Monday, May 17, 2010

Paper Mache Halloween Props - DIY - Torn Torso Body Part... Haunted Tree & Broken Leg!

Instructions to create a Torn Torso out of Paper Mache for Halloween home haunts!

... all thanks to inspiration from Martha Stewart. I watched, took notes then headed to the hardware store for some supplies. This was a huge!! project for me to undertake and by the time this and a few other projects were complete, I had ample unwanted paper mache experience. These projects were the messiest, most time consuming props I've ever made but, in the end also the most rewarding. 

I have previously written and posted the DIY instructions for all of the paper mache props on my Squidoo lens so I'm just posting the instructions for the Torn Torso... to view the haunted tree, broken leg and the three eyed martian just click here

This gruesome torso would look fantastic in a bloody butcher shop, kreepy kitchen or stewing pot in the graveyard!

How to Make Body Parts out of Paper Mache

Supplies needed...

To make the form - chicken wire, thin gauge wire for threading, silver tape, metal snips, white glue, newspaper, thin stake, garbage bag, gloves.

To make papier mache - newspaper (rip into thin strips), flour, water, white glue, paper towel and container.

To finish - primer sealer, paint brushes, paints in flesh tones, reds, black, blues, yellows and white(I wouldn't recommend using oil paint) to simulate blood, tears, cuts and bruising and red tissue paper.


;) please remember this isn't an exact replica of the body!

Step 1 - Get the chicken wire, snips, thin gauge wire and gloves. Snip the sharpest tips off of the chicken wire to prevent future gouges. Wrap a good sized piece of chicken wire around a garbage bag full of newspaper (made into the general form of a torso).

Step 2 - Pull the chicken wire firmly around your form. Make a smaller waist and wider shoulders as you determine the basic shape. Be sure to leave an overlap so you can secure the joins with the wire. You will need to nip, tuck and perhaps sew on the arms, depending on how you made your form. Secure the stake to form at this stage or skip it if you wish to display differently.

Step 3 - Make at least three bones by simply cutting thin strips of chicken wire and folding them a few times. Then wrap the tape around the entire piece.

Step 4 - Get your mache paste ready, if you havne't already and keep your supplies handy in case you need to make more paste or tear more paper. Be sure to keep openings for the bones you made.

Step 5 - Do at least 4 or 5 layers of paper mache and let them dry completely. On the last last couple of layers begin building up the rib bones, collar bone, spine and any torn holes in the skin.

Step 6 - After many days your torso will be dry. At this point, wedge the bone part into the openings. Make them stick out, as though they were snapped off. Crumple up newspaper and place it tightly around the openings, to fill in the rest of the hole. Secure with tape where ever you have to.

Step 7 - Begin by painting your entire torso with a base coat of primer and let dry. Then paint the entire torso in flesh tones. Using darker colours to create the deep gashes. Yellows, browns and dark blues are great for creating bruises. Just blend, layer and build up the colours as you go along. Add lots of reds, purples and blacks for fresh blood and dried blood on the wounds. Darken deep cuts and highlight the upper most areas with a lighter shade, to create depth. You will need more than one coat of paint, so don't do any fine details until the final coat of skin is finished. Let paints have a chance to dry, even as you are building up colours. This colour palette will get muddy really quickly.

Step 8 - Grab a few pieces of red tissue paper and smoosh them up, this will give them some texture. Pour glue onto the ends of the openings, but not on the bones, then place the tissue paper onto the glue. Press gently to set in place. Push raw edges into glue or add more glue if necessary.

Step 9 - Use red paint and touch up all around the end openings and paint down any loose tissue pieces.

Step 10 - Admire your latest creation as you are now finished!! Congratulations on the making of a paper mache torso!

There are a few key tips n' things to keep in mind and they are available with the other project instructions (just click here)....and remeber that rain is not your friend with paper mached props! Be sure to protect your Halloween artwork from the elements or display them indoors only.

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