Here is a complete tutorial on the making of a paper and cloth mache creature. The process is pretty much the same for any creature you choose. Hope you enjoy it…

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Materials: Newspaper, masking tape, hot glue gun, old bed sheet cloth, sculpty clay, elmers glue, wire coat hanger, and acrylic paints.

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Step 1:  Making paper mache balls. The first thing we do is make up a bunch of different shapes and sizes of paper mache balls. Keep in mind your head and body size for your creature. By crumpling up newspaper lightly and wrapping it with more newspaper we achieve different shapes and sizes.

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After lightly crumpling newspaper, use masking tape to secure it. Add more newspaper to achieve rough size desired.

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Next we will be tearing strips of newspaper and applying them with a glue paste to the balls. I use straight water downed elmers glue but you can also mix up a flour water paste if desired.

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Next we will dip our palm flat into the paste and stamp onto our newspaper strips and then apply to our ball. Keep repeating this process overlapping the wet newspaper strips covering the entire ball.

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Keep applying layers of paper strips to each ball lightly rubbing them until you have achieved at least six layers of newspaper strips on each ball. When finished set all the papered balls out to dry in front of a fan for 24hrs.to dry.

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Now that the paper mache balls are dry lets start with the head. Choose your head ball and draw a mouth line across it with a marker and cut along it with a sharp knife continuing all the way around the ball. Mark the front and back as well as the top and bottom. Now open the ball separating the two half shells. They should be nice and thin, strong, and very light. Save the newspaper stuffing to wrap again with paper mache for another project.

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Now place your top and bottom head pieces back together noting your top and bottom marks and make teeth indication marks. I call these the upper and lower jaws. This is when we break out the sculpty or polymer clay of your choice and make our creatures teeth as well as any other pieces we might need like eyes, nails,tongues,  noses,etc…

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After you have made and baked your polymer clay teeth it’s time to attach them with a hot glue gun. You can make any size and shape you wish.

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Now we will be wrapping each tooth with glue cloth hiding the roots of the teeth and creating a gum line. Tear some narrow strips of bed sheet cloth and cut to about two inches long and soak in elmers glue. Fold over one torn edge side of a glue strip and crisscross it over a tooth. Then do the same thing again on the other side of the tooth crisscrossing the other direction. Do all your teeth and any exposed areas between teeth. Then let them dry in front of a fan.

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The next step will be putting in a mouth liner and then a tongue if you need one. Turn your two jaw halves over and cut two pieces of cloth about an inch wider than the jaws perimeter. You will then be soaking in glue, folding the entire edge under about a quarter inch, and then sticking it all along the inside of your jaws perimeter just below the top rim. Leave wrinkles and pleats along the fold for effects, Dry hard in front of fan.

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Ok…when your jaws are dry it’s time to make the tongue if your going to have one. If the tongue is going to hang out of the mouth over an inch then we need to make it from wire and glue cloth…If it is just going to be seen inside the mouth you can just make it from polymer clay, bake it, paint it, and then hot glue it to the jaw. Long tongues need more strength. Take your wire and bend it around a round object as wide as you need your tongue to be or just do it by hand. Straighten out the two wire ends and determine the length you will need from the back of your jaw out past the teeth and as far as where you want it to go. Bend it up and down so that it lays against the bottom jaw and then up and over teeth or between them. Once you get a rough bent shape use masking tape to sculpt it and then apply some glue cloth. When dry you will need to paint it and hot glue it in position. Also make sure the inside of both jaws are painted and then hot glue the two halves together and cover with masking tape.

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Now we are going to make a neck with wire, newspaper, and masking tape. One end will be hot glued to the and the other will be made ready for attaching to the body later.

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Time for some eyes… These are glass eyes embedded into polymer clay and baked. You don’t have to use glass eyes as with most of my stuff I just make all clay eyes. Find a good spot on your piece and hot glue them in place. After you get the eyes where you want them you can fill in the backside or other areas with tin foil or newspaper before we use glue cloth to cover.

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Here you can see where I have used tin foil to make back of eyes and also pad out the nose and cheeks…

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Now we will create a lip or skin with a folded strip of glue cloth for the upper and lower jaw that comes down just over the gum line and teeth. Also begin layering glue cloth under and over eyes to create eye lids…

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Here I have cut out some ear shapes from cereal box cardboard and wrapped with tin foil to make a couple ears and then hot glued them on. After that go ahead and apply glue cloth to the rest of the head almost down to the neck an set aside to dry.

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Now lets move on to the body and begin making legs and a tail to attach to it. First we will hot glue our two body halves back together and tape it shut after removing the stuffing. Then using coat hanger wire or similar cut four pieces and begin sculpting legs with newspaper and masking tape. The wire will add additional support and also allow you to bend and shape each leg later.

 

You still with me?

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Ok…get your hot glue gun ready, it’s time for some legs. I like to poke a tiny hole in the body to insert the post on top of the leg. Take your first leg and put a little hot glue on it and position it onto the body…

A little hot glue along where I have drawn a line…

Stick the wire post in and hold in place for a minute while the hot glue sets up…

Then you can add a little hot glue around the outside edge…

Now the other leg the same way. You can see here how I have marked the front of the body…

Now do the same with the back legs…

When your done you should have something like this. Bend the wire in the legs around and play with it until you have it the way you like it and it stands stable.

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While wrapping legs I also cut a wire and wrapped a tail. Bend it around and play with it and then hot glue the wire post you left extended on one end into the body…

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Now its time to create bumps, muscles, ribs, and one structure. I am making a boney feral cat so I want his ribs to show. If you want a fat guy then pad him out where ever you need with newspaper and masking tape. We are getting him ready for his outer skin with glue cloth…

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Now we can complete his feet and help him to stand up even better…

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