Questions regarding my projects and papier mache regularly fill my mailbox. In an effort to answer these questions and share information some of these questions will be regularly featured on this blog.
“When I was little and did paper mache, we used inflated balloons as the base. We would then pop the balloon leaving our shape. You talk about using plastic bags, newspaper, etc., so my question is: How do you then remove the paper mache from the shape without destroying it? For example, if I used a big balled up piece of newspaper as a mold for a skull, how would I get it out of the skull?”
When using a plastic bag to armature for a skull or pumpkin the newspaper is removed from the form after several layers of strip mache have been applied and thoroughly dried. The crumpled newspaper is removed by cutting a small circle on the bottom and taking the newspaper out through the opening.
The plastic bag/newspaper armature is also used when I create spider bodies or gargoyle heads, but in this case I do not remove the newspaper because neither of these pieces need to be hollow. Pumpkins need to be hollow if you want to light the jack o’lantern from within and skulls need to be hollow in order to create deep eye sockets.
Hope this helps!