Introduction: One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People-Eater, in Paper Mache' !! (Violet)

Who doesn't love the Sheb Wooley song about the One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People-Eater from outer space, who played Rock and Roll Music with the Horn in his Head?

Well, I thought that the song, and the idea of the Purple People Eater was adorable! Then I saw The Instructables Rainbow Contest, and knew I had to make one !!

So, I set out on the journey to make him out of paper mache', and now with this Instructable you can too!


Materials you will need:

Elmer's Glue-All or Elmer's School Glue

Covering for your work surface that is waterproof, and okay to destroy, (Plastic picnic table covers work well for this).

Newspaper, torn into strips approx 1 inch wide and 6-12 inches long

Stiff wire for the armature of the eyestalk, wings and legs

Cardboard, like from cereal boxes

Disposable plastic cups

Plastic spoons or craft sticks to stir with

Wire cutters

Pliers for wire shaping

Large Christmas ornament, ball shaped

Plastic Wrap

Something to add weight to the plastic cup, (pebbles work well for this)

Craft Paint in purple, white, and gold, (and any other colors you like)

Paint brushes suitable for craft paint

Strong Scissors

Any stick on gems or glitter to dress up your creature as you wish

Step 1: Safety First!! Children Will Require Assistance and Supervision!

Caution!!! Caution!!! Caution!!!

This Instructable involves use of cutting tools, and thick wire for armatures. Children will need supervision and assistance for safety!

In addition, the abbreviation PPE will be used throughout the Instructable to refer to the Purple People Eater. =D

Step 2: Starting With the Head

Creating the Head Piece

1. Take your ornament, and wrap it in plastic wrap. The tail end of your wrap should be where the hanger is. Twist the wrap tight enough to secure it.

2. Place your plastic wrapped ornament on top of 2 stacked inside each other plastic cups with weights in the bottom of the cups, with the twisted part of the plastic inside of the cups

3. In one plastic cup add water to approx half full.

4. In a second cup add water and glue in a 50/50 mixure, or 1/1 ratio, until this cup is approx half full, and stir the mixture well with a disposable spoon or craft stick

5. For your first two layers of newspaper strips you will dip them only in the water cup to wet them, and stick them to your ornament, covering it all the way down to the cup edges, and covering the ball completely until no glass shows through, be sure you apply 2 layers.

6. Once you have the 2 wet layers of paper on it is time to get messy! Take a strip of newspaper and dunk it in the glue mixture, wipe off the excess glue,(but do leave some of the glue on) and stick it on your ball!

7. Repeat this until you have completely covered your ball, be sure to have the paper go around the ball, across the top of the ball, and everywhere!

8. Repeat for at least 3 layers total, making the last layer as smooth as you can!

9. Let dry at least overnight. If you put a fan on it, it will dry faster! DO NOT PUT IT IN THE OVEN, THE PLASTIC WRAP WILL BURN AND RELEASE TOXIC FUMES!!!

Once your paper mache' feels dry, and you can knock on it gently and it stays hard, it is time to un-mold the ball.

Step 3: Un-molding the Head

Un-molding and Sealing Your Ball (This Will Be Your Head}

(TIP-your glue/water mix will keep in the fridge, just stir after storing!!)

  1. Gently remove your Ball from the cups
  2. Carefully loosen the plastic wrap from around your ornament, and wiggle out both the plastic wrap, and the ornament.
  3. If you have loose newspaper inside your ball, simply glue it down with the paper mache' mix, or straight glue.
  4. Allow to dry.
  5. Add 2 more coats of your water/glue mixture, allowing each coat to dry between applications.
  6. Set aside, and continue to the next step!

Step 4: Making the Body and Body Parts

The Body of your PPE should be approximately twice the size of your Purple People Eater's (PPE form here on)head.

  1. Using sheets of newspaper, create the body, making an oblong bundle.
  2. Use masking tape to hold the body together
  3. Next, form armatures, by cutting the wire, and using pliers form arms, hands, wing frames, legs, feet, eye stalk and tail, (refer to photos)
  4. Make holes in the sides of the body and insert the wing wires, secure with masking tape
  5. Cover the feet and hands with masking tape
  6. Form legs from newspaper and masking tape-2 short cylinders
  7. Insert leg wires through the newspaper cylinder legs
  8. Next make a hole in the bottom of the body form to accommodate the legs
  9. Insert legs into opening, and secure with masking tape
  10. Cover the arm wire with newspaper and masking tape to make one thick cylinder leaving taped hands exposed
  11. Wrap this arm form around the back of the body and pass it through the wing wires and secure with masking tape
  12. Now using masking tape wrap the wing frames with masking tape, taping carefully around the arms on the front and back to eliminate openings from where the arms went through the wing frames
  13. Cover the wire tail piece with masking tape and newspaper, ensuring the wire goes almost to the end of the tail form.
  14. Divide the end of the tail to make 2 flares using masking tape and newspaper to shape.
  15. Ensure the back flare of the tail has the wire, (this will help support your PPE so he can stand!)
  16. Using masking tape secure tail to back of the body, bending it as necessary to ensure your PPE can stand. (The legs and feet, plus the tail will form a tripod, creating a stable base)
  17. Cut Triangles out of cardboard and secure with masking tape down the spine and tail of the PPE
  18. Create a short thick cylinder with newspaper and masking tape approximately the size of a "C" sized battery in diameter, but 2/3 the height. This will be the PPE's eye.
  19. Attach the eye to a long piece of wire, inserting the wire into the bottom of the cylinder, and secure with masking tape, forming the eyestalk.

