I wanted to make these last Halloween to go with my pumpkins outside, but didn’t get around to it because of all my casual costume prep. When I started making my broken glass crown though, I thought these would be perfect to go with the photos I wanted to take with the crown.
I made these over the course of a week, coming back to it when I had time around the kids schedules.
Gloves (so you don’t poke yourself with chicken wire)
Bowl to mix paper mache in
Rocks or Sand in a bag
Vinyl gloves for working with the paper mache
Wearing your gloves, cut a piece of chicken wire and shape it into a tentacle. I rolled the chicken wire, making it wider at the base, then thinner a the top, then cut off the extra. To secure the shape, bend the end pieces around the other wire in a seam up the side. Once there are no sharp pieces sticking out of the side, you can manipulate the chicken wire into the shape you want. Twisting works well, I’ve found.
I left he bottom end open and cut a little, bending the wire out to make it stand on its own.
Prepare your paper mache. I used a recipe from Ultimate Paper Mache, she’s got lots!
I used was the second one, the raw flour and water paste.
Tear newspaper into strips. I use smaller strips for the first layer because it’s hard to make it the larger ones stick to the bare wire.
If you want to use vinyl gloves, this is when you put them on. dip the newspaper strips into the paper mache, completely cover it, then wipe off some of the excess. I dipped a strip, then draped it over the side of my bowl, and went on to the next strip until my bowl was surrounded with wet newspaper strips. This also allows the newspaper to soak in the paper mache a little more.
Next, I placed the strips on the wire. Because the strips don’t stick really well on the first layer, I had to do one side at a time, let it dry a little, then turn the tentacle and do the next side, until the whole thing was covered.
Allow the first layer to fully dry, then add more layers. As many as you want to make it as sturdy as you need. I used 3-4 layers, then took some extra paper mache and rubbed the whole thing down with it, to make it smoother.
Next time, I may try the Paper Mache Clay recipe on the Ultimate Paper Mache site to finish it.
Next, I weighted the end of the tentacle so it would stand by itself. I filled a plastic bag with rocks. You can also use sand, I just didn’t have any around. I stuffed the bottom with the bag of rocks and (with my gloves back on) I closed up the end and manipulated the wire to make sure it could stand on its own.
At this point you can cover the end with paper mache if you want. I didn’t only because I knew that part wouldn’t show in my photo and for Halloween, I’m planning on covering the bottom anyway.
*Note: I didn’t take photos of this part, but I will and add them to this section next time I make them.
I used Gesso to prep the tentacle for paint. It dries pretty quickly. Then I painted the whole thing white and let it dry. Last, I freehanded the black stripes.
That’s it! It’s ready to hang out in your house or at your party, looking cool. I may try some different colors next. I think it would be cool in some bright candy colors for a party, or red and white for some ginger bread house Christmas decor.
Feel free to share your versions of this in the comments! I’d love to see what you make!