I’ve always been impressed by real cow skulls. You see them lying in the desert in movies, on the front of 4-wheel drives and hanging on the wall in country bars.
Here's how I made mine from cardboard, newspaper, tape, tin foil wood glue, dry wall mud, and air-dry clay for the teeth. Enjoy!
You will Need:
- Sturdy Cardboard for the frame
- Masking tape and packing tape (optional)
- Drywall Joint compound (optional. For smoothing only)
- Paper Mache, Cloth mache, or paper mache clay. (I used wood-glue for paste)
- Acrylic paint - White, black, brown, khaki
Buy one on Etsy at Mad Props Paper Mache
Step 1: Reference Photo
One of the most important things to have before you start any sculpting project is a reference photo. You'll need one master photo to actual size if possible and other close up photos for specific areas. The skull is 21”, similar to life-size. (And dead-size!)
Step 2: Cardboard Frame
I started by tracing the reference picture onto 2 pieces sturdy cardboard for the 2 sides of the skull and the nose bones, then added 3 cross pieces to hold it together. I learned this tip and so much more from Ultimate Paper Mache.
Step 3: Bulk Up, Bro
I added bulk to the form with scrunched up newspaper and packing tape. You could use masking tape if you like as well at this stage . I always use masking tape on the top layer because the paper mache doesn’t still to packing tape very well. I used a piece of modeling wire-mesh for the eye-sockets. Make sure each area is solid and compact. You don’t wasn’t to paper mache over a soft, squishy areas.
Step 4: Tin Foil
I used a combination of newspaper, tin foil and masking tape to give it the shape I wanted.
I bent the cardboard horns back to get a more realistic angle.
Step 5: Paper Mache
I used newspaper and wood glue/ water mix for my paper mache. (forgot to take a photo) I then covered it with a layer of dry-wall joint compound to smooth it out. It didn’t look too bad at this stage but it was hospital-white (not bone-white) with very little detail or shadow.
Step 6: Glue Paint
I painted a layer of glue mixed with water and cinnamon-brown paint to seal the dry-wall. Then I dry-brushed it with white acrylic paint mixed with a dash of khaki .
Step 7: Teeth
I made the teeth from Plus Air dry clay from Activa, then painted them and glue-gunned them on.