Introduction: Plastic Wrap Sculptures!

Picture of Plastic Wrap Sculptures!

Sculptures made of plastic wrap and packing tape, how odd...

As I'm sure some of you, maybe many of you, have not seen a plastic wrap sculpture before, I will show you some pictures first.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

This project uses only a few cheap materials (depending on where you get them)...

Plastic wrap (What brand is up to you, some sticks better than others and sometimes you may not want that... so it's all up to you)

Packing tape (go for the clear packing tape for a nice clean look)

Scissors (it's not pictured but you need 'em)

An item to wrap (if it is your first/second try make sure to have something you don't mind getting cut a little. After you have some practice it is easier not to cut things)

Step 2: Wrapping...

Picture of Wrapping...

The first real step is to wrap your model in the plastic wrap. Get EVERY nook and cranny. Believe me, if you don't you WILL regret it. It is nearly impossible to correct that mistake later on....

Do not worry about detail in this step, for now just get the plastic wrap around the model not too tight.

And remember, don't be afraid to wrap it twice!

Step 3: Packing Tape...

Picture of Packing Tape...

After you have double checked that is completely covered with the plastic wrap, bring out the scissors and the tape.

You will be taping everywhere on the model. Everywhere. This is another thing you don't want to muss up. If you don't get a spot the first time around you can come back with more tape. But after this step there is nearly no turning back.

Use your fingers to press down on the tape in certain areas where you want detail. The tape will typically stay depending on the brand.

If some tape is sticking out, feel free to just cut it off and tape over the area.

Step 4: Removing the Model...

Picture of Removing the Model...

Now that you have (hopefully) successfully finished all the wrapping, we need to remove the model. This is achieved by cutting a few simple lines in the wrap.

Cut a small hole in the plastic and cut through to create an opening. Depending on how complex your sculpture is, you may need more cuts to allow for easier removal. Just keep in mind, it may be easier to remove but it is harder to put back together with more cuts.

Step 5: Taping It Back...

Picture of Taping It Back...

In the previous step you cut up your sculpture and now you presumably have a mess of plastic that may or may not look how you want it to... This is how you put it back together.

Using just a small strip of plastic at a time, connect two corresponding sides of the plastic and place the tape on top. For better results, place your hand inside and press upward while the other hand presses downward on the tape.

Continue this process until it is all taped up.

Step 6: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Now you're finished! Put it somewhere fun!


preetsharma (author)2015-12-18

Very interesting, great use of air bubble wrap rolls

KOBUS HATTINGH (author)2015-12-02

I just put double sided tape on some bubble wrap and before sticking onto a model, clingwrap her or whatever you are making a mold from. Works well also. Here is a pot I made this way.

exabopper (author)2013-12-16

So my daughter comes up to me and says, "Daddy, for my 6th grade science project, I need to make a model of a cell. It has to show the internal organelles, the nucleus, cytoplasm, and everything! And it's due next week! How can we make this?" I immediately said, "We got this. Plastic wrap sculpture for the win." I used several balloons, wrapped them and made an outside of about 8 layers of packing tape. Cytoplasm was wadded up plastic wrap with a sheet of plastic wrap over it to hold the wads together. Organelles I made with either more sculpture, or expanding foam, or painted pasta. Easy A+, and the teacher liked it so much, she kept it (which is why no photos)

Don LC (author)exabopper2014-07-29

You...are an AWESOME dad! It's great to have creativity in the house as kids. Even better when the parents are nerds :-)

TheJehosephat (author)exabopper2013-12-16

That's so awesome! I love to hear stuff like this, I'm glad it worked out! What a brilliant use for these sculptures

pudgytaco (author)2013-02-12

How do you make a hand? I guess it'd be more challenging. But can you just wrap your hand up just like wrapping anything?

TheJehosephat (author)pudgytaco2013-02-12

It'd be much more difficult, but it's certainly possible... I've only done mitten-like hands without fingers :P

FALCON4EVR (author)2012-03-29

My school did three of these, one of spiderman, and two others. i will post pictures later.

tinker234 (author)2011-07-01

wow so do you wrap your self in buble wrap for the first one or what

TheJehosephat (author)tinker2342011-07-01

No, plastic wrap. Like I said :)

tinker234 (author)TheJehosephat2011-07-01

oh so how did you do it

TheJehosephat (author)tinker2342011-07-01

Oh! You mean how did I do a sculpture of a human being? I answered this in an earlier comment, but here is the quote for you:

It's a two person job at minimum and requires a LOT of care (it's recommended that you use a mannequin).

The model is wrapped the same way as anything else, but one section at a time (arm, leg, torso, etc.).

Continually ask about tightness and bloodflow! If it is too tight, it will be difficult to remove later.

After wrapping, carefully (CAREFULLY) use scissors to remove.

tinker234 (author)TheJehosephat2011-07-01

ohh well a manquain would be better for my needs

klgapp (author)2011-05-11

Wow! Saran wrap sculptures...maybe I could find those in the beauty shop?

WhyHello (author)2011-01-12

OoO how do you do this with a person?

