Home Crochet baby clothesMake papier mache figures and animals yourself - DIY instructions

Make papier mache figures and animals yourself - DIY instructions

  • Instructions: Cook cardboard pulp
  • Cost of Pappmasché
  • Coloring the finished sculptures
  • Piggy bank made of papier mache
  • Butler James

Whether a piggy bank, a penguin or a giraffe in the entrance area, with papier-mâché you can make great animals and figures yourself. The cost is extremely low, but it's not the fun of crafting. Here are some ideas with the instructions that you can easily make at home.

There are no limits to the imagination when working with papier-mâché. Whether huge angels swing through your loft apartment or whether a butler receives your guests perfectly shaped at the door. Round animals and figures can be tinkered relatively easily with a scaffold made of a balloon and paper mache. It gets a bit more difficult with big figures who can not be made with a balloon. We therefore also show you a variant with a slightly more stable interior. This also succeed life-size figures in the style of Picasso or the cats of Rosina Wachtmeister.

You need this:

  • pincers
  • scissors
  • cutter
  • bucket
  • brush
  • paint tray
  • screwdriver
  • cooking pot
  • newsprint
  • tissue
  • Paper towel cardboard
  • Cardboard toilet roll
  • egg carton
  • balloon
  • masking tape
  • cardboard
  • Fine mesh wire
  • pipe cleaners
  • paste
  • colorful colors
  • clearcoat

Papier mâché - a question of faith

While some hobbyists apply very simple newspaper with wallpaper paste in several overlapping layers, others start directly with the cooking of a soft paper pulp. The first variant, where you do not need to make a pulp, is called lamination technology. It is especially for crafting with children or smaller projects, the simpler variant. Later, the boiled pulp will look nobler on your figures or animals.

Instructions: Cook cardboard pulp

1. Shred newsprint

Since you can use the paper pulp for all different figures, we present the recipe here separately. First, you need a larger amount of torn newspaper. It really takes a lot of paper, because the mass shrinks again during drying very strong. So you should use the largest saucepan you own. Ideal is also a large pressure cooker, as the volume should be sufficient even for a huge giraffe.

Tip: If you have a paper shredder, you can make your work a little easier. You do not need to rip off the large quantities of newsprint by hand, but you can shred it easily.

2. soaking

The torn paper is mixed with water and soaked. If you pour the same amount of hot water, it will be faster. However, the mass must be thoroughly mixed and kneaded before cooking. With a large barbecue tongs but you can do it in the hot water. If you want to add paper later, you should first use cold water and then turn on the heat under the saucepan when the paper is complete. Your mass would otherwise become uneven. While a part has already dissolved into mush, the rest would still be recognizable as a newspaper.

Tip: For large animals or figures, you should mix torn egg cartons in the paper pulp. So the porridge later becomes more stable and thicker after drying. Especially with long legs or necks, the egg carton mass helps to maintain the shape of the animals.

3. Cooking

The pulp should be boiled properly. For about ten to twenty minutes, the porridge should boil over 100 degrees. Some recipes use only hot water to make a pulp from the newspaper clippings. However, the fibers of the paper dissolve better during cooking and the mass becomes more homogeneous. In addition, some of the printing ink goes with the pouring of the water into the spout. When the porridge is cool enough to be touched, the water is squeezed out with your hands.

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Caution: White wooden spoons may discolour strongly after use due to the printing ink in the newspaper.
Wear gloves as protection against the printing ink.

4. Add paste

When you have expressed the water, wallpaper paste is added. How much powder you need exactly, you have to try again every time. The paper quality of the newspapers is always slightly different and the egg cartons do their part to change the mass every time. The powder is kneaded as evenly as possible under the mass. However, use only powdered paste as the finished paste itself contains too much moisture. In addition, the final paste is significantly more expensive, which is absolutely not necessary.

Tip: Store the remaining porridge in a cling bag. The paper mache shrinks when drying. This can lead to unsightly cracks and dents on wire frames, especially in large animals. If you still have some paperboard in the fridge or in the freezer, you can repair this damage after drying. Most of the time, however, the paste loses its effect, so you should add some powder again.

Cost of Pappmasché

Making papier-mâché is a particularly good pleasure. Even if you work with wire, a ten meter roll of rabbit wire, which is 50 centimeters high, costs only about twelve euros. Any other materials or tools needed anyway already have everyone.

  • Acrylic paint 12 tubes of different colors 100 ml - in the set about 15 euros
  • Wallpaper paste 125 g - from 2.50 euros
  • old newspapers - for free
  • Paintbrush - Set of 5 about 3 Euro
  • Spray paint clear - about 4 euros per can

Coloring the finished sculptures

Acrylic paints mix very well and are easy to remove again from fingers and brushes. In addition, they have a high pigment density, thereby cover the acrylic paints very well. Another benefit of acrylic paints is their thinnability, which creates an even wider range of color tones. And last but not least, there is a matching clear coat for acrylic paints that is even available as a spray paint. This prevents bleeding of the bright colors when the paint is applied.
[Photo tubes acrylic paint]

Decorate and stick

In the craft supplies there are beautiful paper sheets, which are printed with matching patterns and decors. These decopatch papers are not only suitable for papier-mâché, but also for all other surfaces. This paper has been specially designed not to tear on very uneven surfaces. For example, if you make a maid for your dressing room, you can use such a paper to make the top apron. Take a look around in the trade, there you will certainly find the matching bows Decopatch for very fine papier-mache figures.

