Papier-Mâché Woodland Creatures, Part 1: Saffron the Squirrel


The highs this week are in the lower 40s, yet the people of Iowa seem to have shed their winter coats for good, instead donning t-shirts, capris, the occasional sandal… This is not a world I’m used to.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am all for denying the cold and pretending it’s spring. However, I like to do it in less self-sacrificial ways. Like making papier-mâché woodland creatures with fur of summery floral fabric. My summer clothes won’t come out until it’s warmer outside than it is inside.


Here is my new little friend, Saffron. She is a squirrel, a papier-mâché squirrel. I got the idea for making little animal friends while reading The Wind in the Willows (see my review of the book here). The lovely illustrations depicted Toad, Mole, Rat, and the others wearing dapper suits and refined adornments – they’re the best-dressed animals I’ve ever seen, and so much fun to read about! So I decided to make my own woodland creatures.

I think I am going to make a burlap hat for Saffron, and perhaps a basket to carry acorns in.


Papier-mâchéing is a process that is not for the easily distracted or the faint of heart. It takes a bit of time and a lot of mess. I actually find it rather cathartic though. And I always put cinnamon in my paste mixture to make it smell better.

These creatures started out as newspaper, foil, and masking tape. Which means they are an extremely inexpensive project – the kind I like best. I love it when I can carry out a creative whim without taking a trip to the store.

A little preview of my other woodland creatures


DSCN0044DSCN0048I think the most harrowing part of this process was waiting for the paste to dry. Takes soooo long. But with a little patience my squirrel could be dressed and ready to go.

DSCN0114Her clothes consist of a thin layer of paint and strips of pretty fabric glued on with Mod-Podge.

Here is a side view.




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