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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Paper Mache Knight Sculptures-- 5th/6th grade

This is one of my favorite projects all year.  I know it is one of the kids favorite projects too.  The 5th/6th graders study the Medieval period in their Social Studies class.  In Art class, we have done a variety of Medieval art.  In this project, the student build paper mache knights.

This year, some of the kids chose to build horses out of Model Magic too. That made things a bit more challenging and complicated for them.

To build the knights, you need to start with a wooden base and dowel rod.  Drill a hole in a wooden base and insert the rod.  We have a hand-crank drill which allows the kids to safely drill their own holes.  I had a few kids who were really excited about it drill all the holes.  We also have a hand saw that the kids or myself will use to cut the dowel rods if needed. 

Using masking tape and newspaper, build the form of your body.  Attach it to the pole.  Tinfoil can be used as well.  Make sure all the parts are taped super well!!  It's better to use too much tape than not enough.  Do not build the head at this point. 

Then, using paper mache and thin newspaper strips, cover the knight.  Short, thin pieces are best.   Heads were formed from Model Magic. 

Next, paint the whole body with neutral acrylic paints. 

Add clothing with leather and fabric scraps.  Hot glue or sew these pieces (we just glued them).

Paint on a face.

Build weapons and shields with cardboard, Model Magic or whatever you'd like.

Black masking tape is useful for this project.


Rina said...

It is so cool you brought a hand drill to school at let the kids go at it.
The model magic horses look great. I never thought of using black tape for clothing.
One question: this project seems pretty 'male'. Do the girls enjoy it as well?
Thanks for posting.

Rina at

Marcia said...

Thanks! It is a great project. :) The biggest problem I have is with kids who don't like the feeling of paper mache on their fingers. I give those kids gloves, but they still sometimes do not like the paper mache. The girls seem to get into the project as well. They like decorating with clothes and stuff. :)


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