Origami Display Colosseum - Beach Scene Made From Scraps!

Introduction: Origami Display Colosseum - Beach Scene Made From Scraps!

About: My love of making things started young, with a mom who was always coming up with projects and a dad whose tool collection still gives me envy. I got my love of bright colors from mom and my love of working wi…

When we were challenged by fellow makers to create an origami display, we decided that we’d be good citizens by staying home and using only scraps and materials that we already had around the house. This amped up our creative juices, and we turned our leftover materials into the ultimate display: a colosseum with a sunset over the ocean. Find out how we did below!


Scrap wood


Old cloth

Art printed on laser paper

Old gift card

Thin acrylic sheet – https://amzn.to/2SydULT

Router – https://amzn.to/38ZKOv9

Random orbital sander – https://amzn.to/37q46ca

Miter saw – https://amzn.to/2YDSAGw

Scriber – https://amzn.to/2StWoZ2

Drill – https://amzn.to/2GiNK9g

Wood stain – https://amzn.to/2zRMvhr

Wood glue – https://amzn.to/3aWRIl6

Super glue – https://amzn.to/2YvBMUq

Hot glue – https://amzn.to/3dfdJgz

Paper cutter – https://amzn.to/2SuuU5R

Craft paint – https://amzn.to/2LcoOCW

Beading string – https://amzn.to/3fhhPX1

Photo Transfer (we used Rustoleum but couldn’t find a link) – https://amzn.to/2zRLzJX

Scrapbook paper – https://amzn.to/2z0EgPL

Paint Brushes – https://amzn.to/3b5U6pP

Wide painter’s tape – https://amzn.to/2S6OwwD

Metallic Navy Spray Paint: https://amzn.to/392jFXM

Aqua Spray Paint: https://amzn.to/2UfD0PK

Pro Marine Countertop Epoxy: https://amzn.to/35ZnHi6

Turquoise Pigment: https://amzn.to/2FZkbtg

Medium Blue Pigment: https://amzn.to/2RnhLdu

Dark Blue Pigment: https://amzn.to/2Nx07CK

Foam White Pigment Paste: Mermaid Trash

Sand: The Beach

Heat Gun: https://amzn.to/2R3IbC6

Bernzomatic Torch: https://amzn.to/2Rrk2Ei + https://amzn.to/2Rrk2Ei

Mixing Cups: https://amzn.to/2RiDRxq

Mixing Sticks: https://amzn.to/2tgKatK

Gloves: https://amzn.to/2TuHzH1

Plastic drop cloths: https://amzn.to/2tqbk1c

Affiliate Notification

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Step 1: ​Make the Ocean Resin Circle

We already had a spare Resin Ocean circle, a practice run from when we were making the Porthole Table. However, we know that’s probably not the case for most people. Since this was leftover from a previous project, the pour isn’t in the main Origami Display video. Check out the Porthole Table video; the resin pour starts at 7:42. 😉

Gather the following materials: resin, resin pigments (we recommend three blues and a white), sand, level, wood disc, spray paint, heat gun, torch, drop cloth, sandpaper, and lots of gloves.

Follow these steps:

1. Create Wood Circle for Pour

  • Either cut a circle out of wood, or search places like Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Amazon for wood circles.
  • Paint a basic three-color gradient for the ocean on the bare wood.

Note: This will ultimately be covered, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. We paint the basic outlines so we can ensure that no bare wood shows through if the resin is a little more translucent than planned.

2. Set up Resin Pour

  • Ensure you are working in a temperature controlled environment for the actual pour (resin is finicky about temperature).
  • Place a drop cloth down on your work surface and raise your creation up with some scrap wood.
  • Level your wood disc before you begin pouring.

3. Pour Seal Coat

  • Mix clear resin and pour a seal coat - a thin coat of clear resin. If you want to add sand to the “beach” area of your ocean circle, you can do that at this step.
  • Use a Bernzomatic torch to pop any bubbles.
  • Let resin cure overnight.

4. Pour Full Ocean + Front Wave

  • Sand only on the ocean part of the disc with 150 grit sandpaper.
  • Wipe all excess dust off. Level your creation again.
  • Mix three increasingly darker blue resin pigments and pour from lightest (at the front) to darkest (in the back)

Tip: It may be helpful to heat the resin before you pour to give it more movement on the board.

  • Pour a thin line of clear resin at the front of the ocean, where it meets the beach.
  • Pour a line of white in front of the clear resin.
  • Use a heat gun to push the white back into the ocean, creating a wave.
  • Pop bubbles with the torch.
  • Let resin cure overnight.

5. Pour Back Half of Ocean + Second Wave

  • Sand only the back part of the ocean with 150 grit sandpaper.
  • Wipe all excess dust off.
  • Level your creation again.
  • Mix two increasingly darker blue resin pigments and pour from lightest (at the front) to darkest (in the back)

Tip: It may be helpful to heat the resin before you pour to give it more movement on the board.

