Mother and Son Make a Baby Elephant with Paper Mache

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Mother and Son Make a Paper Mache Elephant

Karen Lanchester sent me this video of herself and her five-year old son making this adorable paper mache elephant.

Karen doesn’t have a YouTube channel, so she gave me permission to upload the video to my channel and to post it here on the blog, too. Thanks, Karen! It’s obvious from the photos in the video that her son had a lot of fun with this project, and he was a real help to his mom.

If you’d like to make a baby elephant yourself, you can find my original video and pattern here.

When you watch the video, you’ll notice that Karen and her son had some ideas that made the project go faster, and it made the finished paper mache elephant a lot lighter, too. Here’s how Karen introduced us to their project when she first posted a photo on the Daily Sculptors Page:

My 5 year old son and I made the elephant for School Pet Day here in NZ as our dog was in no way keen to attend such an event!

We used Jonni’s method however we taped thin plastic (in sheet form) onto the wooden frame and then stuffed it full of the scrunched up paper, it made it easier in my opinion to form the elephant and help hold the paper to tape it on.

We made the ears out of mesh with extra length to give a tab that we then screwed directly into the wooden frame. This made the ears very very strong.

We did four layers of paper mache, which was incredibly long process and then we used the paper clay recipe without linseed oil and covered the elephant entirely, then another layer where necessary to form his wrinkles. We sprayed him completely with a black aerosol can of paint then brushed on the grey allowing the black to come thru in the wrinkles where we wanted it.

Such a fun project to do with my little guy, and, well nobody has ever taken a baby elephant to school pet day before!

By the way, Karen said her son wants to make a life-sized black and white cow next, to graze on their lawn. Fiberglass will make it waterproof (Dad has the equipment for that part of the project). Karen will show us how they did it, once the cow is done. I’m really looking forward to it!

11 thoughts on “Mother and Son Make a Baby Elephant with Paper Mache”

    • Some people use Flex Seal to waterproof paper mache, and they have good luck with it. Other people have tried it, and they say it doesn’t work. Even a pinhole in the coating will allow water to come in and destroy the paper mache inside. Did you see our videos about my garden gnome? It isn’t made with paper mache, but most of the actual sculpting techniques are the same, and he’s completely waterproof. He isn’t nearly as big as a life-sized baby elephant, though…

  1. You made that look so easy. Thanks for the video, I’ve got so many ideas running through my head now – can’t wait to start putting these tips into practice! It’s really refreshing to read an article that actually provides thorough advice.

  2. How sweet is that! Thanks for sharing, I would love to make one. You know I still want to make the Humpty Dumpty that you made how long ago!!
    Love your program.

    • Hi Artis.
      Doesn’t it look like Karen’s son is having a great time making the elephant? I think it was so nice for them to be able to do this project together.

      The Humpty Dumpty doesn’t take very long, and it’s really easy. And right now, mine is sitting on a high shelf above my computer, waving at me. You’d have a lot of fun making him, so go for it!

  3. You made that look so easy. Thanks for the video. It is an awesome project. You both have real talent there, and, yes, he will remember that forever.

    I appreciate the process that people go through because it shows creativeness and is instructive to others. Great ideas in there. (And entertaining.)


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