Easy Paper Mache Circus Animals

I have been working on a miniature circus, which you can see here.

Posted by Corinne D.


I had it almost finished, but making the animals was holding me back.
Finally, I came up with a simple form in a paper mache style that seemed to work pretty well.


You Will Need (2 things)

  • Wire
  • Papier Mache

Steps (7 steps, 60 minutes)

  1. 1

    Using a 20 g. wire, and pliers, I made an armature for each animal.
    Just sort of a line drawing in 3-D to hold the form.
    and a tiger, to jump through a flaming hoop!

  2. 2

    a giraffe,

  3. 3

    We have our elephant here.

  4. 4

    Then, using tissue paper I had lying around, I stuffed it in and wrapped around
    the shapes until they looked right, and secured with masking tape where necessary.
    This sort of makes them look like poor little wounded animals in an
    animal hospital, so let's fix them up quickly!

  5. 5

    I used just what I had at home already,an made a sort of quick paper mache.
    I tore strips of tissue paper ( used green b/c I was impatient, but white tissue paper would probably work best), and painted the surface under and over each layer
    with a watered down white glue mixture. This takes about 24 hours to fully dry. When they do dry
    they are lightweight but very sturdy, and ready to be painted.
    I did apply one coat of white primer to them first, before adding color.

  6. 6

    One dry, I painted them with a layer of white gesso.

    Then using acrylic paint, I started to paint each animal in it's own colors.

  7. 7

    They really came to life once I added the details: the spots, stripes and faces.