Paper Mache Chicken Clock

Here’s my entry in the “Three-Hour Paper Mache Challenge.” As I mention in the video, it took less than three hours (not including the drying time, of course). Since I never timed myself before, I thought I needed to hurry a lot more than I really did.

If I needed another chicken clock, I think I’d do it differently the next time. I’d make it the same way I make the doll heads – replacing the paper mache layers with two layers of plaster cloth, and then in about ten minutes, when the plaster has set up, I’d add a layer of the new air-dry clay. If you did it that way you could add nicer feathers, like I did on the raven, and you could make it look like a porcelain clock if you wanted to. But hey – for an inexpensive three-hour project, I think this one turned out OK. Let me know what you think.

The recipe for the fast-setting paper mache paste:

Mix together –
1/4 cup (60 ml) white glue (Elmer’s Glue-All or any PVA glue)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vinegar, any kind

Then mix in –
1/4 cup (60 ml) plaster of Paris

These are all volume measurements. I have not weighed the ingredients, but the exact measurements aren’t terribly important anyway. If you come close, the paste will still work. It sets up fast so you can remove the paper mache from the mold more quickly than you can with normal paper mache paste. However, it still takes time to dry.

If you’d like to see my mask book I mentioned in the video, you can find it here.

If you’d like to see a mask being made using this technique, there’s a three-video series beginning here.

And if you’d like to post a tutorial showing us how you created a paper mache sculpture (or any other paper mache project) in three hours or less, please use the form located here.

34 thoughts on “Paper Mache Chicken Clock

  1. Hi jonni I tried a few times hope this pic comes out, old fashion bike going to hold some flowers.thought id show you where im at the tape is to keep it sturdy…I will send another when done.take care, thank you for keeping me busy.lol

  2. Hi jonni, im making a old fashion bike.taped part down to keep sturdy. Hope the picture comes out twice it said no.just wanted to show you before completed

  3. Olá Jonni,você é maravilhosa!Eu amo suas criações e estou começando a fazer algumas.Gostaria de saber o que é esse material azul que você usa,se tecido ou papel?

  4. Yes, this chicken clock will hanging in my kitchen soon. Thanks for all you help with your videos. I’ll be using everything I’ve learned to make my hens. I hope to have pics a some point. I’d love to show you the witches hands and black cat I made for Halloween. Thanks, again

    • I would love to see them. Do you have photos you can post in a comment? Your “witches hands” sound very intriguing.

  5. I have been doing Papier Maché works for some time now. It started with a Buddha mast and I went on for more relief features on a larger scale. I been doing some Ganesha and Nataraja (Hindu divinities) I just want to know from you about the preserving factor. My method consist of crushing soaked recycled egg trays with PVC glue only then moulded in the required shape and allowed to dry naturally (It sometimes takes up to a week for it to dry and I work at slow pace. My method also consists of embedding other objects like fake jewelleries, beads, strings and allied products. When the work is properly dry up, I use to sand them and applied a thick coat of sealer before painting them using gloss paints.

  6. Dear Jonni, I really admire your work and passion. I think u are a great source of inspiration for several beginners like me. God bless u for all the creative good you are doing!
    I am no artist, but I do like to do some small artwork to decorate my house and have fun with the kids. We are planning to make a peacock wall hanging primarily of paper mache. I have 2 doubts if you could help me. (1) How can I hang these on the wall, you mentioned attaching a metal paper hanger, but wont the paper mache crack up. How will this stick to it and will it take the weight?
    (2) If I use flour to make clay will it attract insects , bugs and soon be shredded (Im in India, hot n humid)?
    Cheers, Urvashi

    • Hi Urvashi. If you have a very light paper mache sculpture, you can use hot glue to attach a metal hanger or even a wire to the back. If the sculpture is quite heavy, the hot glue would probably not hold. You could mold a lip into the paper mache on the back, to fit over a nail, or you could use epoxy to hold a metal hanger or wire onto the back of a heavier sculpture.

      Paste made from flour and water can be very attractive to insects and mold. You might want to use a PVA glue instead. Most people dilute their white glue with water. This lets it soak into the paper better, and it goes farther.

