Halloween has come and gone and with it came a flurry of crafting. I’m not a big fan of buying costumes, especially trademarked character cosutmes. Fortunately the Kid decided that he wanted to be a dinosaur for Halloween and I, being the dutiful mother, began researching. I found a very cool idea online for a papier mache dino head and costume. I had thought about it for a long time and plotted how I’d approach it but of course I left the actual production to the last minute.
I hadn’t worked with papier mache since I was a child but of course then I didn’t have to make the stuff. First I had to come up with a good papier mache glue and found an excellent, cheap recipe. Unfortunately I lost the link but I remember the recipe:
Papier Mache Paste
2 cups water
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Meanwhile combine 1/2 cup flour with remaining 1 cup water in a small bowl. When water comes to a boil, gradually add flour slurry and continue to stir. Bring mixture to a boil and take off heat. Add sugar. Let cool before using.
The mixture stores well in the fridge. Just warm up a bit in the microwave oven and stir well. It dries overnight, is non-toxic and is odourless.
I shaped the dino head using light cardboard and masking tape over a firefighter helmet then shaped and detailed with 3 layers of papier mache, letting each layer dry thoroughly before adding another. When it was dry, I painted with a few coats of acrylic craft paint and sprayed with satin finish shellac.
It was loads of fun to make, cheap (nearly free!) and it’s something the Kid will play with for a while.