How to Make a Creative Doll With Paper Mache

Paper-mache is a simple yet versatile crafting material that you can use to create any number of interesting dolls. With paper-mache, you can create traditional dolls, puppets, and nesting dolls. Your crafting options are limited only by your imagination and the time you can commit to the project. Every doll project is a little bit different from the next, but the basic process for crafting paper-mache dolls remains similar across a number of individual designs. Once you are familiar with the basics, you can stretch your creativity and try something truly challenging.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 large polystyrene ball
  • 1 small polystyrene ball
  • 1 Polystyrene tube
  • Scissors
  • 20 inches of armature wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Shish Kebab stick
  • School glue
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Newspaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
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    • 1

      Take a large polystyrene ball and press it against the edge of a table. The indention will serve as the doll’s mouth.

    • 2

      Tear the newspaper into sections of 5/8 by 5/8-inch squares

    • 3

      Mix the paper-mache solution by combining three parts glue to one part water in a large mixing bowl.

    • 4

      Dip each piece of newspaper into the mixture and apply it to the foam head. Work on the head until you have three or four layers of paper completely covering the ball.

    • 5

      Set the head aside to dry.

    • 6

      Shave the edges of the polystyrene tube until it resembles a torso. An easy way to do this is to trim down to a rough cone.

    • 7

      Cover the torso in newspaper strips just as you did the head. Set the torso aside to dry.

    • 8

      Cut the armature wire into two 6-inch sections and two 4-inch sections. These sections will be the doll’s arms and legs, so make sure they are proportionate to the torso and head. Fold the end of each arm into a loop to give the doll hands.

    • 9

      Cover each of the armature wires with paper-mache and leave them to dry.

    • 10

      Cut a small polystyrene ball in half to create shoes for your doll. You can sculpt the surface with your scissors or leave them perfectly round.

    • 11

      Cover the shoes in paper-mache. You will need to wait for all pieces to dry before you proceed.

    • 12

      Stick the shish kebab stick into the top of the torso and jam the head onto the other end. Add some glue to secure the stick.

    • 13

      Push the ends of the wire armature pieces into the appropriate spot on the doll, coating the end of each with glue before insertion.

    • 14

      Stick the shoes on the ends of the feet wires.

    • 15

      Paint and clothe your doll as you see fit. You can add hair with a piece of a wig or some yarn, or simply paint it on with acrylic paint.

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