How To Make Forms and Armatures For Paper Mache

How To Make Paper Mache Armatures

There are many ways to create an armature or form for your paper mache project or sculpture. It is recommended to use a non corroding metal. Depending on what you are making will determine the wire you use. There is aluminum mesh, aluminum wire and the wonderful all purpose Chenille pipe cleaners! Some people like using chicken wire too but be careful as it can rust if you get galvanized. You can also purchase pre-made armatures at some of your favorite craft stores or online.

You will need:

  • wire cutters
  • protective gloves
  • protective eye wear
  • thin aluminum wire for twisting or keeping armature together at key points
  • armature or sculpting wire for creating your form (many gauges are available to purchase depending on your needs)
Special Thanks to Jonni

How to Make Paper Mache Forms

You can use newsprint to create basic forms for paper mache. You can also use Aluminum foil in the same way. And for masks you can use cardboard or other flat heavy duty paper such as card stock, poster board or chip board. We will discuss those options here:

If you are like me, you have lots of newspaper saved. Making forms for paper mache projects is one great way to re-purpose and reuse those past issues..

I also save cardboard for shipping. But did you know it makes a great base for forms and masks? Another item I love is Aluminum foil. Do you ever tear off a wrong size piece and get upset for wasting it? Me too! Now you don’t have to beat yourself up, you can save it for use later, especially useful for creating paper mache items!

You will need:

  • scissors
  • painters tape
  • newsprint OR
  • aluminum foil Or
  • cardboard/cardstock

If you don’t have any newsprint or cardboard saved back find a place and start stashing them or ask around for them, you can usually find them free!

Special Thanks to Mrs Batman

Depending on what you are trying to make one of the above mentioned methods can work great for your project. Always decide what type of form or armature will work best and start from there. You will then want to pick a paper mache method/recipe, which will then be important to look at dry times which can be super helpful if you are on a schedule and need to complete your project in a certain amount of time.

All in all there is no wrong method to this, it will all come down to knowing your needs, dry time, sturdiness/longevity of the item you wish to create, etc. You will want to do as much research in advance as possible before attempting these projects because like I have discovered, method and recipe does make a difference!

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