Today we’ve got a really fun guest post by Lisa Dalton, who shows us how she made an enormous snowman out of paper mache clay for a stage prop. I mean, he’s really BIG. If you’ve ever wondered how to create a safe, well-balanced armature for something this size for a play or prom decoration, Lisa has the answers for us. Thanks for sharing, Lisa!
©2015 Lisa Dalton
I wanted to share with all of you my first attempt at paper Mache clay. His name is Tapper — he is a tap dancing snowman created for a holiday dance recital, and he stands 8ft tall!
The base board is a piece of plywood, 2ft by 3ft. The pipe is 5ft, threaded into a sleeve that I had mounted on the base. Then I used # 9 wire. It’s very hard to bend & work with, but I knew that heavy gauge wire was strong enough to hold him up and I could bend his arms & legs however I wanted.
I purchased some painter’s paper in 3ft rolls for the base of the body work. Then my friends & neighbors saved their newspapers for the more detailed body shaping.
After masking taping him up, I started to put on the paper Mache clay. It took 23 batches to cover him.
Once finished with the paper Mache clay, I left him dry for a week. This was a huge struggle for me – I wanted to finish him up! Once he had time to totally dry I painted him with a brush & tossed on sparkles while the paint was still wet to give it the layered look of real snow.
For his eyes I used tin foil pushed into a deviled egg holder so they would be shaped the same & then wrapped them with masking tape and covered them with paper Mache clay. I painted them black and attached them with a hot glue gun.
The nose is a piece of cardboard rolled tight at one end to make a point & stuffed with newspaper. I covered it with masking tape and put paper Mache clay over the top & painted it orange. His cheeks I just hand-painted right on to the paper Mache clay. Tapper’s smile is a piece of the #9 wire, the same as I used for the body shape. Then I painted the wire black and hot glued his beautiful smile on!