Not your third grade paper mache

paper mache dragonfly wing structure finished

Blog

About my Paper Mache Blog

When I first jumped onto the internet in 2008, you could make a website, or a blog.    Websites were static; blogs were dynamic.  So I made one of each.   I built my site, GourmetPaperMache.com (this site) where I put information about my art.   I also made a blog, PaperMacheBlog.com, to feature my current projects (see the photo at the top of the page) and allow people to comment.   Of course now I can have them both on WordPress.   I’m not sure what to do about this.   For now, I’m going to keep my other blog (now called Gourmet Paper Mache Blog), mostly because so many people have signed up to follow it.  A bit convoluted I know.
Feel free to comment on this page, or visit my blog, PaperMacheBlog.com.  Thank you!

206 Responses to “Blog”

  1. Isa

    ¡Hola! Me encanta su trabajo, realmente lo felicito. Quiero intentar realizar uno de sus tutoriales pero tengo dos dudas con respecto a una de sus obras. Del siguiente video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7owR_XE4DaE me gustaría saber si lo que envuelve los cuernos ¿es papel o tela?, y ¿Cómo crea el pegamento que utiliza en todo el dragón? Agradecería mucho su respuesto. Reciba un saludo desde Veracruz, México.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Mike Kelly

    Hello Dan, what type of taxidermy eyes did you use for your Vampire. They are perfect. Went to visit Seattle ( Bainbridge Island ) last week. We loved it, already have a real estate agent working with us. Thanks, Mike Kelly

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Mike. Those were some kind of cat eye. But I can’t remember which one. Sorry. Yes, Seattle is a very nice place, except for traffic. The San Juan Islands offer a nice haven close to the city. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
  3. Nicole

    Hello Dan,

    When creating texture like the scales for the dragon, can you use the famous Duck Tape to cut out the squares and attach? Would that give you texture you need or would it mess up the character. Getting ready for Halloween

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hi Nicole. I just have never tried to makes scales with Duck tape. You are talking about the green masking tape, right? The blue and green masking tape is not very sticky. I prefer the 3M beige masking tape. You might as well experiment. See what happens.

      Like

      Reply
      • tracy

        lol she means duct tape… common mistake. masking tape is more malleable

        Like

  4. Leslie Jones

    Thank you for doing what you do and making it available to the rest of us! Very inspiring as well as instructional. I’m a home grown multi media artist living in south Pierce County. Paper mache is on the to-do list and the dragons — Oh My! A heart’s delight! Can’t wait to get started but am embroiled in current project landscape fairy houses to keep flower beds interesting through the winter), and some miscellaneous. Am now gathering materials for dragons and other … Thank you again! (PS, ordered your dragon book)

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Leslie. Nice to meet you! It sounds like you have some very nice projects in the works! I hope you enjoy the paper mache work. Good luck to you! And thank you for the kind remarks.

      Like

      Reply
  5. Yina Isabel Victoria

    Hola! Lo felicito por su arte, es muy hermoso, me gustaría algún día hacer un dragón porque me gustan mucho, tengo una pregunta, he visto que envuelve las alas y otras partes con una tela o papel blanco, que utiliza? Es papel o tela? Muchas gracias y muchos éxitos!

    Like

    Reply
  6. guanalice

    Wow, they’re amazing. so cool. Nice. I am from China. My english is poor. I can’t express more. They’re nice. Very like them. Wow. i think it’s very difficult to make it.

    Like

    Reply
  7. Dan Immel

    Hey Dan, nice name! 🙂 Love your dragon vids on You Tube, and am using them as inspiration for my Halloween costume. Such incredible detail out of almost nothing! I was so relieved to stumble upon your work as I was drawing lots of blanks until that point. I have a feeling that I may just like this craft… never had the opportunity to do in in school.

    One question: what do you use for inside the bottom jaw of your dragons, is that cheesecloth or old t-shirts? I am amazed at the breadth of paper and cloth materials that you can use for paper mache!

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Dan. Thanks for the nice note. I use old bed sheets dipped in white glue (I like Elmer’s) for the “skin”. That’s what you see in the jaws as well. Good luck with your costume!

      Like

      Reply
  8. Robert Kelly

    Let me first say your work is nothing short of amazing! I have been working with Halloween props for years and am looking to really challenge myself. The idea of making the dragon trophy currently has me excited enough to keep me up at night! I have studied your blogs and watched your videos in hopes of gleaning some ideas from your amazing work. I am pretty familiar with paper clay and have used that for quite some time on some of my props but your techniques are really refreshing and I couldn’t be more excited to try something new. I have already assembled my armature and have my horns and teeth ready. I have a four day break coming up and am looking to start the process. I plan to purchase your books after the holidays when im not as broke 🙂
    I have one question if you dont mind sharing…how do you do your scaling. I see the large plates look like the cloth mache folded over in pieces but the pointed scale sections are those made from cardboard or tape and than glued to the model?
    Thanks again for your time and again I cant begin to state how much respect I have for your art!

