Violet, the Vocabulary Dragon, by @skybluepink

Cross-posted from: Sky Blog Pink
Originally published: 10.12.15

One of my great passions is Big Junk Art – I just love cardboard. So when Holywell school gave me the go ahead for a Big Art Project at the end of term; I was thrilled.


After laying out a rough framework of boxes, I set to work with the gaffer tape and rolls and rolls of masking tape – in fact I realised, at the end of the project, that I had used the entire schools supply!

Once the skeleton was reasonably firmly fixed together and safe from the enthusiasm of the year one and two children, we embarked on the next stage of fleshing out. This needed a pile of another expensive resource – newspaper.

I was lucky that a big group of year 4 girls were happy to help during their lunch hour, as the end of term was looming. They were an efficient team – some scrunching the newspaper into balls others attaching it with the masking tape. Piece by piece the beast began to take shape. 


The next stage was the fun bit – time to get messy with papier mache. There was a lot of dragon to cover as she is about more than 2m long. The children worked in teams, and my daughter, who had finished college, came along to help too!

Once her less than posh origins were entirely covered, we started to add detail such as spikes along her head and back. She was beginning to really look like a dragon.

At this point I was a little obsessed, and was up at 5am in the morning to fashion claws and a tongue from lashings of tinfoil.


We finally got to bring her to life with paint, the children taking turns to apply her covering. Once the last details were finished – teeth from the corners of ‘fruit corner’ yoghurt, eyes, ears and the all important wings she was ready to take up her post at the school entrance.



Violet the Vocabulary Dragon (as well as guarding the school, her job is to collect amazing writing on her wings to share with the whole school) was such a fun project – I can get very excited about the possibilities of the junk modelling corner.

If you know of a school or group who would enjoy creating something incredible out of stuff that is usually thrown away – please let me know – I would be happy to help.


Sky Blog PinkI am a feminist who is proud to have brought up a strong and feminist daughter. I am a teacher of twenty two years who has recently become an Education Technology entrepreneur – creating technology aimed at making ‘Every Child a Reader’ – I am very lucky to have the support of the Cambridge University Judge Business School Accelerator Programme which is run by a woman though I am still a minority being female and 40+ . Twitter I am @skybluepink