  • Pour a thin line of clear resin at the front of the ocean, where it meets the beach.
  • Pour a line of white in front of the clear resin.
  • Use a heat gun to push the white back into the ocean, creating a wave.
  • Pop bubbles with the torch.
  • Let cure overnight.

Step 2: Cut Out Acrylic Circle

We knew we wanted the sunset to be as translucent as possible. We also knew that neither of us had the art skills to paint this puppy by hand. Enter: photo transfer on acrylic! First thing you'll need to do is to cut a circle out of the acrylic.

Gather the following materials: acrylic sheet, scriber, scrap wood, drill, power sander, and single nail.

Follow these steps:

1. Leave the plastic film on your acrylic until you are ready to place the art.

2. Trace the resin ocean circle onto your acrylic sheet.

3. Drill a small hole in the middle of your traced circle and insert a nail through hole.

4. Create a circle jig with one hole near the end to go over a nail and the other hole at the width of the radius of your circle.

5. Place circle jig with one hole over a nail in the middle and insert your scribe in the other hole.

6. Use continuous motion on both sides to score the acrylic until it pops out.

7. Sand until the edges are smooth.

Step 3: Create Sunset Art

Now it's time to create your masterpiece on the acrylic circle. While the photo transfer solution we had wasn’t designed to work on acrylic, a quick test before we tried indicated that it would work well enough, as long as we had a solution for a few touchups. And we did!

Gather the following materials: acrylic circle, laser print out of sunset scene, photo transfer solution, gift/credit card, water, rag, and craft paint in sunset colors.

Follow these steps:

1. Remove plastic film from one side of your acrylic circle.

2. Trace the acrylic circle onto your art and cut it out.

3. Brush photo transfer solution onto your sunset printout.

4. Place printout on exposed side of acrylic circle and use a credit/gift card to gently remove all bubbles.

5. Let dry according to the instructions on your photo transfer solution.

6. Use a wet rag to gently remove all paper backing from acrylic circle.

Tip: Some of the art may come up completely. This is okay (and in Bob Ross term, just a happy accident)! We’ll fix it in the next step. Just remember that if the artwork starts to pull up from the acrylic, let that area dry and come back to it later, remembering to be extra gentle in removing the rest of the paper backing in these areas.

7. Let acrylic circle dry completely before moving on.

8. Create clouds with craft paint to cover any bare spots on the acrylic. This ends up looking super cool when the light comes through it!

9. Let paint dry.

Step 4: ​Make the Wood Columns

It wouldn’t be a colosseum without…columns! Luckily, columns can be square, so you can easily make them with just a few tools.

Gather the following materials: scrap wood, router, power saw (we used a miter saw), and stain

Follow these steps:

1. Decide the height you want your creation to be.

2. Measure the depth of the acrylic sunset for the top and ocean resin at the bottom.

3. Mark 1/2” from the top of the board.

4. Clamp a piece of wood in place to act as a guide (ensuring that your router bit will hit right at the 1/2” mark).

5. Route a groove along the top.

6. Repeat steps for the bottom groove.

7. Cut wood to desired width (ours were 1.5” wide).

8. Sand wood columns until smooth.

9. Stain wood columns - top, sides, fronts and backs.

10. Let dry according to the instructions on your stain.

Step 5: ​Glue It Up!

The glue up for the colosseum is actually quite easy—and fast!

Gather the following materials: wood columns, sunset circle, ocean resin circle, wide painter’s tape, hot glue, wood glue, super glue, paper towel, ruler

Follow these steps:

1. Lay two strips of painter’s tape sticky side up on your work surface.

2. These should be far enough apart to reach the top and bottom of your wood columns.

Tip: tape down the edges so they stay taut.

3. Lay first wood column near the end of the tape.

4. Use a ruler to ensure equal spacing between wood columns.

5. We spaced ours by 1” and had 9 columns.

6. Repeat until all wood columns are on the tape.

7. Decide where you want the center of your colosseum to be on your art work, and set the two circles on the middle column.

8. Insert glue into the grooves of the first column.

9. We used hot glue for the acrylic and a wood glue/super glue combo for the ocean resin.

Tip: We love a good wood glue/super glue combo. The super glue provides an immediate hold and helps “clamp” it in place, and the wood glue then provide the long-term stability after it cures.

10. Roll the circles into the groove on the first column.

11. Insert glue in the grooves of all the rest of the columns.

12. Roll both circles simultaneously, keeping the pressure taut.

13. Tape the colosseum in place on its side and let cure.

Step 6: ​Place Origami and Enjoy!

Woo hoo! Now all you have to do is stand it up and place your origami into the scene! Step back and admire how the light comes through the sunset at the top.

If you liked this project, please head over to JustMightDIY.com for more tips, tutorials, back stories and more. And if you’re interested in checking out more of our video tutorials, check out our Instructables profile or head over to our YouTube channel.

Scraps Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Rice & Grains Challenge

      Rice & Grains Challenge
    • Lamps Challenge

      Lamps Challenge
    • CNC and 3D Printing Contest

      CNC and 3D Printing Contest