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      HI Robert. Glad you find this blog useful! I’m sorry but I couldn’t tell which trophy you were looking at. This comment is on a comment I made about the blog. I have several kinds of scales. Generally you are right, they are just folded pieces of cloth (that have been dipped in glue). I usually make them triangular in shape and apply them like bricks. Hope that helps. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
  9. Christo

    Hi there, I’m all the way in South Africa, do you have an ebook version that I can buy?

    Like

    Reply
  10. Cesar

    Hola, me gustaria saber como haces los ojos y si los compras como los debo pedir, haces un excelente trabajo.

    Like

    Reply
  11. Cesar

    Disculpa pero se me olvido preguntarte como haces los dientes y cuernos de que material estan elaborados, saludos.

    Like

    Reply
  12. joe forrest

    Great models, really amazed at what can be achieved with paper mache.
    Just ordered your dragons book and giving it a go as my daughter loves dragons and is her birthday in may.
    Been getting some suplies together to make a start when the book arrives and just wanted to know if you use acrilic paint. As i might start the jaw if book hasnt arrived by the weekend.
    Once again great work and great videos. Just watching those have given me the insentive and motivation to do this. I must admit i like making things but the painting part for me is going to be the scariest 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Joe. If you follow the instructions I give in the book then painting should not be intimidating. Any paint will work although I prefer water based paints. I buy mine at Home Depot. I use the “all purpose” paint. Most paints these days are acrylic based although some have some latex in it as well. I would not use the tubes of acrylic paint that you find in the art stores. That would be too expensive for anything large. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
  13. joe

    Thanks for your reply Dan,

    I have recieved the book today and read the full instructions for the dragon, Excitment is building already.
    I thought i had more wire coat hangers than i have, so no quick start on the project for me :(. Im also waiting for a couple of other things to come through the post.
    Great instructions and end result in the book (hope mine looks as good).
    Just hope the other half doesnt moan if im spending more time with my dragon than her. Ill tell her that she is my dragon too, she has a sense of humour.
    Once again many thanks
    Joe

    Like

    Reply
  14. angel daza

    muy bonitos diseños excelente tus diseños un favor de que material realizas las alas y los dientes y q tipo d pegamento utilizas y muchas gracias x la ayuda d antemano

    Like

    Reply
  15. angel daza

    gracias x tu ayuda y una consulta mas xfavor q utilizas prara acer las escamas del dragon y como realizas la parte d la boca en una explicacion detallada t lo ruego xfavor

    Like

    Reply
  16. angel daza

    Disculpa, de que material realizas las escamas del dragon y como armas la boca del dragon, y muchas gracias x tu ayuda.

    Like

    Reply
  17. Phillip Bell

    I was greatly inspired by your site. It makes me appreciate your work even more.
    I’m not clear as to the best way to fix the dragon head to the wood plaque. Can you explain?
    Thanks,
    Phillip

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Phillip. I drill holes in the wood and put pieces of wire clothes hangers through them. Then I connect the wire to the neck and to the back of the plaque. You can see the wires in a couple of my videos. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
  18. Michelle McClain

    Hi Mr. Reeder,
    I actually just emailed you yesterday, but couldn’t help myself from commenting again. Just ordered a couple of your books. Am really excited to get them in! Been enjoying your videos all morning. We are doing a youth room at our church. There’s a slightly different kind of group in our church. The idea is to have images with meaning coming off the walls, a tree, owl, phoenix, lion…do you have any advice on getting them attached to walls? Should we make first and then somehow staple them to wall? Or make them directly on the wall?
    Thank you!
    Michelle

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Michelle. That’s strange. I didn’t see an email from you. Glad you wrote again. You have to have a way of attaching them whether you do it before you sculpt or after. I can only tell you the way I hang trophies (without plaques). I start with a piece of wood, like plywood that is cut into the shape of the footprint that will be on the wall. I then drill a hole in it that eventually can be used to put over a screw (or something thicker) coming out of the wall for hanging. You can start the sculpture first, then put it on the plywood and trace the outline of art. Then attach the sculpt with screws or glue. That’s what I did with all the heads of my Tiamat dragon. Hope that helps. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
  19. Ianthe

    I just watched your video on how to make a really interesting dragon mask. I am new to paper mache projects and plan to make a somewhat large animal as a toy for kids. It would need to be someone light weight and weather worthy,,,any ideas on how to make a paper mache project that can hold-up to weather conditions? I noticed you have a dragon in you tree outdoors,,,love it! Your work is AMAZING!

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Lanthe. I’m glad you like my work. It isn’t super light when finished. I pull out most of the wadded paper after I add cloth. Everything I know about trying to make something for outdoors is described in that blog post about my outdoor dragon. It has done well over a number of years now, but eventually it will deteriorate. I’m not sure you can make paper mache last indefinitely outdoors without changing the medium entirely. But you can make it last for quite a while. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
  20. Suzette

    Hello, I remember doing paper mâché when I was in school which was 100 years ago (just kidding) but have never tried doing paper mâché on my own till now. I’m trying to do a Chinese dragon head but I do not have newspaper and was wondering if regular construction paper would work the same way, can you please help?

