Taylor Lee Nicholson Paper Mache Workshop

MAY 8TH at 12:00PM EST

Make a paper mache head/self portrait with Taylor! 

Have you ever wished you had a paper mâché version of your head so you could stuff it in your bed and fool your parents while you got a “head” start running away from home? Or perhaps you’ve got some major Zoom-fatigue and can’t possibly participate in another online art school critique and need a paper version of you to “face” your classmates? Maybe your dog has intense separation anxiety so you want to set her up with your head while you go get your vaccine? A paper mâché version of your head will come in handy in many a situation, so join me on Saturday May 8th and I will teach you how to create your own!

-Taylor Lee Nicholson

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Material List

The materials you’ll need can mostly be found around the house, but there are a few artsy ones, too:


For making the head:

  • Garbage bag (small wastebasket size is best)

  • Roll of tin foil (you will only use a small part of the roll)

  • Masking tape (around 1 inch width)

  • Newspaper (a few weeks worth - ask your family and neighbors to give you theirs when they are done reading!)

  • Elmer’s Glue (1 qt would be plenty, and I highly recommend avoiding the clear variety)

  • Scissors

  • Nitrile gloves (optional to protect your hands)

  • A bowl that you are ok mixing the paste in (I got a cheap plastic bowl with a lid a long time ago and just reuse it. Think cheap Tupperware)

  • Parchment paper (this is to protect your workspace and allow your head a safe place to dry, so you need enough to cover 2 square feet - I get parchment paper sheets so that they lay flat!)

  • Foam paint brush


For painting and decorating the head:

  • Gesso (optional)

  • Acrylic paint

    • Folk Art is a good and cheap brand if you want to buy all colors already mixed for you, and don’t really have a reason to have much paint on hand otherwise!

    • Golden Brand heavy body acrylics is what I personally use and you will see in the workshop, but these are expensive and something like Liquitex Basics would be better quality than Folk Art but not as high end as Golden!

    • No matter which brand, you will need a color for your skin tone, your lips, your eyes, your hair, at a minimum. 

  • Brushes 

    • I recommend a 1 inch flat brush (you’ll use this for larger areas) as well as a few smaller brushes for detail.

  • Cup for paint water + paper towels

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (to attach your hair)


A note about this workshop! The paper mâché head will need about 24 hours to fully dry before you are ready to paint. That means you’ll probably follow along with me during the head making, and then observe while I paint and complete a head that I have already dried. At this time in the workshop I can provide you with recommendations on paint colors/mixing that will apply to your personal attributes!