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How DO you make those Animal Costumes? (Fursuits)
Paper Mache Heads? 
26th-Aug-2007 10:31 pm
Cow Skull
Hello, been lurking for a few months, taking in info and getting inspiration from a few suits. However, all the places I can find foam charges an arm and a leg, and, while apparently some people have no problems using balaclava-style heads with their glasses, I'm thinking I might have some trouble. Therefore, I want to ask, how good are paper mache heads? I've seen a few of them around, and they look really well-done for the most part, but I'm wondering about how durable they are. Especially since the fursuit I'm thinking of making is a jackalope, and it needs to be able to support antlers.

Also, any tips for making a paper mache head will be greatly appreciated, such as what sort of glue to use, how to make a moving jaw for it (would it be too different than that of a mesh head?) and so on and so forth. Thanks muchly, everyone!
Comments 
27th-Aug-2007 03:10 am (UTC)
I know someone who built her sonic/tails head with a paper mache base. She's quite talented.

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/99/990952.jpg

27th-Aug-2007 03:16 am (UTC)
The link doesn't work. It just relinks to the main site.
27th-Aug-2007 03:15 am (UTC)
Paper mache, doesn't hold up too well. All your sweating will make it fall apart rather quickly.

Plus, they tend to not be very sturdy.
27th-Aug-2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Paier mache is a very good base to attach antlers to as it is very firm and sturdy (assuming it is made correctly of course). I've made a lot of masks out of mache and they hold up well.

The word there being 'mask' as a full head made out of papier mache probably wouldn't be such a hot idea.

Use welbond brand glue as it flexes better than regular white glue. Use a lot of layers and make it thick. Use a wood preserver (like linseed oil).

*digs around on her computer*

Here, have a picture:

27th-Aug-2007 03:58 am (UTC)
So, still mount it to the balaclava, but it's otherwise fine to use?
27th-Aug-2007 04:00 am (UTC)
yuppers. I still use this costume, and she's got no complaints :)
27th-Aug-2007 04:23 am (UTC)
Thanks muchly for the help! I think I might be able to get the overall shape I want more easily with the paper mache as well. When I can get a hold of that welbond glue and make some up I'll post an in-progress shot. Thanks again!
28th-Aug-2007 05:13 am (UTC) - question?
what kind of paint do you use? do you put in on before or after linseed oil?
that head looks awesome!
28th-Aug-2007 05:57 am (UTC) - Re: question?
I make the mask over a clay form then let it dry and rub it with linseed oil. let that soak in for a good long while and then paint it with a primer/sealer (ceiling) paint. Then with a spray sealer.

After that, attach it to a balaclava and paint it with normal acrylics or fur it or whatever.

And thanks :) That was the beginnings of this suit: http://db.fursuit.org/index.php?c=viewsuit&id=172
27th-Aug-2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
I've made two heads out of paper mache, and they're holding up fine so far; although to be fair I did cheat and use wire mesh to reinforce the beaks.

I used the cheapest form of paper mache: newspaper strips, flour, and water. I used lots and lots of layers for strength; it took, if I remember, about two weeks for the heads to dry completely because of how thick I made them.

Your main worry with mache is moisture; I sealed them inside and out with several layers of polyurethane (sp? - I'm too lazy to look it up) sealant. The spray-on stuff probably wouldn't cut it; get a good can of brush-on stuff from Home Depot, the kind you'd use on wood.

I'm not sure a moving jaw would work well with mache; you'd probably want to reinforce any area you made holes in with something (maybe wire mesh) to strengthen it.
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