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Paper Mache Sculpture

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How to Make a Paper Mache Sculpture

When people think of paper mache, they often don’t think of it in terms of sculpting. In fact, they often think of it in terms of molding but it is paper-mache-sculpture-1important to realize that paper mache is a versatile medium that can be used for both sculpting and molding.

Yes, you heard me right, paper mache can be used for sculpting and it is often something that people are surprised by. Paper mache is actually a very effective tool for making a sculpture.

With this type of paper mache creation, I recommend that you use a paper mache pulp or a paper mache clay. You can find some excellent recipes for paper mache pulp in the book The Step by Step Guide for Making Amazing Paper Mache Creations.

After you have your paper mache pulp recipe, you can begin sculpting your paper mache sculpture.

Step One: Decide on a Project

First, decide on the project that you are going to be making. Make sure that it is something that can be sculpted with the clay. Remember that this recipe is better suited to smaller projects and not to large projects.

Step Two: Sketch out your Project

Next, sketch out your project on a piece of paper. Try to think of it in parts. For instance, if you are sculpting a pig, you would have the head separate from the body and the ears separate from the head and so on.

Step Three: Transfer your Project to Cardboard

Once you have it sketched out, transfer the pattern to cardboard. You want to make sure that you have each piece separate with room for cutting. In addition, make sure that it is the side view of your project. You will build out for width but you want the length and form of the project on the cardboard.

Step Four: Cut out your Pattern

After you have it sketched out, cut out the pattern of your paper mache creation. Try to keep the lines even so you don’t have to worry about tattered edges.

Step Five: Tape your pattern together

paper-mache-sculpture-2Next, tape your pattern together so you get a slightly 3 dimensional creation. You can create bends in your pattern by adding a bit of rolled newspaper in between the seams. This is to create a lifelike build to your creature so if you are doing a pig, you would put paper between the legs and body to illustrate the hips.

Step Six: Build Up your Paper Mache Sculpture

Now that it is all put together, take the time to build up the sculpture. Scrunch up newspaper and stick it to the frame using masking tape. Work with small pieces of paper and build up slowly, keeping in mind the shape that you are trying to create. Once you have the proper shape, you can move to the next stage.

Step Seven: Cover with Paper Mache Pulp

After your frame is made, you can begin covering it with the paper mache pulp. You do not need to use anything to attach it to your frame as there is a glue in the pulp. Cover it with a thin layer so the muscles of your sculpture are properly covered but be careful not to make it too thick. You can also attach the ears and other items you had left off while you are working on this stage.

Step Eight: Dry your Sculpture

When you have the shape and look that you want with the paper Mache Clay, allow your sculpture to dry. This usually doesn’t take as long as other paper mache creations since it is not as thick.paper-mache-sculpture-3

Step Nine: Paint and Decorate

After it is dry, take the time to paint it and decorate it the way that you want. With paper mache sculptures, I recommend that you use acrylic paints but there are a number of other paints you can use, which you can find in The Ultimate Paper Mache Guide.

Step Ten: Seal it

The final stage of creating your paper mache creation is to spray it with a clear sealer. This will help improve the lifespan of your sculpture and will leave a nice finish on the project.

And that is all you need to do to make your very own paper mache sculpture.


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