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From the instant a dragon hatches out of it's eggshell as a baby, it is instantly fascinated with the brilliant shine of the egg that it just came out of. The dragon will covet these shiny pieces of eggshell, often keeping pieces of the shell with them for their whole life. It isn't uncommon to find ancient dragons hidden away in caves, sitting for decades at time, doing nothing more than admiring the egg shell that they hatched out of centuries earlier.

In this Instructable, I will show you how to build your very own freshly hatched dragon egg. The egg and dragon are made mostly out of paper mache, along with a few other required components. Here's a list of the materials that I used:

-paper (lots and lots)
-paper mache glue (flour and water)
-tape (I used duct tape)
-balloon
-two marbles
-plastic forks

I like paper mache. It's a wonderful substance made from recycled paper and homemade glue. These household materials have almost limitless possibilities to what can be created. Lately, I've been experimenting with a few different variations on how to build paper mache creatures. A few of the websites about paper mache that I read had amazing paper mache dragons, and I decided I needed to build my own...

Some of my inspiration came from Stolloween's Six Hour Dragons and the Gourmet Paper Mache Website. The dragon that I'm building is a combination of the techniques used on the mentioned websites, along with some of my own methods added in as well.
 
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Step 1: Dragon Head & Neck

Picture of Dragon Head & Neck
The base of the dragon's head was created next by rolling several sheets of paper into a ball and wrapping the ball tightly with tape.

The neck is made from rolled up newspaper, that were then taped to hold the roll.

The ball was then taped to the end of the neck using plenty of tape.

Pictured is the rest of the dragon's body. I initially planned on making an entire dragon, but at the last minute decided to just use the neck up.

Step 2: Dragon Mouth

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To start making a dragon's face, the most obvious place to start for me was the mouth. After figuring out the size and shape of the mouth, the rest of the face seems easier to figure.

I cut a cereal box into two strips. Each strip was folded in half and cut into the shape of the top and bottom jaw. The two halves were taped together, and I moved onto the eyes.

Step 3: Eyes

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I used two marbles for the dragon's eyes. I once again took some cereal box cardboard and cut it into the shape of the head around the eyes. Two holes were cut into the cardboard and the marbles were stuck halfway through. The back of the cardboard was taped around the marbles to hold the eyes in place.

Step 4: Assemble Head

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The eye and mouth cardboard components were attached to one another using tape and adjusted to the wanted expression. Once satisfied, I taped the face to the paper ball serving as the head.

Step 5: Teeth

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For the dragon's teeth, I used the tines of a few plastic forks. The tines cut off easily enough with normal scissors. Once I had collected a few, I took a strip of tape and positioned the teeth on the strip. The strip of tape and attached teeth was then placed on the inside of the cardboard making up the dragon's jaws.

This was repeated for the top and bottom jaw, and extra tape was added as needed.

Step 6: Fins

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I'm not exactly sure what the proper name for this part of a dragon would be, but I am going to call the flap of skin on the side of the head a fin.

Make the fins by tightly rolling up strips of paper. I made six of these paper rolls total, each one about two inches long. The rolls were then taped together at one end in sets of three, and then were taped to both sides of the dragon's head.

Step 7: Paper Mache Glue

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Now that the basic shape of the dragon head is built, it should be covered with paper machie to give the creature a nice strong exoskeleton that will hold it's shape much better than the tape will ever do.

Start out by making some paper mache glue. If you do a search for paper mache recipes, there are countless different ways to create the glue. Many of these recipes get complicated and involve boiling the ingredients or using actual glues in the mix. The way I make my paper mache glue leaves out all of the complicated stuff, and seems to work just fine.

What you need is a bag of flour, some sort of bowl to make the glue in, and lots of water. I don't have any set measurements that I follow when making the glue. Pour in some flour, and fill the rest of the bowl with water. Mix well, and that's basically it. If the paper doesn't seem to be sticking, add more flour. If you're getting clumps of flour in the glue, mix some more or add more water. Too much flour won't really hurt. Just squeeze off any lumps that might form on the paper mache and eventually everything will be dissolved.

Once the glue is made, start applying the paper to the dragon (as seen in the next step)...

Step 8: Paper Mache Your Dragon...

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Rip up strips of paper and put them into the bowl of paper mache glue. Let them soak for a while and then lay the strips onto the duct tape and paper dragon that you assembled. Cover your whole dragon with a layer or two, and then let the paper mache dry thoroughly.

Repeat this a few times until your dragon is nice and strong.

Step 9: Snot Rag Mache

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Snot Rag Mache is basically paper mache that specifically uses tissues as the paper. The tissues give a nice skin like quality to whatever you're making. I used tissues as the final layer of paper mache on my dragon. Use the same technique that you used previously with other types of paper. Dip the tissues into the glue, and put strips of them on the dragon.

Step 10: Egg

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I made the dragon egg out of paper mache and a balloon. Inflate the balloon to about the size that you want, and start putting layers of paper mache over it. Make sure you put at least three layers on at a time, or the balloon might collapse while drying.

In the end, my balloon was covered in about 10 layers of paper mache.

