Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's Bigger than a Pinata? or Reinventing Paper Mache'

This is a close up of a project I just finished.  I had a lot of fun making this mannequin, though I have to admit it was very, very time intensive.  Let me tell you about the process.
I started out by doing about 8 paper mache layers on a plastic commercial mannequin that I own, and use for displaying clothing at Treasures Antique Mall, where I work.

It took me almost 2 weeks to complete the paper mache process, then I slit the side and shoulders of the mannequin. (Which also scored the plastic mannequin, so one should probably not borrow a mannequin for this purpose.)  My husband cut a wood base and interior waist for our girl, then attached the base of a reproduction wood plantstand that I found at a garage sale last week for $4.

He then cut another circle for the neck opening, and I screwed in the finial for a curtain rod.  He ran screws through the paper mache into the three wood disks essentially pulling her back together.  Next I did a plain paper layer of paper mache, to cover the screws and opening from our girl's reconstruction.

Next I paper mached diamond shapes cut from a French book.

I later varnished and then using furniture stain, I 'antiqued' the finish. Then I used a black enamel paint to paint the wood parts of the mannequin.  Last of all I added an antique collar and cameo, as well as a satin ribbon and bow at the waist. 
And this is a picture of the completed mannequin.  I was very, very happy with her, and have already started her slighter younger sister!!  She is now for sale at the Walter Larsen Antique Show in Salt Lake City at the Expo Center at 9575 S. State St, this week from March 31, to April 2.  Hours on Thursday and Friday are 11:00 A.M. to 8 P.M., Saturday is 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Come and see me!!


  1. She is beautiful! She did such an amazing job. Did you have to coat the original with anything in order to release the paper mache ?

  2. I did rub it with vegetable oil, sorry I forgot to mention that. And thank you!!

  3. wow!!I LOVE HER I saw this at your house and thought nothing of it but she turned out really nice way to go mom!

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  5. Okay, that makes me tired just thinking of all the work...GREAT job Paula! (*_*)

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