      • Thanks a lot for those tips. I tried making a ‘bathing beauty’ of paper mache (my first attempt ever). Have attached a picture of it. Am gong to get some more inspiration from you and keep going!

        • Your photo didn’t come through the upload process, but I checked your blog, and she looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have made 2 chicken clocks and people just love them I have made a Black Lab clock for my granddaughter

    • Hi jonnie as i said before your work inspires me i have never done anything like this before ,so i made up your recipe and decided to make a humpty dumpty sculpture i am uploading it and i hope you like it,this is my very first atempt of a paper mache sculpture,or any sculpture ,my daughter helped me paint it hope you like it.

      • Hi Karen. Your photo didn’t come through. It was probably too big. Please save the image in a smaller size and try again – I’d love to see how your sculpture turned out!

    • I hot-glued a metal picture hanger to the back. I think you could create a lip on the back with paper mache, too, but I didn’t think of it in time.

  8. Dear Jonni,

    Hello!
    My name is Rosana and I live in Brazil. I was looking for some paper mache ideas to create some party decorations for my nephew’s birthday (3 years). So, when googling, your website just popped up on my face and then I started to feel butterflies in my stomach: I felt in love with all your work and stuff! You are such a lovely lady, so cute. Your instructions is just amazing and you have such a great talent, omg! Congratulations!!

    I’ve been watching your videos for ages and, then, I started to create dinossaurs with paper mache.
    I am sending some pictures for you to take a look. For being the first time using your technique, I think I had done a good job!
    My nephew’s party was a success and all these dinossaurs is going to be in his bedroom, which will have dinossaurs as its theme (chosen by him! lol).

    Thank you very much for all. You have got one more fan in the world. I love your blog!

    Kisses and hugs,

    Rosana Raimundo

    PS Is it possible to send you more pictures? It seems I´m allowed to attach only one picture here. Thanks!

    • Hi Rosana. Your creations are really lovely – I know I already said that on my Facebook comment, but I don’t mind saying it again! You can add more images just by adding more comments. If you’d like to show us how one of your creatures was made, you can also write a guest post – I know my readers would love to see how these were made. If you’d like to do a guest post, just send me an email.

  9. My Grand daughter and I made a bear clock for her bedroom! What fun- thank you for your inspiration and sharing.
    Ingrid

    • How fun! I can see why your grand daughter’s happy with it. I really enjoy seeing what people do with these ideas, so thanks for sharing the photo – and I’m sorry my program sometimes turns pictures sideways. I have no idea why it does that…

  10. Yep, it’s working. So, folks, be sure to have your camera set to save the image files in a low-resolution, which is usually called “for the web” or “for TV.”

  11. Hi Jonni,

    Great video and I love the chicken clock! I can’t believe you did it in less than 3 hours! Once again you have inspired me to get sculpting so a big thankyou! Well done!

  12. Jonni I love the chicken clock and yes my kitchen is full of chickens and I just think there might be a chicken clock in my future. You did a wonderful job. A great inspiration for sure.
    Artis

  13. Hi Jonnie, I love the chicken clock, it’s a great idea, I think I’ll try for a rooster when I get a couple days to myself. Meanwhile I thought I’d share my wolf with you. Using your Mask book, some friends and I got together, we made a dog, a hag, an owl and this wolf. What a blast. It took a couple days to finish the entire project. I ended up taking his (the wolf) face off the mold a little too soon, so it started collapsing! Hilarious looking, so I tried reshaping and draping it back over the mold. It’s still a little more pinched together than I’d like, but he’s kinda cute. A cross between Wiley Coyote and a Wolf perhaps? Thanks for the great inspirations! I’m hooked.

    • I’ve been trying to send a photo of the wolf mask I made, it’s not working, I created a smaller file, it’s 217KB’s but I’m not sure you’re getting it. ? Sorry, you don’t have to post these if it’s too confusing.

      • Hi Susan. I just tested the upload plugin, and it seems to work. My photo is 162KB – I didn’t have one exactly 217KB. Is it possible to make your photo a bit smaller and try again? Maybe the plugin is temporarily confused, or something. I’d love to see your wolf mask. It sounds like you guys had quite a mask-making party!

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