Saturday, May 5, 2012

Paper Mache Monster Instructions

Materials Required:
  • Cardboard box (size determines finished monster)  approximately 8" x 8" x 15" wide for 33" Zippy
  • Newspaper
  • Masking Tape
  • A few discarded magazines
  • Flour
  • Water and a pail for flour paste
  • Paper Towels
  • Acrylic Paint, 4 oz tube
  • Paintbrush
  • Craft Glue
  • Miscellaneous decorating supplies

1. Build your monster right out of the box.
Toss in a few old magazines to give the box some weight so your monster will stand up straight. Fill the rest of the box solidly with crumpled up newspaper.

2. Build on the base by making a body of bunched up balls of newspaper wrapped in paper and secured with masking tape.
Add a head.


3. Attach arms made of either wrapping paper tubes or rolled up newspaper. Build up elbows, noses, shoulders, ears and fingers by bunching up, folding, or rolling paper and taping to the body until you are satisfied with the shape of your monster.

This isn't Zippy. It's "Firecracker," one of the monsters we hunted for in the woods last spring. He's the orange one in the group photo on the Monster Hunt blog post.

4. When the form is completely shaped, like Zippy is, below, you are ready to cover it in strips of newspaper dipped in flour paste. Fill a pail with at least 2 quarts of water and add flour, a few handfuls at a time, stirring with your hand until fairly smooth and the consistency of craft glue. Make more flour paste, as needed, while you work.

5. Tear newspaper sheets into strips about 4" wide. Dip them in the pail and push off any excess paste. Layer strips on the monster until it is completely covered. Make at least 3 layers.

6. Allow everything to dry. In sunny, breezy weather one day outside is usually enough time.

7. The nature of paper mache is an uneven surface. However, a piece is much easier to paint and decorate if the final (fourth) layer is a covering of paper towel strips. Apply it after the first drying using the paste-dipping method as before. Below, Zippy covered in newspaper only, and then with the final layer of paper towel strips. The last layer is optional, but I recommend it.

8. Paint the monster with acrylics for best results. At 33" tall, this guy used an entire 4 oz. tube of paint. If you are working with children, you may sub tempera, but the surface will be dull. In that case, spray the entire monster with a matte or glossy clear finish after the paint dries, but before decoration is applied (optional).

The fun part is next! Paint details. Glue on ping pong balls for eyes, craft foam scraps for teeth, yarn for hair, "buttons for buttons," and anything else you have that's cute to add.

This design, as well as all blog content, is intended for personal use only.
Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.
Thank you!

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