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How to Make a Paper Mache Nemo Fish

How to Make a Paper Mache Nemo Fish

nemoThis little Nemo fish is a great project for anyone wanting to learn the basic steps of Paper Mache. In the video at the bottom of this article I hope to pass along to you the basis for using recyclables to create a armature to work from.

You can in turn use these same skills to create masks, fish, huge faces, snowman and so much more.

Great for Beginners

You will need estimated three days to complete your fish, drying your fish between stages will account for most of this.

Join me no as we walk step by step through the process of selecting you mold, covering, sanding, and painting your brand new whimsical Paper Mache Fish.

Art Preparation for Your Armature

To begin you will prepare your paste and ready your strips.

Special Paste Recipe

1 Part Flour: 2 Part Water

Dash of salt (prevent molding)

You will mix the ingredients together, I usually use my hand for mixing because it is easy to smooch the chunks of flour and get this mixed into a nice thin soup.

Here is a link to our favorite paper mache paste recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghkblf-6ijI.

Build Your Armature

Use cardboard to form your fins and fish tail. Tape your cardboard in place before you start with the paste.

Paper Mache on the Balloon

primer coatWith all the prep out of the way, it is time to start dipping some strips into the paste and draping them across your balloon armature

If you are like me, you will find that putting the strips on is pretty fun.

1. Hold one end of a single strip of newspaper and dunk it into the bowl of paste. Completely submerge the strip into your paste and pull it out and hold it above the bowl.

Next, use a two-finger squeegee move down the length of the strip and let the excess paste fall back into the fish.

 Lay the strip across your structure. Once the strip is on the structure, smooth it down flat with your hands working out all air bubbles. Work the paper strips all over the balloon as far down as you would like.

Add two or three layers of strips to your balloon and sit aside to completely dry overnight.

2. You will repeat step 1 until you have covered your fish with 10 more layers of newspaper strips. Completely let these layers dry and it will probably take all night.

When the fish is completely dry you are ready to add your primer coat and move on to painting.

Final Steps to Fish Completion

1. Lightly Sand your Nemo fish with a light grade sandpaper.

2. Paint 1 layer of primer coat over your entire Nemo with a acrylic paint and let this dry completely.  Always read the instructions on your paint if you have any questions.

3. Paint a orange base coat all over your Nemo and let it dry. Now you can pencil in where his stripes go and then you will paint them white with a black outline.

4. Paint his little face on and let everything dry.

5. Seal your Nemo with poly acrylic for added protection and durability. 


You now have a good foundation of the beginning steps to creating paper mache art. Artist use these basic steps to create massive armatures for the art pieces seen in galleries all over the world.

Smiles and Rose

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