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How to Make a Papier-Mache Manta Ray

Papier mache is a craft so versatile that almost any object can be created. Most often, rocks, hats, turtles, bowls and other small items are thought of when papier mache is mentioned. Papier mache is not only good for small items but larger ones as well with a little imagination. The most difficult part of this project is drawing and cutting out the shape.

Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Pencil
  • Paste
  • Paint
  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Masking Tape

Locate a picture of a manta ray. Draw the shape onto a large piece of cardboard. Cut out the manta ray shape. To create the tail stinger, tightly roll a piece of newspaper to resemble the tail. Tape the tail to the back of the manta ray shape.

Tear strips of newspaper about 1 by 6 inches or longer, depending on how large you drew your manta ray. In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup of white glue and 1/4 cup of water. Dip the newspaper strips into the mixture. Remove excess glue as you pull the strips out of the glue mixture.

Layer the newspaper strips along the manta ray body. Cover the entire manta ray. Pay particular attention to the seam where the tail attaches. Run your fingers around the seam as you layer the newspaper strips to remove any bubbles or bumps. When the manta ray is completely covered, allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Mix more glue and water. Tear more strips of newspaper and repeat the layer process two or more times. Use extra strips to add shaping. Give the manta ray 24 hours in between layers to dry. After the third layer is completely dry, paint the manta ray.


Use a drop cloth to protect your work surface.

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