I have a couple skulls that I have kept over the last couple of years. This year I learned (thank you Pinterest) that you can make paper mache skulls easily and don't need to spend any more money! This was great since I am doing a haunted house with my good friend, I would like to keep my budget under $100. So I did this two ways. I wrapped one skull tightly with cling wrap and the other one I didn't. The one I did, it was a foam skull so I was protecting it. the other one was a plastc one from the dollar store and the paint peeled off a little but it still looks good. Also this will take about 5 layers so you may wnat to do this way ahead of time of when you need it. This is a 2 process project. I let it sit out all day and over night and I think it was still a little wet underneath. So give it about 2 days so yo don't ruin all your hard work.
The next part can me tricky and bad words may come out of your mouth but don't fret. Take a craft knife and cut around the back of the skull and take that off, then peel the front off. You may have some breakage or cracking other wise like I did, but it was easily fixed with glue and will be covered up in the "skinning" process of this fun craft.
I painted the skull with many brown and black colors creating dimension. I used acryllic craft paint. Allisandria helped paint and it was perfect. She had been so excited to paint the masks. Kids can't really screw this up, even with a broken arm like she has. I then did all the shading in the right spots after I let her put the first couple layers on.
"Skinning" the Skull
Now this technique I found on the internet but non of the 5 posts i found had any pictures describing. Since I am not a reader and more of a looker, it took me forever to focus and read through my excitment. So I thought I would do picture tutorial for you.
Get some glue, elmers glue or mod podge would probaby work. The posts I found used carpet latex? Don't know what it is, don't have it and ddn't have time to take another trip to the store. I used hot glue and it worked just fine!!
Start at the mouth. Take little peices of paper towel and twist and glue them over the mouth. countinue by making wrinkles and such all over the skull. leave out the eyes and the nose.
When you paint it it looks like old leathered skin. Great for a partially preserved corpse right? This will also help attach any loose PT that didn't get hit with the glue. Paint really good in all the cracks.
Since I am a hairstylist, I had some extra hair extension peices from clients. I had the girls roll the hair up and tangle it in their hands then I glued random little peices on the skull. Isn't that awesome?
Enjoy. I love paper mache. I keep thinking of all the fun things I can do with it!