How to Make an Owl in 3-D Papier-Mache

Written by louise jones
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How to Make an Owl in 3-D Papier-Mache
Build details into papier-mache objects as you add layers of paper. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Papier-mache is an uncomplicated and versatile way of creating 3-D sculptures of just about anything. All papier-mache scuptures start off with the basic form or shape of the finished object and have details added during construction. To make an owl from papier-mache, combine a spherical head on an oblong body. While papier-mache is a way to introduce kids to 3-D modelling, you can make some intricate and sophisticated effects with just flour, water and paper.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mixing bowl
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Newspapers
  • Masking tape
  • Paints

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  1. 1

    Prepare a large work area by covering it with old towels or waterproof material. Mix water and flour in the large mixing bowl. It should be the consistency of white glue; keep adding flour and water until it's right.

  2. 2

    Scrunch up a sheet or two of newspaper into a spherical ball. Use pieces of masking tape to hold it in shape where needed. This will be the owl's head.

  3. 3

    Scrunch up a few more pieces of paper into an oval shape to make the owl's body, again using pieces of tape to help it keep its shape.

  4. 4

    Flatten the bottom of the head and top of the body a little and stick them together with pieces of masking tape.

  5. 5

    Tear more newspaper into long strips. Dip the strips into the paste and lay them on the surface of the scrunched-up owl shape. Repeat, covering the entire owl shape.

  6. 6

    Let the sculpture dry. This will take a few hours; it can be left overnight. Leaving it in a warm place or in the sunshine will speed up the drying process.

  7. 7

    Layer more strips of pasted paper over the whole of the dry owl shape. Add extra layers of paper on the left and right sides of the shape to form the wings. Make them begin at the owl's neck and continue down two-thirds of the body, oval in shape and pointed at the bottom.

  8. 8

    Repeat Steps 5, 6 and 7 until the sculpture is solid and sturdy.

  9. 9

    Paint details on the papier-mache sculpture to resemble an owl.

Tips and warnings

  • For a larger owl, use chicken wire to create the body and head.
  • Tissues or tissue paper will create a smoother finish if used on the final layer.
  • You can draw on the dried owl sculpture to outline the owl's face, wings and feathers.

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