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How to Make a Beautiful Snail with Paper Mache

Effortless Paper Mache Snail

You will learn how to form recycled newspaper into a snail, cover with paper mache, paint, and care for with coats of shinny varnish.
How to Make a Beautiful Snail with Paper Mache

This paper mache project is fabulous, easy, cheap, and great for someone wanting to learn the awesome art of paper mache.
Our colorful snail is to be a spring board for you and we encourage you to tweak, change up the snail all you want.

YouTube Video Link: https://youtube/MoEhnKjCQqo

Stuff List
Recycled Newspaper
Masking Tape
Paper Mache Paste
Paints and Paint Brushes
Paper Clay (Optional)
H20 and Rags

Steps to Make Your Snail Sculpture

1 Build Your Snail Armature
snail armature
Draw the outline of the snail bottom onto cardboard and cut your bottom out. Wade up newspaper, place this onto your cardboard and build up the middle for the snail body. 

The middle of the snail is about 4 inches tall. You are giving your snail a 3D body building up with paper. Tape all your paper into place with masking tape, slide your snail armature into a plastic bag, and tape the plastic bag tight the armature.

Eyes: We used copper wire to raise the eyes of our snail and attached round clay balls to the end.

2 Paper Mache and Paper Clay
1st Session
Cover the snail armature with 3 to 4 layers of newspaper using your hands soaked in paper mache paste. Lay your paper flat onto your snail and work out all air bubbles. As you continue to apply layers of paper onto your armature your snail will begin to take shape.
Once you have covered your snail with paper mache they must completely dry. Lay them out in the sun if you can for faster drying, they will take at least 24 hours to dry depending on the size of your snail.
Tip: If you feel that your sculpture is strong enough you can skip to step 3 painting your snail sculpture.
Paper Clay or Paper Mache
You Choose

2nd Session
For this session you have two choices; paper clay or paper mache. Both mediums are wonderful and will render a perfect snail sculpture. The 2 best benefits to using the paper clay vs. paper mache are time and toughness. Both recipes are on the channel; please do check them out.
Paper Mache: Cover with 3 to 4 more layers of paper mache all at one time. Let it completely dry before moving on. If your snail does not seem tough enough add more paper mache. After each session of paper mache your sculpture must completely dry before moving to your next step. Awesome, guys get excited to see your snail take shape.
Quick Link to Paper Mache Paste Recipe: http://goo.gl/BH5lgM

snail applying paper clay
Paper Clay: Cover the entire snail with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer of paper clay, doing one side at a time and letting that completely dry. 

Apply the paper clay with your hands and smooth with paper mache paste, butter knife, etc. You can let your paper clay dry for about 6 or more hours and then smooth more with paste or add sculpturing.

We are still learning and experiment with the paper clay for better results every day.

The size of your snail will determine how long it will take to dry. A large snail will take 3 to 4 days to dry. You can use a fan, the sun, and the oven on the lowest temperature it will allow. Our oven can go as low as 145 degrees, which is a perfect temperature for slowly drying your paper clay. If you heat your clay to fast it can turn dark brown.

Paper Clay Recipe: http://goo.gl/xoTFbJ

Question: Can I skip the paper mache and put paper clay directly onto my armature?
Answer: Yes, if your armature can support the weight of the paper clay without the support of the paper mache strips and paste.

If you need once the snail has dried you can lightly sand with sandpaper and wipe off before painting.

3. Paint Your Snail Sculpture
Paint a white coat of primer paint on your snail to give you a white canvas for painting on. We use white flat interior house paint to prime the surface our sculptures.

Once the primer coat as dried paint with acrylics anyway you like. I begin with the darkest color first and work my way to the lightest shade. On our snail we used many washes of color, layering is very important when painting.  Learning every day.

Let all you paint completely dry before sealing with varnish.

Varnishing (Protecting)
You must seal your paper mache pieces with varnish for protection against moisture. Brush on 3 to 4 coats or varnish and let it completely dry.

Follow the instructions on your varnish to apply. We use Polycrylic Minwax at the studio to varnish all our art.

Finished Beautiful Snail with Paper Mache

Snail Wrap Up

This is just one way to make a bright and beautiful snail now it is your turn to use it to create your own snail sculpture and of course share with the me at our studio.
Thank you for stopping by the studio please subscribe (share) before you leave and have a great day.
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