Rosie the chicken

MHow to make a paper mache chicken.ade by Jon Keller

Corugated cardboard frame ….wooden legs …..acrylic polymer clay comb , wattle and beak . Everything covered on paper mache ( made from brown paper bags ). When dry I painted it with acrylic paint and decorated by pasting on images of flowers . All covered with 15 coats of shellac.


15 thoughts on “Rosie the chicken”

  1. Hi Jon,
    Can you tell me why you used so many coats of shellac? I’m guessing to make weatherproof. I was only going to seal my outdoor sculpture with one coat of varnish after painting. Should I use more coats?

    • Hi Joan….
      Before I put the finish on I first read a little bit about the history of decoupage . Nowadays people pretty much use polyurethane varnish for projects like this ….but in the olden days , before polyurethane was invented , shellac was used . Shellac is much thinner than polyurethane . So to get a nice smooth finish , that completely concealed the edges of the pasted on designs , multiple coats were applied. Sometimes as many as 20 or 30 coats. Multiple coats give the project a look of quality and integrity . At first I was planning to do 20 coats , but when reached 15 ( and I kept a tally sheet ) I saw that my finish had achieved the look that I wanted and additional coats were not necessary . But if you are using polyurethane you need not put nearly as many coats on , as it is considerably thicker and more durable than shellac. Although , if I was going to put a project outside where it would be exposed to the weather , if using polyurethane , I personally would put at least 3 coats on.

  2. I LOVE your chicken, Jon. I also appreciate seeing your armature – so sturdy and practical. You have given me inspiration, because I was wracking my brains how to make an armature for an Easter Rooster that I wanted to make. Thanks so much. Time to get started!

  3. Love your chicken. Perfect! I’ve made a chicken by she does not compare. I really struggled with the feet. Yours is really really good.

  4. Wow, great armature and very nice chicken. If you had stopped before you finished the legs and painted it, Rosie would have been a really nice rustic chicken.

    • Thank you for your comment .
      The road not taken ….!
      Yes , I could have stopped at that point , but before I even started I knew that I wanted to make a chicken decoupaged with flowers.
      An undecorated brown chicken may be in my future ….. after all , Rosie needs some company .


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