Welcome back to a special Kids Get Arty edition! We haven’t had a Kids Get Arty project in a LOOOONG time.. but today, we are sharing a special project by one of the Dads and his young girls at our school – a Papier Mache Sculpture Project! Normally in kids get arty, we look at “great artists” and create work inspired by them. The art may be anything from sculptures to paintings to drawings to installations. In this case, our Dad (we shall call him “Dad hencewith”) and his Girls (called “the Girls” hencewith) were inspired by a “Shaun in the City” installation (?) exhibition (?) trail (?) in London. There is a trend here in the UK at the moment, to create sculptures in a certain form – be it Shaun the Sheep, Paddington Bear, the Olympic guys, Book Benches, Owls or Bulls (the list goes on). Then to produce 50-100 of these and get different artists and personalities to decorate them. These are then distributed across a city for people to find!
Last Easter, we had a Shaun the Sheep trial in London (still going on in Bristol and coming together in 2 special days in London in September 2015). Dad and The Girls went on a trial (as did Red Ted and Pip Squeak, we loved it). They came back SO inspired that they wanted to make their own Baby Shaun the Sheep.
This was a great way to introduce them to Papier Mache Sculptures and to get Arty. Though this post is all about making your own decorative papier mache sheep, the process applies to any papier mache sculpture you may have in mind. So check out these great and easy “How to”. Note – Dad’s help will be needed!
I now hand over to “Dad” and his talented girls.
Use our easy peasy guide to how to make paper mache from flour – inexpensive, environmentally friendly and quick!
Papier Mache Sculptures – Materials need:
– 3+ metres of fine-mesh chicken wire (Amazon, hardware store)
– a few pieces of wood for legs (finally some use for those old pieces hiding in the shed)
– thick gloves (cut wire can be a pain)
– tape, cardboard, wood to support legs and add core strength to structure.
Newspapers, Paper & Paints.
For Papier Mache Paste – check out this recipe
Effort: 100% dad
Time to get papier mâchéing… A little bit of help (but only with the tricky bits) and lots of patience…
Rainy day activity.
We found that quite a thick batter of water and flour did the trick as glue, and was significantly stronger if left cold rather than warmed up.
Make sure the layers dry out properly before moving on.
Drying the Papier-mâché by any means available..
Using white copy paper for the final layer helps cut down on the primer use.
For this, we did heat the water/flour mix, as it then dries clear rather than creamy yellow.
Papier mâché effort: 50/50 dad/daughters
Getting Daisy (aka Shaun’s little sister) ready for final decorations. The Gesso Primer (Amazon, art & craft shops) gave Daisy a nice smooth coating that was perfect for painting and decorating.
Half a litre readily covered our sheep.
Gesso primer effort: 70/30 daughters/dad
Time to paint!
Acrylics are great for decorating your sheep.
Note that for the hoofs we used some glass ramekins we had lying around. They’re easy to papier-mâché in place, and, as they are quite heavy, add stability.
The Queen! 🙂
Not done yet…
Almost done. Just making sure paint is dry.
Decorating effort: 100% girls
And now… Shaun is off to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace: