Paper Mache Skeleton - Sticks & Stands

Speak softly later - Get the stick first
Crow - A Paper Mache "Brigand" by Spooky Blue Crow stick

How do you build a paper mache skeleton?  I began with a sturdy green tree stick; 7' x 2.5" in diameter at its thickest.  A tree sapling would also work.  When choosing your stick, plan on it supporting three to five pounds of paper mache Brigand.

I got a stick for ya!Collies, possessing a natural stick magnetism, are especially helpful at locating sticks.  These can be found littered throughout the house, and are generally referred to as "collie sticks".

Crow, the Brigand, is a paper mache skeleton that is both hanging from and merged with his stick.  Whether you choose a sapling or tree branch, remember that the success of this project literally hangs on that stick.


Don't just do something - Stand there

You actually have some options when it comes to building a stand for your Brigand.  You can just sink your stick into the ground, a bucket of concrete, or even tie it to a fence post.  I prefer something lightweight and portable.

George Bernard Shaw said, "If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance."   You'll end up waltzing this thing all over the garage without a good stand.  Another benefit of this setup is that it can be broken down for off-season storage.

Tack together some scrap lumber or plywood in a T configuration.  The wider the base, the better. Tie a bucket to the top of the stick to serve as a dummy weight when figuring out the proper balance, but beware the wandering walrus.

Mount the stick in between a pair of 2x4 blocks and drive nails or (preferably) screws through both blocks and into the stick at its base.  Attach an additional vertical support 12"-16" from the base as demonstrated on the right.  Drill a hole through the support and the stick, then slip in a 1/4" carriage bolt.

Continue:  Enough with the prep work.  Let's build a skeleton! »