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This Guineafowl Pufferfish is a lot of fun to make.
He’s really cute, and there are tons of photos online that you can use as models when you’re making your own pufferfish with paper mache clay. I know fish don’t really smile, but these fish look like they’re smiling when they’ve blown themselves into a ball, and it makes them look absolutely adorable.
I found a really interesting article about pufferfish and their toxin, and I’ll put a link to it down below. That page also has the photo of the inflated fish that I used for my model.
What color is a pufferfish?
The guineafowl pufferfish species comes in both brown and yellow versions, and there are a lot of other species of pufferfish that come in different colors that you might want to make, instead.
I used Burnt Umber for my fish because that’s the color of the fish I used for my model. Other people describe their color as purple-black. Find a photo online that you like, and use the colors of your favorite fish for your model.
And although I poked holes in the second layer, the air dry clay, to make small white spots, you can paint on the spots, instead.
Spikes or No Spikes – It’s Up to You
The Guineafowl Pufferfish doesn’t have long spikes, but some species of puffers do. You can even find some that are called porcupine fish, for the obvious reason.
I didn’t add spikes (except for the tiny ones that I got almost by accident when I added the air dry clay) because the photo I used for my model didn’t show any spikes.
If you prefer a sharper, more dangerous-looking puffer fish, see how I used wooden toothpicks to add sharp spikes to my echidna, click here.
Links mentioned in the video:
- Paper mache clay recipe
- Air dry clay recipe
- The free pattern I used to make my puffer fish (PDF)
- The video that shows you how to make your own pattern
- The foil tape I used
- The aluminum wire I used for the fins – you can use any thin wire that you happen to have.
- Plaster of Paris can be purchased at any DIY store, or online
- I used a 1/2″ dowel for my base, but any size will work if it’s strong enough to hold up your fish. You could also make your base with a nice piece of wood, or hang your puffer fish from a bent wire that you tape to the top of the pattern before adding the paper mache.
- The Golden Glazing Liquid that I used to thin the brown paint
- DuraClear Satin Varnish
If this is your first paper mache project, you might also want to read my new post “how to make paper mache in 5 steps.”
A different kind of fish is one of the first projects in my book Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay
My other sculpting books on amazon.com:
- Fast Faces: Unleash Your Creativity With a Friendly Lump of Clay
- How to Make Masks
- Make Tiny Paper Mache Dogs
You can find patterns for the wall sculptures and masks behind me in the videos, and many more, here.
If you make a pufferfish…
… I’d love to see it. I know a few thousand other people who would like to see it, too. 🙂