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hi Suzette. I’ve never used construction paper so I don’t know how well it would work. It would be very hard to make strips I would think. There is no grain in the paper that allows you to tear it. And it is very thick. You will just have to experiment. Phone book paper works well. Good luck

      Like

      Reply
    • Brian

      Thats odd ! as newspaper is every were ! unless your at the North pole ? I dont have any newspaper myself ,but it is a very common material found almost anywhere for free , construction paper will work! but it needs longer soaking , better glue , and is more difficult to use in general ,as well as a cost factor . Toilet paper works very well as a substitute for news paper , But I just have to ask ! why is newspaper so difficult to obtain ?

      Like

      Reply
  21. Allie

    Hello Dan I love all your videos. How do you make a pig mask out of Paper Mâché. By the way I Emailed you.

    Like

    Reply
  22. Josephine

    Heyo Dan! I have some questions about a piece in working on. I bought your Paper Mache Dragons book about 2 years ago and have made some lovely pieces, but this year I’ve decided to go big (real big) and I was wondering if you knew and tricks on making a long curved neck (like a dinosaur, because that’s what I’m making 😅)

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hi Josephine. Glad you are having fun. Of course the bigger you get the more “engineering” that needs to be done. I would run lots of wire (clothes hangers or something else, like aluminum bars) inside the neck. The long the neck the more torque that is created. So it will carry a lot of stress at the point where the neck is connected to the body. That spot will need to get reinforced. Most of that is just putting quite a few layers of paper mache and drying completely. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
    • Brian

      Sounds very big ? a trick they use in museums with the skeletons woks ok and that is a support ( usually painted black ) going from the ground or roof in plain sight . But if thats not what your after some crafty construction needs to take place to support such a thing with out it failing and breaking ! this really depends on how big your dinosaur is going to be , life size one are usually made with concrete or fiberglass which helps in the support . If your dino was made on a base of some sort ( timber ) then your support system could anchor to that using the legs etc and supporting from some frame work attaching the neck and head support you really need to look at a chair using that as your support skeleton adding what ever extra bits you need , so what ever scale its going to be your chair size will increase .( think of it as a custom made chair no matter what size ! then add wire to give it shape and form ( chicken wire ) and you know the rest . using the handyman’s saw horse that consists of 4 legs in a V shape that are attached to a solid timber working surface might be a ideal supporting frame to then attach one single timber piece as the neck support , this would have to be attached to the saw horse at many places ( brackets ,screws and even additional timber bits cut and used for bracing ) once you have this solid and balanced adding the mache etc is all standard .

      Like

      Reply
  23. Veronika

    Hi Dan!I’m a Student from Ukraine and I really admire your works they are wonderful!!I take for example your work and I want to ask of paint do you use? and what fabric you choose???

    Like

    Reply
  24. Eric and grandma Elaine

    HI I’m Eric and I love your videos and really admire your dragons! I’m 7 years old and I have made a crocodile, a golden dragon, a golden goose (for a class play), and we (my grandma n I) are working on an ice dragon’s head! I can sen you pictures if you like. Eric

    Like

    Reply
  25. Ginai

    Wow that’s awsom!. HI Dan I have a ? . what kind of paper do I use. Does it have to be news paper?

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hell Ginai. Newspaper (or newsprint) is used because it is very absorbent. I have used phone book paper before. It is not quite as good as newspaper but it works. You can’t really use printer paper glossy magazine paper. I’m not sure what other kind of paper would work.

      Like

      Reply
  26. Marie-eve

    Hi, I’ve seen your videos and I’d like to try paper mache. I know I need newspapers and glue, but I do not know for scales and wings. Can you tell me what material I will need please. You’re awsome !!!

    Like

    Reply
  27. Nancy Irene Swift

    Hi. I am beginning to tinker with paper mache. I have some great ideas and think this is a medium I can really work with. But I haven’t done any paper mache since grade school. I have been reading tips and looking at works by other artists who do paper mache. Some swear by using wood glue, others white glue and various sorts of paste. I am wondering how you decided on using your mixture vs. other types.

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Hello Nancy. I use cheap white flour and water paste with newspaper for my paper mache pieces. After I’ve finished sculpting with those pieces I add a skin of cloth dipped in white glue. I prefer Elmer’s Glue All. Every so often I use the Elmer’s instead of the flour and water paste as well. That can be pretty expensive if you make a lot of pieces. I’ve never felt the need to experiment with other formulas since mine work well.
      Good luck!

      Like

      Reply
  28. PATTI SHIRLEY

    I was lucky enough to find your book from 1984 “Simple Screamer” and I love it ! I have the Dragons and Monster books also, but kind of like the quirky monsters with the buggy eyes too. I was having a little difficulty with my first dragon with the neck being strong enough to hold the head. Have you ever considered using the cone shaped wire tomato cages for the garden as a neck for a dragon mount? I am going to try it.

    Like

    Reply
    • danmonsterman

      Thanks Patti. I’m glad you have found my books useful over the years! I’ve never had an issue with the neck strength. Maybe you need to add a few more layers of paper. About the wire cone, I would worry that it would be a little heavy. That’s very thick wire. And you’ll undoubtedly have to cut and shape it. Using a full cone would be a very big dragon. Nevertheless, give it a try. It never hurts to experiment. Good luck!

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: