Monday, April 15, 2013

Paper Mache Circus Animals

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I have been working on a miniature circus, which you can see here.
I had it almost finished, but making the animals was holding me back.
Finally, I came up with a simple form in a paper mache style that seemed to work pretty well.

Using a 20 g. wire, and pliers, I made an armature for each animal.
Just sort of a line drawing in 3-D to hold the form.
 We have our elephant here.
a giraffe, 
and a tiger, to jump through a flaming hoop!
 Then, using tissue paper I had lying around, I stuffed it in and wrapped around
the shapes until they looked right, and secured with masking tape where necessary.
This sort of makes them look like poor little wounded animals in an
animal hospital, so let's fix them up quickly!
I used just what I had at home already,an made a sort of quick paper mache.
I tore strips of tissue paper ( used green b/c I was impatient, but white tissue paper would probably work best), and painted the surface under and over each layer 
with a watered down white glue mixture. This takes about 24 hours to fully dry. When they do dry
they are lightweight but very sturdy, and ready to be painted.
I did apply one coat of white primer to them first, before adding color.
They really came to life once I added the details: the spots, stripes and faces.

They just need some props!
 The hoop was made from 20 gauge wire with felt flames glued on.
 Then I painted some old wooden bobbins I had for the base.
These bobbins came in handy. They also worked as stands for the
elephant and the performers.

You can see the finished Circus these animals belong to here!
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  1. These are wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  2. this is so adorable! I love the circus as well! I like to make miniature things too so i might give something like this a go!. Thank you for posting!

    1. Thank you! That is great, let us know if you make something, how it turns out!

  3. Oh My goodness! This is so beautiful, and a huge inspiration! You are very talented, thank you for sharing.