How To Make A Paper Mache Elephant Called Elliot

I wanted to make a paper mache elephant for my friend, so the following are the steps on how to make a paper mache elephant. (My way)

What you need.

Chicken wire
Flour and Water
Scrim (Not essential but I found it handy)

        Self adhesive scrim tape is used to tape over joints before skimming plasterboard
        It's flexible to   prevent bubbling which gives it a cleaner finish.

Wallpaper paste
Time and patience

Step one.

Make an frame of an elephant from the chicken wire.  Cut chicken wire with scissors, be careful as the bits of wire are quiet sharp.

I made his legs first, using chicken wire, I folded a piece of chicken wire in to a cylinder.  My elephant is about three foot high in total.  I made the shape of four legs from the cylinder, the top elevation looked like a four leaf clover.  Each leg was part of the next legs, separated be an indent in the chicken wire.

 Step two.

The body, I made a large mushroom dome  shape and attached to the leg structure, folding the chicken wire and hooking it in place to it self, this was a little tricky and sore on the hands so wear gloves.

Step three.

The head and trunk was one long piece of chicken wire.  the head was a dome piece and the trunk was the rest of the chicken wire folded on to it self to create a shape that looked like a trunk, which reached the ground.  This also made the elephant more stable.  

Step four.

The ears, I made small dome shapes and placed them each side of the chicken wire head.  Fold the wire on to it self to attach.  

Step five.

Remember this is supposed to be fun, so enjoy the process.

Step six.

I used scrim to coat the surface of chicken wire to create more of a base for the paper mache, I don't think this is entirely necessary but if you have scrim use it, if not it is ok. Wrap the structure with scrim.

Step seven.

Mix flour and water in a basin.  Until it is thick-ish but fluid, like custard, if it is too watery the paper will not stick too well and if it too thick it will be too thick ,,,ha...(clear as mud.....I am doing my best)
Use torn up pieces of newspaper,  and soak in the flour and water.  ( Few minutes ) 

Step eight.

Layer up the paper mache on the frame. This is the slow part as you must gradually build up the paper mache and allow to dry, before coating again with paper mache as it it quiet heave when wet and will make the chicken wire structure unstable. Just do a little bit every day until whole structure is covered.

Step nine.

When the structure is completely covered with paper mache and dry, choose your final coat.  I used newspaper soaked in wall paper paste to create final coat as the paper mache with the flour had a white residue, you could paint it or just leave au natural.......

Step ten.

Name your elephant, and hopefully you will be inspired to create other structures with chicken wire and paper mache.

I am thinking of  "A mad hatters hat, lamp and a giraffe" but the possibilities are endless.  the key is to just start the ideas with flow and your imagination will fly when you in the flow of creativity.

If you do make something, please take photos and do a step by step for us all.....if I can do it so can you.........send me a mail..


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