I'd really love to have a mandrake... but I'm pretty bad at keeping plants alive, so I decided to make one myself out of paper. Although this one can't scream, at least it won't die! Perfect!
- Old Newspaper
- White glue
- Hot glue gun + sticks
- Acrylic Paint
- Parchment paper
- A glass pot
- A plant pot
- Various things to decorate the plant pot
- Masking tape
- Hot glue gun
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Step 1: Sketches
I suggest starting by drawing some sketches of the mandrake. This will help you later to create the skeleton.
Step 2: Skeleton
Take a look at your sketch. Try to make a structure as close as possible to it with crumpled newspapers. This is the mandrake's "skeleton". You can use some masking tape to give the paper the right shape.
Take a glass pot. Place the skeleton inside. This will help you keeping the structure in an upright position.
Step 3: Newspaper & White Glue
Cut small bits of newspaper. Mix white glue with water to obtain a white liquid mixture and glue the paper bits onto the skeleton you just made.
Step 4: Texture
To make it more irregular -more mandrake looking, if you will- add some random "paper balls" wherever you want.
Once the basic shape is ready, take some more newspaper bits and start creating the head's elements: the nose, the eye contour, the mouth, etc. You can glue them onto the head with either glue, a glue and water mixture or masking tape. After everything is glued, add some more newspaper pieces until you obtain a smooth surface all over.
Step 5: Shape
To shape the arms I used a piece of fishing thread. I placed it around the arm and tied it onto a bottle of glue. I let it dry all night. Next morning, the arm was shaped as intended.
Step 6: Finishing
Once the plant is dry, you need to reinforce the whole structure with more newspaper. This time you need to finish the arms by giving them a rounded shape and making sure the mandrake's body is hard and tight. Then, let it dry again.
Step 7: Paint It...white
Paint the body with white paint. Apply a second coat if needed.
Step 8: Paint
After the paint is dry, can start painting the mandrake in any colour you want. To get a more realistic look, I used several reddish and orangeish shades of brown.
Once the paint is dry, varnish the mandrake. I used some Mod Podge but you can use any light varnish.
Step 9: Leaves I
To make the leaves, take a sheet of parchment paper and paint it green. Let it dry. When it's ready, cut some leaf-shaped forms. You'll need to cut two pieces of each leaf (which will constitute the leaf's front and the back sides).
Step 10: Leaves II
Take a couple of leaves. Put some glue on one of the sides. Then place a pin on it, leaving the sharpest side outside (we'll use it to attach the leaves onto the mandrake). Then glue the other side of the leaf on top of it. and let it dry.
This part is a little bit tricky because of the parchment paper. If the glue is not the right kind, it won't work.
Step 11: Attach the Leaves
Once the leaves are dry, pin them onto the mandrake. You can use pliers to pin them easily.
Step 12: Little Leaves
You can also make a few thinner leaves to use as the mandrake's fingers or as plant buds.
Step 13: Eyes
Now your poor mandrake is blind as a bat. You must provide some eyes to that poor thing.
Take a sheet of parchment paper and a glue gun. Make an eye-shaped thing. You can add some beads or something similar to achieve the look you prefer. I made plenty of tests and finally, I kept the simplest ones: two black rounds. Now it's up to you!
Paint the eyes with acrylic paint and let them dry. When they are ready, glue a pin behind each eye. To attach the eyes to the plant, you must use the same technique we used for the leaves: pin them onto the plant.
Step 14: Attach the Eyes
Pin the eyes onto the plant.
Step 15: Transplantation
Prepare a nice pot to plant the mandrake in. I bought a cheap argyle pot which I painted. I also added a few extra details to make it more esoteric looking. Be creative!
Now it's time to re-pot the Mandrake. It's simple: take the plant and place it on a plant pot.
You may add some newspaper in the pot to keep the mandrake straight. If you do, you can also add some stones, green paper or whatever you want to hide the newspaper.
And... that's it! YOU HAVE YOUR OWN MANDRAKE! And one that will not die out :)
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