Building a condom mosaic for McGill University's sexual health boutique

By Ainslee & Hannah, YAHAnet interns

A few months ago, the Shag Shop asked the YAHAnet intern team to create a condom mosaic of Dr. T, having been impressed by our "Getting to Zero" condom banner that we created for World AIDS Day 2012.

The Shag Shop is McGill University’s safer sex shop and sexual health resource centre on campus, and Dr. T is the McGill Health Clinic’s logo and avatar who answers health questions and appears on their website and pamphlets. He's also a real-life doctor.

How could we say no?!

Making an artistic condom creation can be tricky, but it turns out it is super rewarding and fun, and we encourage you to try making one!

Here is a list of materials you will need. See the note at the end about using expired condoms.

  • Super glue (we used a total of 4 or 5 small bottles)
  • Condoms in all the colours you need for your image (we used around 200 condoms in blues, beige, silver, black, and red)
  • Posterboard or some kind of background onto which you will glue the condoms
  • Scissors
  • Pencils and an eraser
  • Good company to make the condom creation with you!

We also used a measuring tape since we were working from an 8.5 x 11 printed image of Dr. T and wanted to get the proportions right.

Potential problems include glue getting EVERYWHERE, as well as difficulties making the condoms stick, which is why superglue is so important. Tape and other kinds of glue may not work on the slippery surface of condom wrappers! We used condoms both within their packages and unwrapped condoms for different effects. We even sampled tasting all of the flavoured condoms that we took out of their packages.

The whole project took the YAHAnet intern team about three 3–4 hour sessions to make, with each of us dropping in for different amounts of time.

Building the mosaic was a great learning experience for all of us. As university students, we spend the large majority of our time writing papers, working on assignments and studying in the library. It was refreshing to be able to work on a creative project, where we could work with our hands and use our imagination. It was also a great exercise in team building, as it took a great deal of collaboration from all of the interns to see the project through.

The final product was a huge hit! Everyone at the Shag Shop loved it, including the original Dr. T (pictured to the left). The mosaic is on permanent display in the entry to the Shag Shop, so go take a look if you are at McGill or happen to be visiting.

Looking into the future, the team is eager to work on similar creative projects, hopefully again with condoms!

If you are creating a permanent condom display, like the one we were asked to make here, try to use expired condoms. But why not try making a condom mosaic of useable condoms that can serve as an interactive exhibition where visitors pull off condoms taped to posterboard to reveal a message? See here!