Chicken wire is a thin type of fencing that has hexagonal shapes throughout it. Traditionally used on farms to fence in chickens, because of its ability to bend easily, it is also often used in making paper mache sculptures. The chicken wire itself acts as a base for newspaper and paste that is applied over the wire. Sculptures out of chicken wire can be made without any support under them as long as the sculpture is not extremely large. Making a moose head sculpture with chicken wire for paper mache can be accomplished with only a few supplies and a little of your time.
Draw out the design for your moose head on paper. Determine the characteristics of your moose head that you want to include. For example, you will need to decide if your moose head will be realistic or perhaps have some comical aspects to it. Additionally, you need to determine if the moose head will have antlers and how large those antlers will be.
Write down the measurements that you want for your moose head. Measurements should include the height of the moose head to include the antlers, the width of the moose head and the circumference of the moose head sculpture. A moose head larger than two feet tall and two feet wide will require a brace underneath the chicken wire to support the sculpture. If your sculpture is less than two feet in height and width, you will not need a brace.
Build a brace for your sculpture if it exceeds two feet in height and two feet in width. Braces can be made from wood, cardboard, balloons or any study material that will support the weight of the sculpture. The brace will not be part of the final sculpture; it only serves to support your structure. Build the brace by connecting pieces of your brace material with tape, nails or screws to each other, making the brace the height and width of your measurements.
Cut chicken wire into 1-foot sections with wire cutters. This will make working with it easier.
Shape the base of the neck for your moose head with the chicken wire by bending the wire with your hands and then laying the wire one piece at a time over your brace, continuing to shape the wire as you do so.
Add more chicken wire to the neck base as needed by wrapping the ends of the new piece of chicken wire around the ends of the first piece. Trim the sections as needed with wire cutters as you work.
Bend the chicken wire to form the top of the head, ears and muzzle, working your way back down to the front part of the neckline.
Connect cardboard paper towel rolls together with tape to form a foundation for your antlers. Cut the paper towel rolls with scissors as needed to create your antler foundation.
Bend the chicken wire around the bottom portion of the antlers and shape the wire as desired around the cardboard roll.
Continue bending the chicken wire and shaping it over the antlers until the antlers have been completely formed.
Attach the antlers to the head by wrapping the ends of the chicken wire on the bottom of the antlers around the chicken wire that forms the head. Trim the chicken wire as needed with wire cutters.
When completing your sculpture with paper mache, use a mixture of two parts glue to one part water, rather than a flour and water mixture. Flour and water paper mache tends to attract insects, while the glue water mixture does not. When building your moose head, it is important that you always start at the bottom of the shape and work your way up. You will build support for the rest of the structure as you go.
Tips and warnings
- When completing your sculpture with paper mache, use a mixture of two parts glue to one part water, rather than a flour and water mixture. Flour and water paper mache tends to attract insects, while the glue water mixture does not.
- When building your moose head, it is important that you always start at the bottom of the shape and work your way up. You will build support for the rest of the structure as you go.