TheJehosephat (author)WhyHello2011-01-12

It's a two person job at minimum and requires a LOT of care (it's recommended that you use a mannequin).

The model is wrapped the same way as anything else, but one section at a time (arm, leg, torso, etc.).

Continually ask about tightness and bloodflow! If it is too tight, it will be difficult to remove later.

After wrapping, carefully (CAREFULLY) use scissors to remove.

snotty (author)2010-11-15

This is a great technique. I make hats like this.

One of them is a Techno Viking Helmet with voice-activated glowing horns:

artonline (author)2010-10-01

Thank you for idea!

Modern art gallery

3.1415 (author)2010-07-29

I like the pic with the legs hanging out of the ceiling! Check out my instructable using this concept to create a molding form for a "Tin Man" costume.

RedneckAsian (author)2009-01-31

i just made one of my foot and im stuffin it W/ paper to toughen it up it works great u crinkle tiny bits and they dont collapse as easy

that's a good idea

themonorail (author)2009-12-19

 ok, so, why not just fill it with helium and tie a string to it?

the helium might leak

ryanninjasheep (author)2010-06-30

birdie's guts are spilling out!

tiekietemboe (author)2010-06-28

haha here's mine!!!

exbliss (author)2008-10-09

mark jenkins

TheJehosephat (author)exbliss2008-10-09

Mark Jenkins is the person who inspired me two years ago to start making these. What exactly are you trying to say?

Prestidge (author)TheJehosephat2010-06-25

Perhaps it would be a nice idea to thank and reference him at the start or end of your instructible? Probably not necessary but could be a nice idea.

exbliss (author)TheJehosephat2008-10-09

sorry i meant nothing negative by it. it was a suggestion to GorillazMiko's comment that he saw this somewhere by this one guy.... who i thought might be Mark Jenkins.... and now that i have re-read his comment again... i missed the miniature people part.... i love Mark Jenkins... do you have any idea how he gets the polar bears to support their weight and stand up?

TheJehosephat (author)exbliss2008-10-10

That's fine. On the polar bear thing. Those aren't made of plastic wrap so it's a good start there. He has the ability to even have a wooden or pvc structure on the inside. I don't know for sure though

eulaliaaaa! (author)2010-06-18

Did you do the people with mannequins? Because that would be very dangerous if it was a person you were wrapping...

My schools art program did this with people and nobody got hurt. We had all of the sculptures done like this with people in different poses and dressed them up in clothes and put them all over school

I was just wondering about the suffocation risk.

NEVER use your own head. EVER. I bought a cheap $5 mannequin head at a wig store.

That's what I was wondering about. I knew you should never use a human head. I was just wondering if he actually did it.

Ah, yeah I don't see how it would be possible... maybe with a straw?


Prestidge (author)eulaliaaaa!2010-06-25

I did this a few years ago using a friends body and used my own head, I just got a plastic tube a bit wider than a straw and also left one of my eyes uncovered. Then I taped up, got my sister to cut me free and then patched the holes afterwards. It worked really well! But manikin head would be HEAPS easier though

nickodemus (author)2010-06-18

I realize this is quite an old Instructable, and don't know if you'll be reading this... But it looks beautiful, can't wait to try it.

TheJehosephat (author)nickodemus2010-06-18

No thank you for the comment! Take photos of your work, I'd love to see :)

nickodemus (author)TheJehosephat2010-06-19

I tried it out today, I made a bottle and a spoon. The spoon turned out a little crooked, but meh.

Here they are!

TheJehosephat (author)nickodemus2010-06-20

This is great, the two work well together!

nickodemus (author)TheJehosephat2010-06-20

Thanks! I want to try a bowl next, then a cereal box so I can have a full set :D

jocko777 (author)2010-06-18

first thing i thought when i saw eagle was 'predator' . liked the human one better on the swing

a_abbond (author)2010-06-18

It is very possible to make these on people. This sculpture was made using live models (shells were made in 3 parts) and then painted. :)

octopuscabbage (author)2010-06-18

These are, err used to be, all around my school. They had one of them appear like he was smashed through a window, and others like they were falling down the middle of the stairwell. It was cool.

Kaiven (author)2009-10-05

I was wondering how you made the plastic heads? I mean, I want to knw how you did it before I wrap my head in plastic wrap.... (might be a good idea to put that in the instructable too)

TheJehosephat (author)Kaiven2009-10-05

Oh! Right! You need to buy a cheap mannequin head from a beauty shop. Wrap THAT not your face please.

Kaiven (author)TheJehosephat2009-10-06

Haha, ok! Thanks for the heads up before I kill myself xD People will wonder why my dead body's head is wrapped in saran wrap and tape.... lol

fidgety2 (author)2009-02-27

hey everybody i have a question.... i am doing a cast of my body out of packing tape for my 3d design class and need to know a way to (1)keep my blood still flowing when i wrap my arm leg ect. (2) a easy way to cut said wrapping off m body without causing harm if anyone can give me pointers i would appreciate it fidgety2

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