owl tree topper, step 1
first I gathered my materials:
- toilet paper tube but you should use a paper towel tube–trust me, it pays off in step 2
- paper for crumpling–craft paper, newspaper, etc.
- masking tape for holding it all together
- torn strips of newspaper
- paper mache mixture: one cup flour + one cup water
to make the rough shape of the owl, I started at the bottom, cutting out the ‘feet’ and ‘feathers’ from my toilet paper roll. if you look at it from the side and imagine a bird on top, you can see where I was headed. hopefully. maybe. update: if you’re smart, you’re using a paper towel roll. do as I say, not as I do! I had to gut the bird just to get it to fit on the tree, so use a paper towel roll in this step. just cut your feet/feather part out of the very bottom. in the next step, instead of making a ball for the torso, wrap some crinkled up paper around the top of the tube. then add the little balled up head on top. seriously, save yourself future pain.
I crumpled up a sheet of paper into a big ball, and taped it onto the toilet paper roll feet section. another, smaller, wad of paper went on top of the body to make the head. a little more masking tape and some general squishing of the paper into shape yielded a surprisingly promising owl. you’re doing what I said, right? wrap that wad of paper around the top of your paper towel roll to create the torso. then pop the head on.
then I whipped up some paper mache mixture by whisking one cup of flour with about one cup of water. if you like you mixture a little runnier, add more water. make sure you set up a work space where this can get messy. I also highly recommend keeping a roll of paper towels on hand so that when the phone rings…yeah, it took me a while to wipe it all off is all I’m saying. save yourself from a similar messy fate.
now you’re ready to start dipping those strips of newspaper into the gooey paper mache mix and wiping with your fingers to distribute it all evenly. oddly satisfying, isn’t it? then just lay those strips all over your owl, smoothing them down as you go, until the whole thing is covered. ta-da! now we wait for him to dry so we can add our details in step 2.