Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Papier-Mache Dinosaur World

Dinosaurs though extinct for millions of years can still pretty much roar and live in the imagination of young children everywhere, and my son is no different. Now at seven-years old, that fascination still shows no sign of fading-away. Making them/ with them a little dinosaur world is a guaranteed path to their heart's fondest memory. Papier-mache is a practical and easy medium to work with; you just need some scrap paper from your recycle bin, some starch, paint, and a fairly sunny weekend.

Papier-mache can be executed by stripping scraps of paper and pasting them to shape or on to a mold- layer by layer; another way is to make paper clay by mixing little pieces of paper with cooked starch.

How to Make Paper Clay

(1)Paper pulp - Made by processing torn pieces of paper with little water into a blender. Strain afterwards.
(2)Starch glue - Made by cooking a little starch dissolved in water. You'll know it's cooked when the mixture becomes transparent.
(3) Paper clay - Mix the paper pulp and the starch glue to a right consistency, and by that it means not too runny.

Papier-Mache Dinosaur World

For this miniature world, I decided to create separate land forms to give free rein to the player's(my kids) imagination and to make storage more convenient. This project also has the secret mission to familiarize my children specially my preschooler with the different land forms.

Volcano Island

A volcano is imperative in a dinosaur world.
An old plastic plate was used as base for the island. An upside down plastic cup was set on the plate with some tape, then covered with paper strips using starch glue and an outer layer of  paper clay for texture. Plastic trees and plants can be stuck in directly to the land form or separately by paper-mache-ing them inside plastic bottle lids

Mountains and Valley

More upside down plastic/ paper cups set on an ice cream tub lid covered by more paper strips and paper clay. Drying can last several days depending on the thickness and the intensity of sun.

Hills, Cave and Plateau

For the cave, cut an opening at the side of a paper cup before covering.

Paper clay pulps can be piled on selected spots for vegetation or terrain texture. The final look will be dictated largely by how well the land forms are painted. It is best to observe from pictures or actual surroundings. Generally for both vegetation and terrain, it is usually the topmost part that appear lighter; use the darker tone to add depth and dimension.

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