A while ago Molly Moo published a picture of the most fabulous Papier-mâché Hen that she had made at her Papier-mâché course. This precipitated a Hen Craft Challenge which I agreed to take part in, although frankly I was never going to match up to Her Craftyness’s high standards.
I used a cereal packet to do most of the work for me. Firstly, I took off the top third, and put to one side for the ‘bits’ < that’s a tchnical term, by the way. Then I cut down the four edges of the box to the corners. At this point I started panicking that I had made a crazy mistake somehow but stuck with my plan.
On the large side of the box, I sketched a rough hen outline- slightly stylised to suit the box- then cut it out and used the cut-off section as a template to cut the same chicken outline on the other large side of the box. Does that make any sense at all?
If you are still with me, then you should have two chickens, connected by a flat base, with two odd rectangular bits of cardboard sticking out each side. These, you cut into points: they serve as the front and rear ‘ends’ of the chicken/hen.
Now, in theory at least, you should be able to pull all four pieces up towards each other, stick them all together- possibly with a little judicial trimming of card- and you have a hen shape.
If you made it this far and are still interested in completing the project, then you are free to decorate your hen/chicken however you choose. I actually covered mine in a layer or two of paper mache to cover up the cereal box colour-scheme. Then I went to town with some Decopatch samples I was given by the very nice Hobbycraft team at a recent event.
Decopatch is specifically designed for papier mache and can be used on anything. What I love about it is that it is stronger than the regular tissue paper I use- it feels more like baking paper- which means that it doesn’t tear when the glue dampens it. Which also means that you can ‘wiggle’ it around a bit to get it in exactly the right place on your project. This can be helpful if you are particular. It also comes in a bewildering range of patterns and designs- which don’t bleed at all when wet- so it really opens up papier mache as a craft that everyone can enjoy.
And there you have it: my entry to Molly Moo’s fantastical Paper Mache Hen Challenge.