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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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