Once the paper mache over the ballon is completely dry, mark out a zig-zag pattern near the top of the egg where the dragon will be breaking out of the egg shell. Cut this shape out, and then cover the edges with more paper mache to keep the egg nice and strong.

Step 11: Add Weight

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To add some extra weight to the bottom of the egg, hopefully to keep it standing up straight, I crumpled up a whole bunch of newspaper dipped in glue and stuck it to the bottom of the inside of the egg. I then put strips of newspaper over the crumpled paper, and let it dry for a few days.

Step 12: Make the Egg Shiny...

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I came across some foil tape in Wal-Mart that resembled aluminum foil with a sticky side. I wanted the dragon egg to be shiny, so this seemed to be perfect. Taking small pieces of tape at a time, I covered the entire outside of the egg with the tape, and the majority of the inside. I think it was a bit more tedious then painting the egg, but it worked.

Step 13: Neck Support...

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Once the egg is all covered in foil tape, and the dragon is completely dry, start experimenting and find a position in the egg that the dragon would look good. Once you have that spot picked out, roll and tape some newspaper together to add some length to the dragons neck so it will reach the floor of the egg. Tape and paper mache the two together, and and move on to the next step.

Step 14: Attach Dragon to the Egg

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Tape you newly made neck extension to the bottom of the egg with plenty of tape, and your dragon egg is pretty much complete. All that is left is to paint the dragon's head.

Step 15: Painting the Dragon

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I got out my box of paints and painted the dragon's head and neck with a base coat of white acrylic paint.

Once that dried, I mixed blues, greens, and yellows to get the final color, and with that, the dragon egg is complete!

Step 16: The Finished Dragon Egg...

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And it's done! The dragon has hatched!
JohnnytheHorse made it!1 year ago

thank you this is a very cool instructable here is my own attempt they are almost puppet like!

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woofboy111 (author)  JohnnytheHorse1 year ago

That is awesome! Yep, they do remind me of puppets. They never made it to Instructables, but a couple paper mache puppets were a couple of my later projects!

dnisepal22 years ago
Okay so WOW!!! Really nice work and just what I was looking for to help my 13 yr old daughter. Since you are obviously a master at this can you tell me or give me some advice on what would happen if I used glue instead of the flour and water glue mix? Will i get a too smooth texture to the dragon. I'm imagining that with the flour and water mix you can bunch the parer and get ridges on your dragon (like say over the eyes or along the snout). Do you think that I'll get the same results with the glue and paper? Again, REALLY nice work!
woofboy111 (author)  dnisepal22 years ago
Any sort of glue should work fine. Using the standard white glue will probably cost more, but should still work!
gunman154 years ago
how can u cut it without getting hurt using the scissors when u squeeze
vtheawesome4 years ago
keep in mind the dragon isn't done
vtheawesome4 years ago
this is it the egg is just an easter egg the teeth are bamboo skewers the neck is a dowel cut diaonaly and hot glued on backwards with tape keeping it in place the head is just cardboard from a binder
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vtheawesome4 years ago
i'm working on mine right now mine is made os an easter egg cardboard newspaper tape and other stuff i will post a pic whan its done :)
spartana5 years ago
Excellent work on the dragon! I made one years ago after I saw one on tv. I used paper mache, cardboard and tape. Then painted it with metallic paints, turned out pretty cool too. But it doesnt have it's own egg. I'll post i picture if you want me too.
woofboy111 (author)  spartana5 years ago
I'd love to see a picture! Mine actually started out without the egg, but I ran into problems with the neck being too long and the head being too heavy. It was fine when the dragon was dry, but when I put a new layer of paper mache on, it would weaken the neck so much that it became quite a pain to prop it up why drying. When the head eventually fell off while drying, I had enough of the trouble and made the dragon come out of it's egg. I still have the body. I really should stick a wire into the neck and make another head to finish it up.
Whoops! turned out i hadn't looked at it for a while. I really made it from string for the details, sellotape, newspaper, cardboard (thick and thin) and lots of pva glue. but there is no reason why not you can not use paper mache though! Guts about the head falling off. The neck of mine has a ridge of thick cardboard down the centre, with the neck built out either side with newspaper.
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toolman8836 years ago
by snot-rag mache mean tissues
woofboy111 (author)  toolman8835 years ago
yep. Snot rag is a "technical term."
Could you use old junk mail instead of newspapers?
woofboy111 (author)  peace-to-earth5 years ago
Any paper works. Junk mail works just fine, just be careful of those advertisments from the supermarkets telling the weekly specials. I've found that this paper starts falling apart really fast once it gets wet. It's one of the few papers that I've found that is a pain to work with. That and toilet paper...
This is incredible!!! I cant believe the ingenuity of this project!!! WOW
wolfeh3346 years ago
...hmmmmmmmmm.......
wolfeh3346 years ago
COOL
Waddler716 years ago
I love it. I definitely want to try this for my halloween display. Thanks so much for the great instructions!
garrett106 years ago
please click on this link so my dragon egg will hatch on dragonadopters.com
if its just txt something is wrong

http://www.garrett11.dragonadopters.com/dragonimage_75974_71940_pixel
wow. that's amazing. 5 stars!
gmjhowe6 years ago
Wow, i love the dragon, i had almost missed it in the lists! its very good. Youve done an excellent job!