Paper Mache Recipe (aka: How we made our fake moose head)

We bought our house nearly a year ago and our walls are still blank.   I have been drooling over faux animal heads and even created a board dedicated to them on pinterest.   Buying fake animal heads starts at $68 at anthropologie and go up to $335 at Ruby’s lounge.   I knew I could make mine for less!   Time for paper mache!

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paper mache recipe.

Supplies I used to make my paper mache scuplture:

With the Elmers Glue, Cornstarch and Water create two different solutions:

Solution #1

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of Cornstarch
  • 1/2 bottle of glue

Mix the solution frequently while using it.

Solution #2

  • 1 cup of water
  • a blender full of shredded paper towels
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • remaining glue

Blend the water and paper towels together till the paper are mushy bits.   Add cornstarch & the remaining glue.   You should not have any runny residue.   If you do, add more shredded paper.

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steps in moose head
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To begin our project, I cut the foam board to create the “bones” of the sculpture.   We notched the foam boards so the “frame” would be more sturdy.   The kids and I then cut the paper towels into long strips and dipped that into solution #1 (see above).   We draped the wet paper towels over the bones of our head.   If possible you want to “criss-cross” the paper solution.   Don’t have all your paper strips going the same direction.   This will help add strength to your sculpture.   If possible let the layers partially dry before adding additional layers.   I think we had roughly 3-5 layers, but I bet 3 would have been sufficient.

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rough mooseWe added the ears and then smoothered our creation with Solution #2.   This pasty mix was made out of paper towel bits that we put through the blender.   We wanted the mush to be clumpy, to resemble moose hair.   But if you are looking for more of a smooth look, blend longer and add more water and cornstarch.

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Thanks bunches to Elmers for their #Look4Less challenge and for providing a nifty gift pack of supplies for me to create my wall-art.   I am totally thrilled with the results!   This project would cost under 15$ to make.

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AND…. I have a gift pack from Elmers to giveaway to you!

Tell me what you would make with Elmer’s foam boards and whatever idea sounds interesting, fascinating, absolutely crazy (whatever 2 ideas most grab my attention) will get your own packs from Elmers!

21 Comments

  1. I am impressed!!!

    I’ve been wanting to try making a doll house of foam boards a go, so that’s what I would do if I won!

    And possibly some sort of vehicle for my son, who is less interested in houses…

  2. You and your kids are talented. I am amazed you were able to make a model with the foam board.

  3. I have not been brave enough to try this on my own yet. I’m skeered. haha! But, I think I just might! And I’m going to use this post when i do it!

  4. my girls just redecorate their room in a rainbow fish theme. it would be great to make some “real” fish to hang from the ceiling!

  5. I think it would be great fun to make a foam board gingerbread house to decorate for Christmas. It would be reusable and a lot easier for the kids to decorate. Or they could use it to make their Christmas placemats!

  6. This looks so fun!
    My husband was just talking about doing this with/for the kids. He thinks big, so he wanted to make a cave for the kids to play in… since we’ve never done it figured we better start out smaller, like a moose to give during our church small group Christmas party (long story). He’s already got the picture lined up, lol!

    Thanks for sharing another fantastic idea!

  7. I haven’t tried this but I’ve been thinking about using foam boards to cut out a race track for my kids to play with their Hot Wheels cars. I would cut out strips of foam board for the “roads” but also cut two “tracks” on the road for the car wheels to fit in, maybe cutting about half way down into the boards, so the cars could be pushed away and still stay on the road. I think it would be super fun to do this with a ramp of foam board going down our staircase!

  8. Completely awesome craft! I never thought of making my own faux animals for the walls…. How cool that would be in our rustic-themed bathroom!

  9. This is SO cool and could not have come at a better time! I have never used paper mache but would love to use this idea to make an owl for my son’s upcoming Harry Potter birthday party! You have totally inspired me 🙂

  10. You will be amazed at this paper mache web site. Dan Reeder has been doing paper mache for at least 20 years – his projects are simply amazing. There are lots of how-to videos. It would take a lot of supervision to do this with kids, but its fun to visit the site simply for the Wow factor. I notice he commented on your web site, too!

    http://www.gourmetpapermache.com/

  11. My son looooves hot wheels cars and I’ve been thinking of a way to make like a larger size shadow box to display them all in instead of just keepin them in a box piled up on top of each other and whn I prices thin piece of wood it was like $15 for one thin piece, so that was out of the question. Paper mached foam board or cardboard for that matter would definetely be an idea both affordable and creative enough for both me and my son to “get our hands messy” while having fun and making a home for each one of his cars! Yay! Can’t wait to give this a try 🙂

  12. Kristen Gaudette's says:

    Hi! I was researching how to make paper mâché and it brought me to you! I absolutely love your paper mâché moose head! I have also been loving all the fake animal heads that hang on the wall and I agree that they are too expensive. I would love to try and make my own deer head and or fake antlers for table decor or shelf accent. But if I had to choose one thing that I would make out of Elmer’s foam boards and glue it would have to be a paper mâché tree as a coat rack or jewelry display. The possibilities are endless! Great blog! Thanks for the inspiration!

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