I 've made these flat on the back so they are more for hanging on the wall than wearing.
This makes it easier to display in the classroom and I wasn't up to having 20 half mached balloons sitting around drying in my workspace.
The paper mache technique I use is slightly different than the traditional one. I use a paper towel and white glue method. It is less messy (yay! for all the Moms out there) and it produces a better result.
I supervised 19 8 yr olds making their masks last week and we had very little clean-up.
cardboard base, paper towel, newspaper, regular tape, duct tape or packing tape, regular white glue , recycled plastic container, water, paint, paintbrush, wax paper
Take some fairly heavy cardboard and cut out a face shape. Make some eye holes and cut them out too. You'll have to use an exacto knife so be VERY CAREFUL (adults only).
Take some newspaper and start forming the parts of the face. This will add the 3-D look to the face and save you from having to build this up with layers of the paper mache. Tape up individual parts with regular tape and then attach to face with packing or duct tape.
It doesn't have to look pretty it just has to be stuck on and it doesn't even have to be stuck on very well for when you mache it will be covered.
Make some interesting face shapes...
you should have seen what those 8 yr olds came up with....horns, teeth, extra noses. You can also use parts of an egg carton or some little boxes or pieces of toilet paper rolls.
Place your mask on some wax paper. Take some paper towel and rip into strips. In your plastic container add plain regular white glue(not tacky) and an equal amount of water, mix.
Dip your paper towel in the glue mixture and start applying to mask. You want to cover all the areas. The paper towel absorbs the mixture so you have less mess, you can also place dry strips on top of the wet ones and they will absorb any excess glue. ... Now you can spend time building up some of the features if you want or just do a single coat all over the mask it's up to you.
Try not to tent the features with the paper towel, you'll lose the definition, use your fingers to shape around the features to keep your contours. Don't worry about the other side as it will face the wall.
When done place in a warm dry area .
Let dry completely, usually about 36 hrs.
If your a fan of paperclay you can make your own by putting paper towel strips in enough glue mixture to saturate, let them sit for a few minutes and then pull apart mixture a bit with your fingers. Keep in a air tight container until you are ready to use. You can mold and sculpt all sorts of things and it will dry rock hard.
You can tell your mask is dry as most of it will be rock hard, there might be a few soft spots but as long as they are not moist you are ready to paint. Because we used white paper towel, the large areas I want white I just leave unpainted.
Paint as desired. I used tempera as this is what the kids will use at school. For a shiny finishing coat, wait until all the paint is thoroughly dry (even if it feels dry give it a few extra hrs. to fully cure), then paint on a thin layer of full strength white glue. The curing ensures you paint won't start running when you put on the glue as it is water soluble. You also need a light touch as it may start smearing a bit even after curing.
You can use this paper mache technique on a variety of sculptures. Check out the Art Attack site in my links section as Neil uses this technique on lots of different projects. It is very kid friendly.
I think paper mache is an under-utilized medium. When I was a kid we were always maching something. Of course, we had a lot of mouldy projects too as we used the flour and water method. The white glue eliminates this issue and your project will be stronger too.
see you soon