A Paper Mache Palooza!

I have been diligently working on finishing some of my paper mache projects before the holidays, and I finally finished a paper mache Snowman and even a paper mache Turkey!  I am still working on my paper mache pumpkins, but I will share those with you all a little later.


First, let’s talk about my paper mache Snowman!  Working with paper mache is fun and it’s easy to create some awesome things, but you have to let your projects dry thoroughly between layers before going onto the next step.  Anyhow, I started my Snowman project by first cutting a small cardboard base for him.  I used an old fire extinguisher box and cut it to make a small stand or base for my snowman and taped it up with masking tape.

Next, I had to think about what I had on hand that was “round”  to make the snowman layers.  I thought about just rolling up some newspaper, but thought against it, but ended up just blowing up three small balloons.  This is where I ran into a little snag.  I blew up the balloons and attached the first one to the base with no problems.  Next, I tried to attach the second balloon to the first one and it would not “stick”.  Yikes!  Now what?  The masking tape just kept falling off the balloons, and I was stumped.  I pulled out my crazy glue and had to hold the balloons in place until the glue dried and that seemed to work.  Phew!

I then worked on making the top hat, nose and scarf.  I cut the top hat from a small cat food box and taped it together.  The nose was just a small sticky note rolled into a pointy nose and taped onto the balloon.  The scarf was made by just rolling up long pieces of newspaper, and taped them together.  Now that I had my tower of three balloons all attached to the base, and the hat and nose, it was time to get to work and start the paper mache process.  (The scarf was not yet attached)

I mixed up a batch of paper mache mix, which is only flour and water, and made the paste to resemble a pancake mix thickness.  You don’t want this mixture to be too thick or too thin.  I already had the newspaper cut up in small strips, so I was ready to get to work.  I just dipped each strip into the paste and laid it on the balloon and worked my way all the way around.   I placed a few layers of newspaper all around the balloons and base and now it is time for it to dry.  I hurried up the process by placing a small heater in front of the snowman to dry the paste quicker.

Once the snowman has dried and you could not feel any spots that you were able to push in (meaning – you did not have enough layers of newspaper in that spot and it was not thick enough), it was time to attach the scarf to the snowman.  Since the scarf was just pieces of newspaper rolled up and taped, it still needed to be paper mached.  I paper mached the scarf all by itself and then wrapped it around the snowman while still wet, and tied the scarf on the snowman.  Let it dry.

Once the scarf was dry, it was time to start painting!  I pulled out my black, white, orange, and red paints and went to town!  I was amazed on how awesome the snowman was coming together and with each color I added to him, he looked cuter and cuter with each color.  By adding red stripes to his scarf, it truly completed the snowman!  But a snowman is not complete without eyes, so I painted some round push pins black and just stuck them into the snowman.

Now, for my paper mache turkey, I just rolled up some newspaper to form the body and the head and then taped them together with masking tape.  I made the beak with a sticky note like I did for the snowman.  For the legs and feet, I just rolled up some newspaper for the legs and taped it to the body, and then cut up a clothes hanger and bent the hanger to shape the feet.  For the feathers, I cut up a cereal box into feather shapes.

I individually paper mached each feather first, then let them dry.  Once dried, I fanned them out a bit and taped them together.  Once the head, body and legs were all taped together, I taped on the feathers in one piece to the body.  Next, it was time to paper mache the turkey!  I did the same process as the snowman, layering the newspaper all over the turkey, making sure that you place enough layers to make your item thick enough.  I painted the turkey a flat black first, then added a light dusting of orange all over the head and body, but used a few layers of orange on the beak and legs so they would stand out.

Now, the paper mache turkey will make a great (and comical) Thanksgiving centerpiece that will look adorable with those paper mache turkey legs place card holders that I made earlier! So, what do you think?

Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family from all of us at Nikitaland!

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