Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oaxacan Animalitos

I inherited loads of styrofoam balls from my predecessor, and they were put to good use in this project.  Basically the form is two balls tapes the last few classes I was doing this in advance and just handing them out.  Arms, legs, tails were just scrap paper bunched together and taped up.  Once again, by the last few classes I was handing these out too. :)

Once the bodies were all solidly taped together, it was paper mache time.  I used Smart Art paste and I can't believe I've never used it before. The stuff is fantastic.  I had the kids choose one color of butcher paper so we didn't have to paint.  Butcher paper was much more pliable than construction paper would have been.

Ready for that first layer of paper mache

Next, the kids used small pieces of Sax True Color Paper (white one one side, thinner than construction paper) and drew patterns on it with permanent marker and white paint marker.  This was ripped up and used to decorate legs, tails, ears, wings...

Last thing was to draw the facial features and cut/glue them on.  Some of them drew mouths with a permanent marker.  We did not paint at all---why?  When little ones (and even big kids) do paper mache, the surface is very lumpy-- it is so hard to paint and 99% of the time it looks terrible.

Ready to rip!

And now for some real Oaxacan animalitos...the inspiration for this project...


  1. I can't believe these weren't painted! They are too cute and the direct drawing on the faces etc. really add to the overall design. Not sure I understand "art paper", white on one side? But I am looking forward to trying the smart art paste!

  2. These are cool...I would try finding another material than papier mache...just because I don't like papier mache....what about plaster gauze?


    1. @pat-- thanks! I corrected my post with the proper name of that paper-- Sax True Color Paper. Expecting the royalties to come pouring in now...:)

      @C-- I hated paper mache too for a long time and i would never use it. Then i saw a someone teach kids how to use it properly (and neatly) and my world changed-- now I still don't do it very often but it's not a complete nightmare like it used to be. Plaster gauze would be a good option as well-- i find that material hard to use with little guys because they're not very adept at keeping the dry gauze pieces totally dry until they're ready to use them. Let me know if you try it, i'd love to hear about it!