Faking My Way Through Paper Mache

A few people have asked about the life sized paper mache reindeer in the window at Cub Shrub and I’m pretty proud to say that I made it out of trash.  It turned out way better than it should have.  Here’s what I did:


After I watched a few videos on this super helpful site, I started by doing an image search for a reindeer with simple lines that I could use for proportion.  Then I drew out the basic shapes that made up the animal (the trunk, four legs and head) and then cut those out of cardboard boxes.


Then I added wooden supports to each leg and one on the body to give it strength and create some of the spacing that I would need between the pieces.  After that, I started filling those gaps with anything I could find and also started adding some “meat” onto the “bones” of this beast by taping more trash to the outside of it.

556  558  560   563

There is that saying about making a canoe by taking a log and carving away everything that isn’t a canoe..  this process was kind of just the opposite of that.  You just start with a pile of stuff and keep adding what should be a reindeer to it.  Anyway, once I added enough trash to make it feel like a reindeer, I added strips of paper which were dipped in a mix of flour and water.

DSCF4808 DSCF4809

We (this is where Josh started helping out) added two coats of the paper, giving it a few days to dry in between and then it was ready to paint!


Throw some tassels and a baby mannequin on there and its done!  Like most things, this project took longer than expected; a few weeks in total.  And even though I made it almost entirely from stuff that was lying around, I did spend about $60 on masking tape which is pretty crazy!  But all in, for a life sized reindeer, I think I don’t think that time or cost is unreasonable.  Its pretty festive and fun and maybe after holiday we can relieve some tension by filling it with candy and hitting it with a stick.