I was always a little bit jealous of Easter as we don’t celebrate it here (we have Passover around the same time, but it’s very different). Easter always seemed like such a cute and fun holiday – with lots of bunnies and colorful eggs.
I really felt like making something cute and bunny-ish, so I decided to try make paper mache bunnies. I haven’t done paper mache since I was a child, but it was really fun getting back to :)
Here’s a step-by-step of how I made these:
I used dry newspaper to make the body of the bunny from two crumpled up balls I attach together with masking tape. This was the first time I worked this way and I actually really liked this technique for making the basic shape. In the past I used to built a ‘twig-skeleton’, but sculpturing everything from newspaper enabled me to create the base any size and shape I wanted.
Next I created the bunny ears. For this I went back to the twig-skeleton technique I mentioned, but instead of twigs I used a wooden skewer which I cut to the length of ears I wanted. An easy way to cut it is to make a slit around the skewer with a knife at the length you want and then break it.
Again I used newspaper and masking tape to create the shape of the ears. For the floppy ear I first taped the two parts together.
After the ears where ready I cut two small holes at the bunnies head, placed the ears and secured with masking tape.
This is the part you actually start to paper mache.
I used to make paper mache paste out of water + white glue, but I run out of glue (!) so this time I made the paste out of 1 part water + 1 part flour. I didn’t like it too much though as the paste kept turning lumpy and I had too keep stirring it (any tips on how to avoid that anyone?). It came out a bit too sticky at first so I added more water.
You can do the paper mache part the traditional way – by adding newspaper layers, then a white paper layer and then color it when it dries.
I choose to do something a bit different this time and went with patterned paper for the layering. You can use scrapbook paper or print out digital paper (If you do make sure to use a laser printer, otherwise the print will most likely dissolve when you dip it in the paper mache paste). I used these digital papers.
I started at the edges – bottom of body and tips of ears and moved towards the center. I made these bunnies pretty small so I used strips of paper about 5-7 mm wide. When you do this – make sure you layer the strips overlapping each other, and turn the bunny around to see you haven’t left any of the masking tape or newspaper showing.
My favorite part of the paper mache process is the finishing.
I like to rub on a layer of white glue, to smooth everything out and make sure all the strips are in place. It also gives the sculpture a nice shine when it dries. This time I used varnish gloss (I really need to buy more white glue). Personally I like to rub it with my fingers (love getting my hands dirty!) but I guess you can use a brush.
Now comes the hard part – let it dry!
And this is how my bunnies turned out:
What do you think?