How to Make a Papier Mache Dog Sculpture

Create this Rottweiler dog sculpture with papier mache strips plastered onto wire.

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Materials and Tools:

hex (chicken) wire
14-gauge steel wire
newspaper
colored roll paper: black, brown, white
papier mache paste or art paste
acrylic paint: black, camel and brown
paintbrushes
varnish
wire cutters
pliers

Steps:

1. Cut a piece of chicken wire, bend it into a tube and twist the loose ends of chicken wire together to hold the tube in place. Bend and squeeze the wire into a dog body shape.

2. Cut two pieces of 14-gauge steel wire each about 16 inches long. Bend one into a "u" shape to form the back legs. Attach the loose ends of the chicken wire to the wire for the legs by twisting the loose ends around the steel wire. Cut a piece of 14-gauge wire to form the neck and head shape and attach to the chicken wire body in the same way. Angle the head to the side.

3. Brush sheets of newspaper with papier mache or art paste so that the paper is soaked. Tear the paper into strips then apply the strips to the wire base, overlapping them for full coverage.

4. To build up the shape of the dog, apply a layer of glue-soaked strips then let dry for six hours. Continue building up layers until the dog body form takes shape.

5. Create individual toes of the paws by balling up brown glue-soaked paper and then apply to each leg. Also, create the dog's mouth with brown paper.

6. Add ears to the dog's head using glue-soaked brown paper strips, shaping the ears at the top of the head.

7. Form the dog's eyes using small balls of white paper and shape the eyelids using small strips of black colored paper positioned above and below the eyeballs. Sculpt the brow and nose with black paper.

8. Paint the dog sculpture using brown, camel and black acrylic paint. Let dry.

9. Varnish the papier mache dog sculpture to add shine and durability. Let dry.

Steven Wirtz, Fond du Lac, Wis.
Website: www.cartuna.net

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