Paper Mache Flying Pig

This paper mache flying pig was a fun project.

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This flying pig was made primarily the same way that the paper mache bunny was made.

You can see the basic shape of the pig below. This is after the second layer of paper mache has been added, but before the details on the face and feet. You can see that I made the head too small on purpose, so the details could be added without making the head too big.

Making a flying pig with paper mache

Once the first two layers of paper strips and paste were dry, I “cheated” by using small amounts of Super Sculpey to form the details of the face and feet. I covered the Sculpey, and the rest of the pig, with pieces of single-ply paper towels, like I did when I made the dragon. The towels have a nice “pigskin” texture.

I dried the “skin” layer in the oven, at about 250 degrees F, which dried the paste and hardened the Sculpey underneath. That way I could leave the plastic clay inside instead of removing it. This is an easy way to get nice details on a paper mache sculpture. (I also used this plastic clay, in slightly different ways, when I made the short-eared bunny and the giraffe’s face .)

I then covered the sculpture with several coats of paste made with white flour, carpenter’s glue, and water. This softened the texture of the towels a little. Then the pig was painted with latex glaze from the hardware store, to which I added white and a pinch of red ocher to make that Caucasian pink that domestic pigs are famous for .

Then the flying piggy got a finish coat of Minwax water-based Polycylic with a pinch of red ocher added. The Minwax was brushed on a small area and then rubbed off with a wet paper towel to bring out the texture of the paper.

I haven’t been making many paper mache projects this winter because the only spot in my house that gets good light is my unheated front porch. Then when it started to get warmer the porch was taken over with seedlings for my flower and veggie garden. I hope I’ll soon have my “studio” back, so if you have any suggestions for projects you’d like help with, let me know. I’m always looking for ideas…

17 thoughts on “Paper Mache Flying Pig”

      • Do you sell your art? I’d love to buy a pig just like this one! I’ve been searching for years for a flying pig like this one!

        • Hi Christina. No, I give most of my pieces away. This flying pig is now hanging in the entryway to my daughter’s kitchen, as a matter of fact. There is a pig in my book – maybe you could make yourself one, using that pattern and add some wings.

  1. Hi Jonni – I used to be a Managing Editor in a book publishing house, and my favourite saying was that my team and I regularly ‘made pigs fly’ i.e. we did the impossible (especially with meeting ridiculous deadlines, set by people who knew nothing about what goes into making a book)!! So, I love this piggy! One question, please: how, and at what point in the process, did you insert the thingy at the top from which the pig is suspended? Many thanks for your inspiring site!

    • Hi Laura. It sounds like you had a fun/aggravating/challenging job. And you have a great question about that thingy, but it’s been so long, I can’t remember! I didn’t take very many pictures of that project, but I suspect that I remembered the thingy right after the photos were taken, and the wire was put in under the last layers of paper mache. It’s just a wire with a bump in the middle, and the uncurled ends follow his spine. It would have been much better to put it on before any paper mache was added, but he’s still hanging in my daughter’s house, so it’s holding up pretty well.

      • Wow, Jonni, thanks for the speedy reply. The wire along her back sounds good. I’m just wondering about the positioning of the ‘bump’, though. If the nose or tail of the piggy were too heavy, wouldn’t she hang at an odd angle (either soaring or nose-diving)?!? I’m wondering about using Sculpey to get detail in her face – don’t know how heavy Sculpey is. Do you think I would be able to get a good amount of detail using aluminium foil and your new very smooth paperclay?

        • Yes, you would have to fiddle with the weight, with the hook in the middle of the back. I’m not sure why my pig doesn’t nose-dive, but maybe the weight of the wings are balancing her. You can always add a bit of weight to the tail end if you need to.

          And yes, I think you could get some very nice details using the foil and the air dry clay recipe. When I made this pig, I hadn’t yet developed the original paper mache clay recipe. If you don’t want to buy all the different ingredients for just one small project, the Creative Paperclay would be a good substitute for the home-made air dry clay.

    • You could make a flying pig that was hollow. You’d need to make sure the paper mache was completely dry before cutting it open and removing all the innards, though. After that, just put it back together – but after all that work, do you really want it to be destroyed just to get some candy?

  2. Jonni – is the flying piggy yours? Lov it – if it’s your’s, I’m assuming you used your book method of construction – correct? How does he/she fly? SO WONDERFUL..

  3. I’m glad I found this website. I’m a cub scout leader and our den are having a disasterous time making dinosaur hats. We had fun yesterday evening, but not much success.

    One cub had two of his balloons pop, spattering him with plaster, a third popped later, and everyone fought to keep the ballons from rolling away.

    I found out this morning that the balloon forms flake apart now that the plaster is dry, which made me look on-line to find out a better way of building paper mache. Your tutorials are just what I needed. Thank you very, very much.

    I’m going to make more shells for the boys so we can finish the hats next week and I’ll take pictures of all of them and share them here when they are done.


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