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Looking for new ideas to keep the kids (or yourself) crafting this summer? This leopard project idea is a great creative activity for just about any age and skillset! Lia Griffith shows you how to make paper maché using nontoxic Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue for a fun project the whole family will enjoy. Get inspired to make a leopard or another animal of your choice using the following tutorial.
- 8” foam ball
- Glue gun
- Thick cardboard
- Thin cardboard
- Masking tape
- Large bowl
- Newspaper torn into strips
Before starting your project, gather your supplies so you have them all ready to go when you start crafting. Tear strips of newspaper for the paper maché portion of the project. You’ll want enough strips to cover the entire foam ball.
Cut an 8” circle from the thick cardboard to serve as the base for your leopard head. Cut two ear shapes from the thin cardboard as well. Glue the base to the foam ball using your hot glue gun.
For the ears, cut two slits into the base of each ear so there are three evenly spaced sections. Add hot glue to the middle section, then fold each outer section inward so they overlap the middle section, pressing each into the glue. This will make the ears dimensional.
Wrap strips of masking tape around each ear to add more dimension.
Using some of your strips of newspaper, crumple and fill in the gap around the base of the foam ball. Use strips of masking tape to hold the scrunched papers in place.
One you’ve filled in the gap, cover the entire ball from top to base in strips of masking tape to create a smooth surface.
To create the cheeks, mouth and nose, use newspaper or scrap paper and crumple into two 2½” balls for the cheeks, a 1½” ball for the mouth, and a 2” ball for the nose. Tape each in place on the top of the headpiece, starting with the nose in the center and the cheeks on each side of the nose, slightly lower than the nose.
Place the mouth piece under the nose and tape in place.
To make your paper maché glue mixture, mix equal parts of water and Original Tacky Glue in your bowl. Use a whisk or spoon to make sure it’s thoroughly mixed.
Place your strips of newspaper into the glue mixture and make sure they are completely covered in the mixture. One by one, remove a strip from the bowl and use your fingers to “squeegee” off any excess glue. This will get a little messy but it’s all part of the fun of paper maché! Original Tacky Glue is nontoxic so there’s no need to worry. Place the saturated strips onto the head piece, overlapping other strips and covering the entire piece.
Once the piece is completely covered in the soaked strips, let it dry overnight.
Use your hot glue gun to glue the ears in place.
Cover the ears in strips of paper soaked in the paper maché glue mixture and let dry completely.
Once dry, it’s time to paint the head piece and bring it to life! Paint the entire piece in whatever color you like. Let dry.
Paint on the facial features as shown or as desired. Get creative with it and have fun! Once you’re happy with your design, let it dry completely.
Now that you know how to make paper maché, what else will you create this summer? You can experiment with other shapes, different animals and so much more!