This article/recipe is
borrowed /inspired from Heather Mann and
adapted from a project on her website called
Crafts. She rocks and has some really cool projects! She
also has a great instruction on making skully soaps on a rope, too! ;)
1. Tear up newspaper into small pieces. Just use the newsprint pages - not the
2. Pour boiling water over the newspaper and let it soak for an hour. Make sure
you use a disposable bowl or recycled plastic container, or something you don't
care about, because a lot of ink comes off the paper. Make sure all paper is
covered with water. Be careful not to scold yourself with the hot water!
3. Drain water and mix soggy paper into small pieces with a hand mixer. The
instructions said to use your fingers to break up the paper into smaller pieces,
but I tried it for five minutes and it was slow going, plus my fingers got all
covered in ink. The hand mixer made the job much easier!
4. Make a mixture of 4 teaspoons of glue to 1 teaspoon of water. Pour over the
paper pulp and mix with your hand mixer. Be sure to wash the beaters immediately
after you're done with them. If you need more glue mixture, the ratio is 4:1.
You may also use full strength BLUE LIQUID STARCH that you can buy at the
grocery store. But most people have white glue at home.
To make the molded skulls:
1. Spray the mold with non-stick spray.
2. Push the papier-mache mixture into the mold. Pack it as tightly as you can
down in the detailed area of the mold.
3. Fill in the entire mold with papier-mache. WARNING: this will take awhile to
dry. You MUST leave the mixture in the mold for at least two days..
perhaps longer for the larger skulls.
4. After a couple days,
unmold the skulls, then allow to dry until they are light and totally dried out.
This might take a week
5. To speed the drying
process, dry the skulls in your oven at 150° F for 2 or more hours, until dry. I
used my toaster oven on the convection setting for 2.5 hours. Do not allow
the paper to touch any heating elements as they are flammable!
When the skulls are completely dry, trim off excess papier-mache with scissors
(I used kitchen shears) and sand with sandpaper, if a smoother finish is
desired. Decorate however you like. I painted mine with acrylic craft paint.
Tips for painting with craft paint:
* You can paint the papier-mache sculpture with an undercoat of paint or just
decorate the papier-mache directly. Mine was muddy gray, so I opted to paint my
skulls with white and antique white craft paint.
* The papier-mache is, by nature, rough and bumpy. Don't expect it to be easy to
achieve superfine painting detail.
* Wet your brush and mix with acrylic paint. You'll need a bit of water mixed
with your paint to get adequate glide over the bumpy surface (and the water will
help you cover all the crevices easily).
* If you make a mistake, just wait for the mistake to dry and paint over it.
* In fact, the way I found to make better detail was to paint my color in layers
(specifically the teeth). Paint the black outline first (let it dry), and then
dab white for teeth. When the paint dries, touch up any spots that need to be
* If it doesn't look as good as you want it to, just keep adding layers of paint
until you like it!
* Add some glitter or metallic paint for a little special something (I used a
few coats of Plaid Extreme Glitter paint on a couple of my skulls).
* I tried to use a permanent marker to decorate my skulls, but I didn't like the
effect. Maybe you will get better results than I did!
This article/recipe is borrowed from
Heather Mann and adapted from a project on her website
Store Crafts. She rocks and has some really cool projects!