How to Make a Large Paper Mache Sculpture

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How to Make a Large Paper Mache Sculpture
Make large sculptures out of paper mache. (newspaper image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com)

You can make large paper mache (papier-mache) sculptures right in your own home. There is no limit to the size of sculpture you can make. You just need access to enough armature material to create the skeleton of your sculpture. Armatures can be made out of many things, but for a large sculpture it is best to use a strong base wrapped in wire. Then you wrap it in strips of newspaper that have been soaked in a liquid adhesive and allow it to dry.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Paper and charcoal
  • Wood base
  • PVC pipe
  • Strong glue
  • Armature wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Newspapers
  • White flour
  • Bowl half full of water
  • Acrylic paint
  • Brushes
  • Varnish
  • Sponge-type brush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Draw your sculpture image on a piece of paper using charcoal for a free-flowing effect. Figure out approximately how tall and wide and long you want your sculpture to be.

  2. 2

    Glue the end of a wide PVC pipe to a board and allow it to dry. How large the pipe and board are depends on how large your sculpture will be.

  3. 3

    Bend and wrap armature wire around the PVC pipe until it resembles the shape you want for your sculpture. Cut the wires as necessary using wire cutters. Shape the wire as close as possible to the final shape you want your sculpture to have.

  4. 4

    Tear the newspapers into long, 2-inch-wide strips.

  5. 5

    Add a little white flour to the bowl of water and mix it together until it has a creamy consistency.

  6. 6

    Dunk one strip of newspaper at a time into this flour mixture and wipe off the excess flour mixture with your fingers. Drape the newspaper strips on the armature, overlapping somewhat until the entire armature is covered. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

  7. 7

    Paint the sculpture and let it dry. Apply a coat of varnish, if desired, for a shiny, finished look.

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