Hey guys! Today I'm going to show you how make some nice Halloween decorations with paper mache. I found some small paper mache skulls at my local craft store, and yeah, they're not too pricey, but once I saw them I knew I wanted to make some on my own. I figured I could put a bit more personality into them, and I think I succeeded. I made two types of skulls; one that's a bit cartoony looking and the other a tad more realistic. I also made a little jack-o-lantern as well.
This tutorial is best viewed in video format, however I'll provide some video stills with captions after the video!
Blow up your balloons; you'll want to fill them up only halfway. For the cartoony type of skull, tape around the bottom third of the balloon. Don't worry about being precise. Once you tape it up you can squish the balloon around a bit to alter the shape of the balloon until it's just right.
For the realistic type of skull, take some cardstock and tape it to the balloon like so. This is only going to be temporary so we can draw the face on with the correct proportions.
Roughly sketch a skull face onto the cardstock. Carefully remove the tape and cut the shape out.
Tape it back on. Yeah, you could probably just draw the skull face without taping it onto the balloon, but where's the fun in that? The best part is riding that fine line between almost popping the balloon and not.
For the jack-o-lantern, wrap a balloon with three rubber bands equally spaced apart, like so.
Draw on the face of the cartoony skull. Sure it's about to get completely covered with paper mache, but you need to sketch the whole face to see where the jawline will be. That's where we're going to stop layering on the paper mache.
So much paper. You can use newsprint or any similarly weighted paper. I'm using brown packing paper. Tear the strips rather than cutting them, as a torn edge blends more easily.
Glue mixture. Two parts glue, one part water.
If so inclined, don your gloves.
Dip a strip into the glue, wipe off the excess glue and place on balloon. Repeat x1000. But really, do about 2 or 3 layers of paper, let dry, and repeat until it feels thick enough. Mine ended up being about 7 or 8 layers I believe. Although, I wish I had done more layers on the jack-o-lantern, because, as you will soon see, after I cut the face out it wasn't very strong and it started drooping.
Anyway, once you layer enough, let it dry overnight.
Before you pop the balloon, gently squish it down around the edge of the hardened paper shell. This should help prevent any distortions on the edge that may arise after popping the balloon.
Snip a small hole in the balloon and let it deflate.
You re-drew the face back onto the skull right? Oh, well if not, do so now.
Cut out the eyes, nose and mouth with the help of an xacto knife and scissors. And here he is!
Here's a realistic-y skull. I decided to do an opened mouth one by cutting the bottom jaw and taping it on separately.
And here's the little jack-o-lantern dude and his droopy face! When I paper mache-d him, I covered the whole thing except for about 1/8in around the knot of the balloon. That's where I popped the balloon. After I popped it, I rolled up some glue saturated paper and stuck it in the hole to create a little stem for the pumpkin. I pulled out the balloon and rubber bands after I cut the face out.
And here they are! All done!-- Well, almost anyway. I'll be posting the fully decorated pieces on Saturday the 25th, so stay tuned!