How To Make Paper Maché: Leopard Project Idea

Looking for new ideas to keep the kids (or yourself) crafting this summer? This leopard project idea is a great creative activity for just about any age and skillset! Lia Griffith shows you how to make paper maché using nontoxic Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue for a fun project the whole family will enjoy. Get inspired to make a leopard or another animal of your choice using the following tutorial. 

What you need:
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
- 8” foam ball
- Glue gun 
- Thick cardboard
- Thin cardboard
- Masking tape
- Scissors
- Large bowl
- Newspaper torn into strips

Step 1 Paper mache animal supplies

Before starting your project, gather your supplies so you have them all ready to go when you start crafting. Tear strips of newspaper for the paper mach portion of the project. You'll want enough strips to cover the entire foam ball.

Step 2 Cut out and glue the base to the foam ball

Cut an 8 circle from the thick cardboard to serve as the base for your leopard head. Cut two ear shapes from the thin cardboard as well. Glue the base to the foam ball using your hot glue gun.

Step 3 Cut slits into each ear base and fold inward

For the ears, cut two slits into the base of each ear so there are three evenly spaced sections. Add hot glue to the middle section, then fold each outer section inward so they overlap the middle section, pressing each into the glue. This will make the ears dimensional.

Step 4 Fill in gap around base with scrunched papers

Wrap strips of masking tape around each ear to add more dimension.

Step 5 Fill in gap around base with scrunched papers

Using some of your strips of newspaper, crumple and fill in the gap around the base of the foam ball. Use strips of masking tape to hold the scrunched papers in place.

Step 6 Cover foam ball with strips of tape until smooth

One you've filled in the gap, cover the entire ball from top to base in strips of masking tape to create a smooth surface.

Step 7 Scrunch paper to create nose and cheeks and tape in place

To create the cheeks, mouth and nose, use newspaper or scrap paper and crumple into two 2 balls for the cheeks, a 1 ball for the mouth, and a 2 ball for the nose. Tape each in place on the top of the headpiece, starting with the nose in the center and the cheeks on each side of the nose, slightly lower than the nose.

Step 8 Tape mouth piece in place

Place the mouth piece under the nose and tape in place.

Step 9 Mix equal parts water and glue

To make your paper mach glue mixture, mix equal parts of water and Original Tacky Glue in your bowl. Use a whisk or spoon to make sure it's thoroughly mixed.

Step 10 Soak strips of newspaper in glue mixture and place on head piece

Place your strips of newspaper into the glue mixture and make sure they are completely covered in the mixture. One by one, remove a strip from the bowl and use your fingers to squeegee off any excess glue. This will get a little messy but its all part of the fun of paper mach! Original Tacky Glue is nontoxic so theres no need to worry. Place the saturated strips onto the head piece, overlapping other strips and covering the entire piece.

Step 11 Let dry overnight

Once the piece is completely covered in the soaked strips, let it dry overnight.

Step 12 Cover ears in strips of paper

Use your hot glue gun to glue the ears in place.

Step 13 Cover ears in strips of paper

Cover the ears in strips of paper soaked in the paper maché glue mixture and let dry completely.

Step 14 Paint head in desired color

Once dry, it’s time to paint the head piece and bring it to life! Paint the entire piece in whatever color you like. Let dry.

Step 15 Paint on facial features

Paint on the facial features as shown or as desired. Get creative with it and have fun! Once you're happy with your design, let it dry completely.

Step 16 Finished Leopard Face

Now that you know how to make paper maché, what else will you create this summer? You can experiment with other shapes, different animals and so much more!

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