Introduction: Dragon Egg

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)
-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.

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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

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

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

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...

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...

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

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

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...

And it's done! The dragon has hatched!

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The Forbes Fabergé-Style Egg Contest

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The Forbes Fabergé-Style Egg Contest