crocodile head. Stick the 2 remaining foam strips around the tube to make a continuous spiral around the tube, leaving about 1.5cm between the foam bands. Stick the second crocodile head at the end of the last foam strip.
  6. Cut 2 strips of ModRoc 20cm in length. Dip the strips one at a time into water, soak f or 30 seconds then squeeze out any excess water. Wrap the ModRoc around the tube and over the foam crocodile shapes. Open out the sides of the bandage so the edges aren’t folded. Tuck the ends of the ModRoc inside the tube. Press the bandage over the raised foam strips and crocodile heads so they stand out as much as possible. Rub the plaster with your fingers make the surface smooth. Add the second piece of ModRoc in the same way to cover the tube then leave it to dry.
  7. Brush gold metallic paint over the armlet until it is completely covered. Leave to dry.
  8. Stick gold pearls on the crocodile head for eyes. Use a black décor pen to outline the crocodile heads. Outline the bands around the armlet with patterns as decoration. Paint inside the armlet black or with another colour, or leave it gold if you prefer.
Crocodile Armlet Crocodile Armlet Crocodile Armlet

Top Tip

Work the gold paint into the plaster bandage with the end of a brush to fill in any small holes and uneven areas.