August 30, 2010

Paper Mache Marionettes

I am sure most of you have made paper mache projects before.  There are tons of recipes for the basic process all over the web.  We used the easy recipe from Family Fun.  I really wanted to share our project because we made some really simple marionettes using things around the house.

We started with a regular wire coat hanger which I bent into a sort of armature (or underlying structure) for our puppets.  To make sure that we could hang them, I slipped a paperclip onto the hanger before I covered it up.  I scrunched up newspaper and wrapped it around this frame with some masking tape to make the shape of the puppet.  We layered on strips of newspaper until we covered the whole thing.  Just make sure you leave the paperclip sticking out!
We filled in the gaps by making paper clay.  Just keep adding more small shreds of torn newspaper to whatever is left of your paper mache liquid until it becomes the squishy consistency of play dough.  We used this to cover the figures and to make some facial features.  We had some extra that we pressed into molds to make a fishing game.  And Holly made one big lump that she said is going to be "the sun".

 All of these things were left to dry which took several days for the thickest pieces of paper clay.  When everything was completely dry I gave the figures a coat of white paint.  Then I painted the skin color and Holly painted the clothing on them.  We made a mom, dad, and daughter.  I painted simple faces on them and tied some black yarn to the paperclip.  Then I put a loop of cotton yarn on each paperclip so that we could make them walk, dance, and fly.  Since the arms and legs don't move I'm not sure if these are officially "marionettes" or if they are just puppets, but we really had fun making them.

1 comment:

  1. You are sooooooooooooo smart. You and Mark Montano ought to get together and create for his shop in NYC. He has a FB page and two great craft books out..