Make Winnie the Pooh with Paper Mache

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Making Winnie the Pooh with Paper Mache is a Fun, Easy Project.

But I admit that I could have made this little sculpture faster if I’d done a little planning in advance. But it’s fun to just start out and figure things out as you go, (as long as you’re not making a ‘serious’ sculpture.)

My new masking tape dispenser:

I thought this would be a perfect project to test out a new tool that I just bought. For the last couple of years, I have not used crumpled paper and masking tape for my sculptures. I’ve been using crumpled foil and hot glue instead, just because it was getting too hard for me to get the masking tape off the rolls – especially the cheaper kind of masking tape.

A couple of weeks ago I found a dispenser for masking tape. I can’t believe how much faster it was for me. I really wish I’d had it when I was writing my book, Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay. πŸ™‚

How to Make Winnie the Pooh:

Step 1 – Make the Honey Jar:

Making Winnie the Pooh's honey jar with a cardboard tube/

From Winnie the Pooh’s point of view, I’m sure the most important part of this sculpture is the honey jar. I found an old cardboard roll that used to have some paper on it, (but a toilet paper roll would have worked just as well. I used a saw to cut off a small section to use for the jar.

You don’t want to use a nice saw for this sort of thing, because cardboard can dull a blade really fast. If you use a toilet paper roll, a pair of scissors would work better. I put the roll on top of a piece of light cardboard and drew around it so that I can make a bottom for the jar and cut it out, and then just use some masking tape to tape all the way around the edges.

I put a little bit of newspaper right around the center of the jar, just to make it have kind of a rounded belly, I guess you call it. Could have left it just straight, but I decided it would look more like an old fashioned honey jar if it was more round.

Step 2 – Make Winnie’s Body and Head with Crumpled Paper and Masking Tape:

The beginning of the armature - the bear's pear-shaped belly and chest.

The first part of the armature that you’ll want to make is the belly and chest area. Winnie the Pooh is a pear shaped bear, and you definitely don’t need any kind of pattern for this. He’s really simple – so just go ahead and crumple the paper until you get the size and the shape that you want. This is how mine looked when the belly and chest were taped together.

How the armature looks when all the paper has been crumpled into shape, and secured with masking tape.

I added the head next, and gave him some crumpled foil ears. You can see that the masking tape isn’t sticking very well, but I did go back over it to flatten it onto the armature before adding the paper mache.

Then I made his arms and legs, and made sure they would fit around the honey pot, which needs to be made separately.

Step 3 – Adding the Blue Shirt:

Adding Winnie the Pooh's blue shirt with paper towels.

I used one ply of a piece of paper towel to add the too-tight blue shirt that Winnie the Pooh is wearing on the cover of the classic edition of the book.

Step 4 – Adding the Paper Mache:

Painting Winnie the Pooh with acrylic paint.

I have a whole lot of paper in the house that was sent in packages as stuffing. It’s just newspaper that hasn’t got any printing on it, and that’s what I’m using for the paper mache, with cooked flour and water paste. In case you haven’t done papier machΓ© for a while, you can watch this video and see how it’s done.

Before I put the paper mache on the head, I put the jar back in place and then moved the head around. I wanted him to be looking inside of the jar. That meant I had to cut the head off and put a little bit of foil back there on his neck to, to keep it in place. Then I removed the jar again, finished adding paper mache to the whole bear and the jar, and let them both dry completely.

Step 5 – Making the Paper Mache Smooth And Paint Him:

Make Winnie the Pooh with Paper Mache

If you watched the video above, you know I added some powdered pigment to drywall joint compound, and covered the bear to make the paper mache smooth. I was just playing around, and it really didn’t make any sense. So don’t do that. πŸ™‚

But you can use the joint compound to make your bear smooth. We do that all the time. Watch this video to see how that’s done.

Whether you use the joint compound or not, you’ll want to cover the bear and the base with acrylic gesso. This will give you a nice white surface to paint on.

I used Burnt Umber acrylic paint, mixed with water, for the bear. To remove the brush marks, I dabbed the wet paint with a stencil brush. If I did this again, I’d mix Golden Glazing Liquid with the paint, instead of water, to avoid dark marks where the new paint overlaps an area that is already dry.

Adding hot glue to make the honey in Pooh Bear's honey jar.

The base and the raffia grass were painted with FolkArt’s “Fresh Cut Grass.” The rocks were painted with Black mixed with a lot of water, and the shirt was painted with Ultramarine Blue, thinned with water or glazing liquid.

The eyes are just small spots made with a permanent marker, and a tiny dot of white added with a small pointed tool

Step 6 – Painting the ‘Hunny’ Jar, and Adding the Honey:

Pooh Bear's Honey Jar, with honey made with hot glue.

I painted the honey jar orange and off-white, with black stripes made with a permanent marker. I used the marker to add the label (which I spelled “honey” the first time, and then had to do it over. That’s not how bears spell it, after all – but I forgot. πŸ™‚

Then I added some crumpled foil to the bottom of the jar, and covered it with a layer of hot glue. I let it drip over the edge, to look like Winnie the Pooh was spilling some of his honey.

Winnie the Pooh's honey jar, after the honey was painted yellow.

After the hot glue was painted yellow, it looked like this. You might find a better for the honey – this isn’t quite right, but it’s close. πŸ™‚

Step 7 – Adding the Fake Grass, and Putting Everything Together:

Fake grass made with painted raffia.

I painted some raffia that I stole from the lion on the wall (he didn’t mind πŸ™‚ ). Then I glued the bottom of all the raffia pieces together with wood glue, and when it dried I used hot glue to attach the grass to the sculpture. It went behind two small paper mache rocks that were made with crumpled foil.

The jar was glued to the bear with small dots of hot glue, and then the entire sculpture was given a coat of satin varnish.

Winnie the Pooh, All Finished:

Winnie the Pooh, made with paper mache.

If you Winnie the Pooh, please remember to come back to the Daily Sculptors page to show it off. We’d love to see how it comes out! πŸ™‚

7 thoughts on “Make Winnie the Pooh with Paper Mache”

  1. Oh Jonni he is so gorgeous and uncontrived if there is such a word. Adorable.
    I watched your video with a smile on my face the whole time. I was a Brownie Guider for 9 years and we organised a Teddy Bears picnic in Dorrigo amongst the tree. The other guider and I made Papier Mache heads out of brown paper supermarket bags
    ( not really knowing what we were doing) and dyed some bagging and made costumes with pillows front and back inside the costumes to be a nice fat Hunny Bear and of course a Hunny Pot. We danced out of the trees on the day and the brownies were delighted.
    I must have a go at this one.
    Love Gail

  2. Oh, he’s an adorable Pooh bear. I think the base is just right, not too light or too heavy and I loved the details of the rocks and grass. What a lucky little person to receive his as a gift. Thanks for sharing him with us Jonni.


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