Monday, December 6, 2010


After the earthquake in Haiti, I thought my students and I would take some time to learn more about the country. While browsing the internet I was delighted to discover "tap-taps". Tap-taps are privately owned but publicly operated forms of transportation in Haiti that are painted by their owners with brilliant colors, whimsical patterns, and religious motifs. They are named tap-taps because passengers tap on the metal panels inside the bus to signal when they would like to get off.

The first photo shows the simple structure that we built from half of an egg carton for the bottom of the tap-tap, and a piece of cardboard taped to the egg carton for the top of the tap-tap. The initial structure does not need to be bomb-proof as the paper-mache serves to strengthen the final piece.
The photo above shows the tap-taps after they have been covered with "plastercraft", your own paper-mache recipe will work just as well.

 After the paper-mache is completely dry, start decorating your tap-tap by painting in the largest spaces first as seen above. Then add the smaller painted details. The last thing to do is glue any fun thing you can think of to decorate your tap-tap. We used sequins, jewels, small shells, and even feathers!

Display for all to see! Have fun, and make sure to contact me if you have any questions about this project.
~Miss Karen