Make a Papier Mache Ganesh

A simple method for a paper mache Ganesh. Some artistic ability is helpful, but if you are willing to simply get in there and have fun, it might surprise you how easy it could turn out to be!

The materials needed are:

  • Paper mache
  • Latex or other water-based paint in a variety of colors
  • Gold-leaf or metallic gold paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Sand paper
  • Putty or joint compound
  • Miscellaneous ornaments and cloth for dressing the image
  • Replicas of the various implements he will be holding

Instructions:

  • Mix paper mache to a firm but homogeneously wet consistency.
  • Make an armature (skeleton) of wood, Styrofoam, or similar material.
  • Create the image by covering the armature with paper mache.
  • Make implements for each hand and make sure they can be inserted and glued later when the image is dry
  • Brush the exterior smooth with a wet brush.
  • Let the image dry in a cool place, away from the sunlight. (Drying time is usually one month for every foot in height for a clay image, three weeks for paper mache.)
  • When dry, sand with coarse, then fine sandpaper
  • Fill cracks with putty or joint compound.
  • Sand again
  • Apply a white primer and sand with very fine sandpaper.
  • Make the image dust-free.
  • Paint the torso, head, trunk, and limbs
  • Use red paint and a fine brush for the Aum, swastika, and other – symbols.
  • Paint, decorate, and/or assemble the various implements
  • Place appropriate dress (traditionally white or red silk) upon the image.
  • Glue the implements into the hands
  • Decorate the image with ornaments, flowers, etc.

adapted from Loving Ganesa
by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

An alternative method can be explored with this visual tutorial from Hobby Ideas:

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