Every time I visit London I get drawn to Anthropologie. I wander around the shop swooning over their beautiful crafted homeware. I was taken with their paper mache rabbit head.
The paper mache heads may be gorgeous but gosh they are expensive. There were several animal heads in Anthropologie, but I was smitten with the gorgeous spring rabbit head decoration.
As well as being able to save a lot of money by making my own paper mache rabbit head I could also tweak it to match my decor. By using paper patterns of my own choosing. a
Once I worked it out, the rabbit head was really quite simple to make. If you are not into rabbits/bunnies you could use the same method to make any animal head you want. Flamingoes are very popular at the moment, and stag heads always look good.
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Tutorial For A Paper Mache Rabbit Head
What You Need
- Craft aluminum wire mesh– this is amazing stuff, it’s like really fine chicken wire.
- Old newspapers
- White school glue / PVA glue
- Mod Podge
- Glue brushes
- Gesso (optional)
- 1 sheet of pretty floral wrapping paper – My paper was by Sara Miller and I got in from John Lewis in the UK. If you aren’t in the UK or near a John Lewis store there are lots of gorgeous spring gift wraps in the shops at the moment I’m sure you’ll find one you love.
How I made my Paper Mache Rabbit Head
I made this paper mache rabbit head in a very similar way to my giant paper mache cactus but on a much smaller scale.
Making The Wire Frame
- The first and probably the most tricky bit is making the wireframe. To make this a bit easier I divided up the head into 3 main sections; the neck, head, and ears.
- You will find the wire mesh is really easy to cut, stretch, bend, and shape.
- To make the neck you will need to shape the wire into a kind of cylinder shape that is smaller at the top and wider at the bottom. As the head will be wall-mounted, for it to hang right the neck will also be much longer at the front than the back. It’s just a case of manipulating the wire mesh until you have the right shape. Holding it against the wall to check that it will hang right.
- The head is more of a cone shape with a flat nose at the front. The ears are just tall and round at the top.
- Once you are happy with the shape of your neck, head, and ears. Either tape them together or glue them with a hot glue gun to make your wire complete wire mesh frame.
The Paper Mache
- Firstly you’ll notice that your wire structure is difficult to work with as it’s designed to hang on the wall and not to stand up. If you just stick it on top of a bottle to support it and it will be so much easier to work with.
- I paper mache 2 layers of newspaper onto the wireframe using small strips of newspaper and 50/50 glue to the water mixture. Sticking the first layer of paper is the hardest. Ensure that the paper is fully dry in between layers.
3. Before adding my floral layer of paper, I covered the rabbit head with a couple of layers of gesso. This is optional but I find it gives a smoother finish.
The gesso also paints the head white which will ensure that none of the newspaper print will show through the final decorative paper layer.
The Final Decorative Paper Layer
- I used mod podge for this final paper layer. Applying it to both the paper and the rabbit head.
- I did not cut the floral paper into strips but instead tore it into sections. Tearing the paper gave a more feathered edge.
- In order to get two identical flowers were for the rabbit’s eyes, I pasted them onto the head first. I then just covered the rest of the rabbit piece by piece tearing the wrapping paper into sections as I went along.
4. To finish off I covered the whole head in a layer of Mod Podge to provide it with a protective finish.
The paper mache rabbit head can be easily hung on the wall as it is just balanced on a hook. Or you can mount it on a frame and hang that like you would see in a trophy room.
I covered my paper mache rabbit head with gift wrap paper but there is no reason why you couldn’t use fabric for your final layer. If you use fabric then just use fabric mod podge to stick and seal it. Or you can use paper napkins for the final layer, just like I did with these paper mache teacups.
This would be a fun Easter craft to do with kids, once you’ve helped them with the frame, they could do the paper mache bit. From experience, I know kids love paper mache, it was one craft my boys really enjoyed.
My son still has the giant paper mache cactus in his room that we made a couple of years ago.
If you are looking for more spring/Easter crafts I have made a cute upcycled spring bunny and duck embroidery for the mantle. If wall hangings are more your thing check out this blue tit egg wreath or this Marimekko spring wreath.
For more spring crafts don’t forget to visit favecrafts.com