Tip: If you want a figure to be bigger than a balloon and the usual paper towels may allow, you can always grab the rabbit wire. Even the finer wire, which is woven in the covers for basement shafts, allows great constructions. In addition, the soft wire of these tissues is better to cover. The distance between rabbit and chicken wire may be a bit too rough for fine figures or animals.

Piggy bank made of papier mache

We start here with the simplest craft work, the pink piggy bank. For this you need next to the cardboard mass, a balloon and an egg carton.

1st basic structure Balloon

The balloon should be as round as possible. As a backbone he should be strong but not too much inflated. If you do not really like the shape of the body, you can wrap it with a crepe. So the balloon can be corrected something.

Tip: If you want to make a long dachshund, for example, a balloon is also suitable. If you can not get an elongated balloon, this body is also simply wrapped with masking tape. So you can make a long sausage out of it.

2. Pig nose and ears

When making a pig, you might think egg cartons were just invented for that. Both the nose and the ears can be separated from the individual parts of the egg cartons. Even the legs of the piggy bank are just individual hollows from the egg carton. Attach these items to the pig body with a little bit of crepe.

3. Apply mass

For a single pig, the laminating technique is best. So you paint the pig with paste and put strips of newspaper over it. Always try to overlap the strips, which will provide support later. In turn, therefore, glue is repeatedly brushed on, pressed into the paper strip.

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Tip: If you use kitchen paper as the last layer of the laminating technique, you will not need so much color later to hide the printing ink. Tissue paper is also suitable, but still seems to be quite a bit through. But if you want to make fine faces with papier mâché, tissue paper is the perfect finishing touch, as the fine surface nicely simulates delicate skin.

When making kitchen paper, make sure that the skin of the papier mache figure is a bit coarser and that it has small dots. If you do not want that, stay with the layers of newspaper.

4. Let it dry

Although not as many layers are applied to the pig as on a large animal, it should dry for about a week before you can continue working. Then you should test whether the envelope around the balloon has become really rigid enough.

5. Coloring

In the laminating technique much of the printing ink is still present after drying. You should therefore prime the pig with white paint. After each strike, let your artwork dry well again, otherwise the moisture can enter the inner life. If the balloon is damaged then the pig falls down.

Paint or glue beautiful big eyes to the pig and mark the nostrils and muzzle below with felt-tip pens. After the pink color - or whatever your pig should have - dried, you should coat the animal with a clear coat.

6. Grow tail

Wait a few more days before growing the Ringeltschwanz. If you do not want to destroy the balloon, you should already stick a small Papierringelschwanz during the laminating. However, a pink pipe cleaner from the craft shop, which you can turn perfectly in the shape of a ring, will be more beautiful. This just has to be plugged into the pig. Therefore, the papier-mâché must really be perfectly dried.

7. Slot for the coin slot

Of course, if the pet is to serve as a piggy bank, it must of course have a slit on its back. You can cut it carefully with a cutter. Even a steak knife is well suited to cut the slit in the pig's back.

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Butler James

Our butler James is a bit harder to make. For him you need wire and if possible the inside of a roll of carpet as a support. If you can not get a roll of carpet, is also a thick sewage pipe. This even has the advantage that there are matching pipe closures that you can easily screw on a wooden plate. So Butler James gets enough grip in life, after all, he should also carry a tray.

1. Build a framework

The butler does not necessarily need two legs. He stands more stable when the two legs are not separated, but in reality a pillar. In the wire frame, you should either introduce a pipe or something similar as described above.

Tip: If you have an old cd-stand made of wire, this is an ideal basis for a big character like the butler James or a valet.

The upper body and arms should also be visually separated by color. The stability is good if only the hands of James protrude slightly. The hands anyway need only be a hint, because they rest on the tablet. The tray can be a board that in reality reaches deep into James' upper body. This provides additional stability and you can actually post some mail and car keys to your butler.

The head is created as described above by a balloon, which you either stick with paper strips or form with the paper mache. His snooty nose can be made with a toilet paper roll or from a hollow of an egg carton. You will also find the ears in the egg carton.

2. Spread out the papier-mâché

On the wire frame of the butler now the boiled porridge from the instructions above is passed. You probably have to do this in several steps and let the mass between times and dry again and again. Take your time, this is the only way to get a sturdy, stable butler.

At the elbows and knees, the mass should be attached a bit wavy. So you can simulate the clothes of the butler quite lifelike. Do not forget the fly that James wears around her neck. All these little things have to be taken into account when shaping the body. Always keep a picture of the butler in mind so you do not forget anything. There, where the gentleman should have hair, you also need some Vorwölbungen.

3. Paint James

Let your butler grow either black or gray hair. Other hair colors are difficult to paint and then appear inappropriate. The good man also needs eyebrows from the same color. Pants and shoes should be black in any case. Other colors are also suitable for the jacket. So the butler can be adapted to your decor.

Tips for quick readers:

  • Tear the newspaper and bring it to a boil
  • Mash paper mache with paste
  • optional laminating technology from newspaper and paste
  • Pig from balloon and egg carton
  • Inflate the balloon - possibly with adhesive tape
  • Stick on nose, ears and legs made of egg carton
  • Layer newspaper and paste in layers
  • Paint the pig and apply a clear coat
  • Cut in slot and install ring tail
  • Butler James with wire and prop
  • Insert tray into the body
  • Balloon head - nose / ears egg carton
  • Gradually spread the pulp
  • let it dry in between
  • Paint Butler James after drying
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