Step 5: Back to the Head

  1. Set aside your PPE body for the moment, and return to your head piece.
  2. Using strong scissors cut notches approx. 3/4 of an inch around the entire edge of the open portion of your head.
  3. Now carefully, but firmly squish your ball shape into a football shape with an open area (this will be the mouth), and secure into the new shape with masking tape
  4. Secure your eye stalk to the back of the head using masking tape, also wrap your eye stalk wire in masking tape at this time,(This will also help with stability)
  5. Next, take a long piece of wire, form it into a "U" shape and place this over your eye stalk wire with the open ends extending past the bottom of the head at least 3 inches neck, (This will form the neck joint). Attach securely with masking tape
  6. Now take your body form, and cut a narrow hole in the top to accommodate the neck wires, and insert them into the body. Secure with a few layers of masking tape.
  7. Now out of newspaper make a small cone, and secure it with masking tape.
  8. Tape this horn to your PPE's head in front of the eye stalk, ensuring that the eye remains visible above and behind this horn.

Step 6: Time to Get Messy Again!!

Time to Get Messy Again!!!

(TIP-your glue/water mix will keep in the fridge, just stir after storing!!)

  1. Starting at the bottom, using the 50/50 glue mix, start adding strips of paper mache' to the feet, and legs, and allow to dry. Starting at the bottom will make sure your PPE is able to stand when you start adding paper mache' to the rest of his body.
  2. Next, wrap his body, and tail as above, and allow to dry, (A fan will help speed this up)
  3. Once dry, check to see if the PPE is able to stand...if not, adjust legs and tail until he is balanced. You may actually have to adjust to the point of cracking, or tearing your first layer of paper mache'.
  4. After the adjustments, add a 2nd layer of paper mache' to the tail, and legs and feet. Allow to dry, (Using a fan again will speed up the drying time). Once your PPE can stand, move on to the next steps.
  5. For his spikes on the tail and back, apply one layer of newspaper and glue over the cardboard shapes, allow to dry, and then add another layer. Then you can add paper mache' strips along his spiky spine and tail to blend the edges of the anchoring strips into his back.
  6. Next, continue adding paper mache' to the rest of your PPE, working in sections. Prop up your PPE as needed, allowing time for each section to dry.
  7. Ensure you have added at least 2 layers of paper mache' to the entire PPE, (Excepting the eye stalk wire, this only needs one layer) Adding extra layers of paper mache' around the neck will ensure his head is sturdy, and not wobbly.
  8. Allow your PPE to completely dry. (Again using a fan will assist in drying).

Step 7: Adding the PURPLE!!!

For my PPE, I used Craft Paint in 2 shades of purple , white, and gold.

(TIP-If you find any holes, as you go along, you can patch them with masking tape, and repaint.)

  1. The lavender sections of my PPE, were painted with purple mixed with white. Be sure to use enough coats to cover any newsprint and tape. Allow to dry between each coat of paint.
  2. As you can see, I used lavender for his feet, hands, inner mouth, back and tail spikes, and inner wings.
  3. I painted the interior wings with lavender first, then went back after the lavender paint dried, and used purple to paint his wing ribs in.
  4. His mouth interior I painted in lavender, and once dry I painted his teeth I did mostly in white, except I had to give him that one gold tooth!!
  5. Of course his Horn had to be golden!

Er Mai Gawd we are ALMOST DONE!!!

Step 8: The EYEBALL!

For my PPE's eye, I tried painting it in white and purple, and was not satisfied with the results....however, the cap off of the purple paint made a perfect eye, and matched the rest of my PPE!

So, I kinda jammed the lid onto the eyeball piece, and painted carefully up to the edges of the lid.

Other options- Big Googly eye, Puffy fabric paint, glitter glue, etc.



I used sticky gems to complete my PPE, but this is your PPE, so feel free to add sticky gems, glitter, washi tape, or even Holographic tape to make him your very own!!

Lastly, display your amazing Purple People Eater, proudly for all to see!

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest