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Project

Papier-Mache Decorations: Glowing Skull

Steps

  1. Step 1

    To create a scary skull, inflate a large balloon a day ahead of time or inflate and deflate it several times to make it malleable. Wrap masking tape around the balloon one-third of the way from the bottom to form the jawline. Using wheat paste, attach two layers of white tissue paper roughly torn into 1- to 2-inch squares.

  2. Step 2

    a98930_1001_skullht.jpg

    Pop and remove balloon when dry. Cut a hole from the base toward the rear of the form so that the skull tilts back slightly when displayed. Cut out the features, and use wheat paste to affix a sheet of tissue paper inside.

  3. Step 3

    To light the skull, secure a battery-powered light to the display surface with a walnut-size piece of modeling clay, and lower the skull over the light.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 2001

Reviews (15)

  • GlenneCoco 11 Oct, 2010

    I just made one of these a few days ago, and just cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. Its so cute! this was such a fun project to make, i am planning on making some more soon!
    instead of using tissue paper i used white printer paper and ripped it up into small sections, i put some cinnamon into the mix ( i heard it cuts down on the smell) and when it dried the sections that had extra paste looked a little more antique looking, pretty cool.

  • anadelle_ramirez 29 Sep, 2010

    My tissue paper disintegrated as soon as it touched the paste (1 pt white glue to 1 pt water because it is humid here). The "tissue paper" is the same type you would use to line a gift bag, right? I tried construction paper next, which seems to work better. Both skulls are drying now. Any advice?

  • CreativeEwe 15 Aug, 2010

    you should have coated the balloon with vaseline first

  • Komiko 5 Oct, 2009

    I spent such a long time adhering the tissue to the balloon and when it came time to pop the balloon, it stuck to the tissue and turned into a huge disaster! I got the recipe for the wheat paste online (using flour)...I don't know what I could have done wrong. Does some one have a suggestion to fix this issue? Thanks!

  • kimkim 31 Oct, 2008

    I was a little worried after I put the tape on (which was blue) that it would stick to the papier-mache but luckily it does come apart from the finished skull pretty easily. A good tip is to make sure you have larger pieces that go over that area so there are less edges to peel off. Also I think you need at least three layers of tissue because with only two I found the contrast in the cut out pieces was not enough and the features weren't showing up as nicely as they do in the picture.

  • monkeyd 13 Oct, 2008

    Paper Mache is fun, and kids love it, too. Pumpkins are another fun paper mache project: http://tinyurl.com/549zhg

  • mamilu 15 Sep, 2008

    I think a battery operated light might be enough, they come in different sizes.

  • mamilu 15 Sep, 2008

    I think a battery operated light might be enough, they come in different sizes.

  • mamilu 15 Sep, 2008

    I think a battery operated light might be enough, they come in different sizes.

  • mamilu 15 Sep, 2008

    I think a battery operated light might be enough, they come in different sizes.

  • MamaMel 11 Sep, 2008

    I love it, but what is making it light up?

  • MamaMel 11 Sep, 2008

    I love it, but what is making it light up?

  • MamaMel 11 Sep, 2008

    I love it, but what is making it light up?

  • cookiesgalore 24 Jul, 2008

    Wheat paste is just flour, water,etc. I googled it and found this great recipe for it.
    Here's the link, hope this helps.

    http://solarcooking.org/wheatpaste.htm

    For more skull ideas, I would just google "skull crafts" or variations of that and see what comes up.
    Good luck ;-)

  • liz-217 11 Jul, 2008

    What is "wheat paste"?

    I purchased Mexican Sugar skulls mold. I've decided to have a skull theme this year! I love this paper mache idea, does anyone have more skull ideas I can you to decorate my porch and front yard?