I’ve been known to make some outrageous paper mache projects. The smell of flour and water makes me swoon and I relish the oohey-gooey mess.
Joker pinata, 2009
But eventually I wanted to do more with paper mache. I wanted to make sculptures that weren’t just flat. It all started with this book that has the best mache clay recipe ever. You can really mold this stuff to suit whatever shape you want and add fine details.
And since Halloween is right around the corner, I had a project in mind….woodland masks for each family member! I set to work.
Using cheap toilet paper, elmers glue, joint compound, and a bit of flour, I created the clay. This is what the paper mache clay looks like when mixed. It looks a lot like tuna fish…thankfully it doesn’t smell like it. 😉
My friend Amber came for the fun too. She picked a project from the book…an adorable penguin!
I started the form by taking a couple of sheets of newspapers and taped them to my daughter Bella’s head to form a cap. Then with cereal box cardboard (reuse folks!) I created a beak and covered the cap with the cardboard too. I asked her to try it on a few times and eventually cut out the eye holes. This was the longest part of the process, the foundation. When it was complete, I started adding the paper mache clay.
Then I let the mask dry completely. The one thing I’d do differently is allow some extra space for shrinkage. I didn’t adjust for that so I had to cut a slit in the back of the mask. Thankfully the slit works like a charm.
Amber and I had another play date…this time to paint!
And this is what the painted raven mask turned out like:
I enjoyed adding some grays to look like feathers and making the beak look worn.
And here is our family of creatures all together: