How to Make Paper Mache Animal Horns

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Animal horns, real or paper mache, add an interesting element to a home's decor.
Animal horns, real or paper mache, add an interesting element to a home's decor. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Beastly animal horns made from paper mache can be almost as hard as the real things. Paper mache is an art medium that originated in France, which uses inexpensive and commonly found household items for creating sculptures. Form a pair of animal horns to add to a custom-made dinosaur hat or animal mask. Sculpt a set of sharp-tipped horns destined for your living room as a conversation piece. Copy images of actual horns found in books or magazines, or create fantasy horns in unconventional prints and colors.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard paper towel roll tubes
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 quart plastic bowl
  • Whisk
  • 9-inch rigid foam cube
  • Knife
  • Acrylic paint, crème or ivory

Straight Horn

Cut a cardboard tube from an empty roll of paper towels into the length you want for your animal horn. Add another tube to the end by taping two together with masking tape, if you want a longer horn than can be made with a single tube.

Tear five to 10 newspaper sheets into 6-by-3-inch strips, depending on how large you are making the horn. Wrap strips of newspaper around the cardboard tube. Tape the newspaper to the roll with masking tape. Cover the tube completely including the ends with newspaper.

Crumple three to five newspaper strips; form a ball that is the width of the end of the cardboard tube. Pinch one end of the ball with your fingers to create a pointed tip. Wrap the ball with masking tape so the end remains pointed. Position the ball in one end of the tube with the tip pointed out; use tape to secure the end of the horn.

Mix together 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of water in a 2 quart plastic bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until it is smooth and without clumps.

Dip strips of newspaper into the flour-water mixture, which is the paper mache paste. Place the strips around the form of the horn in a single layer that covers the structure. Allow the paste to dry for 24 hours.

Place additional strips of newspaper dipped in paste around the base of the horn to make the base wider than the top. Allow the strips to dry for 24 hours after you have placed each layer.

Paint the horn with acrylic paint using crème or ivory colors.

Curved Horn

Cut a 9-inch cube of rigid foam into a C shape. Trim the width of the C shape to be as wide as you want the horn.

Chisel the form using a knife so that one end is pointed while the other end is flat and wide.

Cover the rigid foam form with newspaper strips dipped in paper mache paste. Allow the paper mache to dry for 24 hours. Add at least two additional layers; allow these layers to dry for 24 hours between each layer.

Paint the horn with crème or ivory acrylic paint.

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