I have to say I’m pretty proud of the Paper Mache Mermaid I created for my girl’s fourth birthday party. The fish was easy enough, but how on earth do you make a body, with a tail, out of things in the recycling bin? I’ll show you how I did it!
After pilfering through our paper/cardboard recycling stuff, I found a couple items that I thought would work smashingly. I cut one large rectangular side off of a beer box (hey, don’t judge!). I then twisted it into a cone shape (to be part of the tail) and secured with masking tape….
I then grabbed an empty tissue box, and taped the tissue box to the inside of the cone piece. I angled the box just a bit, thinking about how it might balance if it was sitting upright. In essence, attaching the body to the tail…
I then cut another piece from my trusty beer box to represent the tail and taped it the the pointy end of the cone. I also added a piece to the back to smooth out the transition from the body to the tail (pictured to the right below).
Up next, the arms!
I took two paper towel tubes and cut them along the seam which sort of twisted around the tube. I then twisted the now sliced tube to get something of a bent arm effect. I taped the “arm” to keep it in the shape I wanted, then taped it to the top of the tissue box, where you can imagine a shoulder might be….
Come on, you can see it, right?
I then blew up a balloon to make the head and taped it to the very top of the tissue box body.
And now it’s time to get messy with the paper mache!
(For the paste I mixed about a 1/2 cup of flour to 3/4 cup of water, but you may need to tweak it to get the consistency that works for you. Thin pancake batter was the consistency I was looking for.)
Two layers of paper mache, and one good layer of white spray paint later (tempera paint just wasn’t cutting it and the process was too slow) I now have Casper…I mean, a mermaid body!
(Please excuse our monster recycle bin…)
Now it’s time to jazz her up! I Mod Podged some pink and green tissue paper pieces to her, pink for the head, arms and body, and green for the tail.
I ended up doing two layers of both to really make the colors vibrant.
Now for the final touches. I seriously pondered how to give our girl some hair and a face. Working with what we had around, I pulled out all the yellow and orange pipe cleaners I had (not many), and draped those on either side of her head. I then took my little girl’s swim cap and put that over top of her head to hold the pipe cleaners in place. I also secured the cap with some straight pins so it wouldn’t roll off her round noggin. I hot glued some seashells to her chest for her “bikini top”, slapped on some sunglasses and voila!
Our perfectly sweet little Paper Mache Mermaid!
She was quite a hit!
Now that was quite an engineering project for me! But I’m very please with her, and my girl just adores it! No building project is too hard…if you just raid the recycle bin!
What’s the craftiest thing you’ve made lately?