My Paper Mache Exploration Project

I wanted share my paper mache project for my visual arts grad. class. First, this class is designed for artists and non-artists alike, so everyone is working on their own level on a project which interested them. If you do not know me, I fall into the non-artist catagory. Although, what is art and who are “real” artists is a whole other can of worms. I tried various armatures upon which to build my paper mache projects and decorated them in a variety of ways. I learned from the decorating phase and had fun. I was trying to be a bit experimental in my decorating phase, so that I tried new or different things which were a little outside my comfortable box.

Paper Mache Man

This is the first project I attempted. I wanted to use an aluminum foil frame. So I tried the ALUMINUM FOIL MAN (said in an announcer voice)–a popular favorite from our course. This did not work out well. I could not get the glue soaked newsprint to stay on his body. I tried little pieces and long, skinny strips and they all slid off. I gave up in frustration and decided bigger was better–as far as my paper mache exploration was concerned.

So my first attempt was a failure!

Project #2

This is attempted number 2. A success! My frame was a paper towel tube duct taped to a mouthwash bottle. This was much easier to cover with paper mache! I sprayed painted the piece black and experimented with glueing various objects on to it. I had fun with this. I gathered small objects made of various materials and used Tacky Glue to attach them to the piece. I added a long squiggle of Elmer’s glitter glue in silver from the top to the bottom.

Wild Thing Art

This is a flat paper mache piece I named Wild Thing (W.T). The armature for this is a wire hanger covered with that mesh dry wall tape. The paper mache had minor problems with slippage as the front and back layers practically touched each other and the moisture went through the mesh tape. The newsprint became so wet it slipped off. But I was able to reattach it. I sprayed painted the whole piece silver. I decorated this side with a main image consisting of two pictures from magazine ads–one of a tree made of people and the other was Max from Where the Wild Things Are. Max was added to the larger tree image. I decorated the edge of the main image with general colored rectangle from other ads.

Sharpie Work

On this side, I used metallic paint to doodle lines, dots, squiggles, etc. I took inspiration from Jill, one of my talented “real” artist classmates, and used a black Sharpie to add more interest to my doodles. I LOVED the results. I looked so much better than before I added the Sharpie marks.

Paper Mache Monster

The frame for this is a milk jug wrapped with many layers of plastic shopping bag duct taped shut. I then duct tapped two light bulbs to the piece (Fred). Before painting Fred, he looked like a cooked turkey when laying down. Some visitors also thought he looked like Shrek. I spray painted the piece black and the Fred spoke to me and wanted me to set his monster soul free. I used metallic paint to decorate him. I had some issues with the paint dripping due to his shape. My limited painting abilities ended up giving him a primitive or tribal look which I think worked for Fred.

I enjoyed this process and had fun just creating without worrying about my products needing to be something.


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