Arts & Crafts Magazine

Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings

By Danmonsterman @danmonsterman
Okay, so this first photo is a tease.   I'm not going to show you the front in detail yet.   You'll just have to wait until my posts catch up with my progress.   But here is a rather cool photo from the back with light coming through the wings.   Since this post is about wings, I thought you'd like to see it.
As you can see, I've left the paper mache completely behind.  I'm solely in the realm of "cloth mache."   One of the coolest things I learned to do with my cloth mache technique is to make wings.   If you are interested, read on.
Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings
Paper Mache Dragon (back lit)
Here's another one of my little trade secrets.   I know that draping cloth dipped in glue over long, skinny "fingers" requires support.   Otherwise the fingers would just bend.   So I tape a piece of string to the ends of the fingers and attach them to the ceiling of my shop.   That adds just enough support to hold the wet cloth.
Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings  Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings
I dip a large piece of cloth into a bucket of Elmer's glue and squeeze it out.   As you might guess, this is a very messy process.   And it can take a full quart of glue depending upon the size of the wings.
Next, I drape the cloth.   I push the cloth in between the fingers.   You must be patient here.  This can be very frustrating.  You push in between two of the fingers and it pulls out of adjacent fingers.   But you'll get the hang of it.  Don't get upset.  
Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings  Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings
Note all the extra cloth at the ends of the fingers.   Cut this excess off  with scissors.   Let it dry overnight.
After it is dry, use sharp scissors (I like the little, hair cutting scissors for this) and trim the wings.   Beautiful!
Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings  Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings
In this particular case, I wanted claw (or clawish looking spikes) at the end of the fingers.  So I roll back the cloth and use my wire cutters to cut off  the ends of the fingers.
I hot glue the spikes onto the ends of the fingers.  Then I cover the ends with glue (Elmer's) and pull the cloth back over the spikes.   Look at the photo on the right.   How cool are those?
Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings  Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings
Finally, I turn the project over and lay it on its stomach.   It's hard to see with these photos, but I add long strips of cloth and glue to the back sides of the fingers and arms.   This "locks in" the shape of the draping.
Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings  Paper Mache Dragon Pair- Wings
I must say one more thing about this cloth mache process with wings.   When you paint the wings with latex based paints (basically house paint), they feel like leather.   They replicate dragon wings very well.
Thanks again for popping by.  See you soon!

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By Icecream Lopez
posted on 05 December at 01:50

hi, i was just wondering what kind of cloth did you use for the projects you are making...is is just a regular white linen cloth damp in glue? thanks! you have amazing projects and I would like to try one myself too. i'm a fan! hope to see you works lively.

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