Thursday, September 17, 2015

Papier Mache Bear Heads

Keeping with our Bear and papier mache theme this week I put together this project.

Each head is about the size of an orange.  I mounted mine, a good way to combine this project with a writing assignment.

I think these would also be amazing as a Christmas tree ornament.  Put a eye hole screw in place by poking a hole in the top.  Polar bears with a red ribbon...awesome!

Let's get started.


- newspaper
- masking tape
- white glue and water mix (1 to 1), paper towel strips for mache
- cardboard egg carton
- recycled cereal or cracker box
- acrylic paint
- small brushes for details
- bear reference photos
- substrate if mounting, I used a piece of plywood but you could use hardboard (masonite), canvas, or cardboard
- glue


Take a half piece of newspaper and squish into a ball, about the size of your palm, and tape.

If you want to mount these on a substrate, choose one side and pound it a few times on your work surface to flatten.  When maching you will not need to cover this area.

Cut a section from your egg carton.  You don't need to trim as those jagged edges help you tape it to the newspaper ball.

Tape in place with masking tape.

The egg carton forms the muzzle of the bear.

Out of a cereal or cracker box cut 2 ears.  See how mine have tabs at the bottom, this makes it easier to tape.

Mix up your glue and water (1 to 1). Have your paper strips ready to go.  I always make extra and keep them in a plastic bag for future projects.

Start applying your strips, crisscross them so they hold each other in place.  You only need 1 coat.  Cover the ears and you can add a ball of strips to build up the nose.
Try to keep the shape of the ears, no excessive wrapping.  If you are mounting the heads you don't need to cover the back.

Leave the heads to dry.  About 1-2 days and give them a turn to dry all the sides.

I like to put mine on wax paper so they don't stick.

When dry give your heads a coat of paint.

Using small brushes paint the details.  Reference photos of bears are a great help.

You can paint your background if you are mounting them.  I spent a bit of time trying to figure this out.  I did not want to make it too busy and distracting.  The focus is the bears.

I opted for colours that would be found in each Bear's environment.

Glue the heads in place. I used the glue gun but you can also use tacky glue.

I wanted to add some text to the piece.  I printed out my titles and painted them with some watery acrylic.

I had thought I would put the names of the bears but it proved to be too busy.

Add a coat of sealer if you wish and a hanger at the back.

That's it.  My grizzly turned out too be way more friendly than I intended. :)


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