How to Make a Life-Size Animal Sculpture

Adults or older children can make their own life-size animal sculpture from papier-mâché. Although papier-mâché is usually associated with making piñatas, you can use it to create any number of sculptural objects with the use of an appropriate base form. You can cut chicken wire, available at hardware stores, with wire snips and it is easy to mould into the animal shape of your choice. Man's best friend, the dog, would make a good life-size first animal sculpture challenge.

Create a tube from the chicken wire for the dog's body, and fold the ends of the wire to secure the tube.

Add four smaller tubes for the legs, bending the wire edges to secure the legs to the body. Bend a large square into a head shape and attach it to the body. Attach small sections of chicken wire for the dog's ears and tail.

Rip the newspaper into long 3-inch wide strips.

Mix flour and water to create a loose paste. Dip the strips in the paste and apply them to the chicken wire structure, covering the entire structure.

Let the papier-mâché dry thoroughly for several days. Smooth the structure with the sandpaper.

Paint with primer to conceal all newsprint. Paint the dog sculpture the colour of your choice and add dog facial features with the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire
  • Wire snips
  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Plastic dishpan
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Acrylic primer
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
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About the Author

Linda Shepard has been staff writer for "C & G Newspapers" for over 10 years, covering local government and crime and serving as the newspaper's food writer. She has written for "Michigan Meetings Magazine" and is also the owner of, an online business of self-guided walking tours.