2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.
Owned Written Enacted Recognized PLAYS
For the African folk tales, students wore black but were to design an
authentic type of African headgear with paper mach�. It was incredibly fun, easy,
and successful. Library resources were researched for the appropriate patterns,
shapes, and colors.
Once the pattern was envisioned, we experimented with
paper mach� to turn it in to a reality.
paste -- I used Henkel brand Optalin Tapeten Kleister from Germany.
strips of heavy paper about 2 cm wide
lots of masking
lots of recycled paper scraps torn into pieces
about two inches square
beads, beans, macaroni, brass, feathers
hot glue gun and lots of wax
by loosely wrapping one strip of heavy paper around the forehead like a cap. Staple
and trim the paper. Then, take strips across the top of the head. Continue to
staple and trim until a cap is made the shape of the top of the skull. Using newspaper,
heavy paper, wire, and lots of masking tape, fashion the shape for the decoration
of the hat.
It could be something as simple as adding a lip where feathers
could later be attached. Or, it could be as complex as converting the cap into
a rooster's comb. Use cut out heavy paper to get the needed shape and apply it
with staples and masking tape. If you need paper to fashion to a specific shape
(like a roosters bill coming down the front of the head) place several strands
of wire along the paper and wrap it with masking tape. The paper will then bend
easily into shape.
Be sure to cover all the staples along the inside rim
of the headgear with masking tape.
Anything can be created with masking
tape, paper, and staplers. When it is finished, it is time to cover it with paper
mach�. Get a container that can be sealed. Sprinkle just a little of the wall
paper paste into one liter of water. JUST A LITTLE! It takes a while (overnight
is best) for the powder to form a slimy "snot" solution. A little goes
a long way.
Wet the paper scraps on both sides with the slime. Cover the
headgear completely on the outside and on the inside rim. Try to make sure it
is smoothly applied. Any place that is uneven can be covered the following day
after it dries.
When the headgear dries, check to see if it still fits
the student. It possibly could be too small after the application of the paper
mach�. If so, cut a small slit in either the front or the back or the headgear.
Open it up to form a triangle and slip a wedge of heavy paper into place. Staple
it several times into place and cover with masking tape and paper mach�. Refit
the following day. If it still needs to be larger, repeat the same process on
the other side of the headgear.
When the paper mach� work is complete, paint
the headgear with acrylic paint. Decorative accessories like beans and macaroni
may be glued on but hot wax works especially well. Of course, it also burns fingers
especially well. I let students glue beans on by themselves but not the brass.
Brass heats up very quickly with the hot wax.
The final touch is
to spray the hat with an acrylic spray. It adds a gloss and protective coating.