DIY Maori Decorations

Written by mike jones
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DIY Maori Decorations
Make your own tribal design stencil based on Maori art. (MJ Kim/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

When British explorer Captain James Cook visited New Zealand, he marvelled at the elegance and uniqueness of the native Maori's tribal tattoos. Unlike modern tattoo work done using needles, the tribal tattoos of the ancient Maori were actually carved into the skin using chisels. Though Maori tattoos or Ta moko fell out of favour among Maori for a while, they have experienced a resurgence in recent years, not just among the Maori, but also among people who like the intricate designs of the tattoo work.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Acetate
  • Utility knife
  • Tribal art image
  • Red, black or white spray paint or acrylic paint
  • Permanent marker
  • Paint brush

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    Tribal Pattern Stencil

  1. 1

    Search for Maori tribal art on the Internet or come up with your own tribal pattern. Print the design out or draw it on a piece of paper.

  2. 2

    Place a sheet of acetate over the image and secure the acetate to the original image using tape, so that it won't move.

  3. 3

    Trace your original image onto the acetate. Use a permanent marker to shade in the shadows of the tracing.

  4. 4

    Cut out the shadows using your utility knife to create a stencil.

  5. 5

    Place the stencil on a piece of furniture or whatever it is you want to add the design to.

  6. 6

    Stick masking tape on the edges of the stencil to secure the pattern to the item.

  7. 7

    Start painting. Spray your red, black or white paint on the stencil or use a brush and acrylic paint to create the design.

  8. 8

    Remove the stencil and enjoy your Maori artwork.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are using spray paint, make sure you cover the areas of your item of furniture that you don't want paint on.
  • If you are trying to make your own temporary tattoo, use skin-safe paint.
  • If you intend to use spray paint, wear a face mask and do it outside the home to avoid health hazards.

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