Paper Mache Dragonfly

Hello everyone.  Yes, it’s been a while since I posted something.  All I can say is that life sometimes gets in the way of art.  I’m sure most of you can attest to that fact.

I’ve decided to make a dragon-like dragonfly.    This idea came after getting a really cool gift from one of my daughters at Christmas.  She is a senior in the architecture program at the University of Washington.   She has access to some laser cutters in her program and she used one to cut these dragonfly wings out of wood and paper.    I was just blown away by the precision of those lasers!

paper mache Dragonfly wing

The cuts produced the most delicate structures!

paper mache Dragonfly- wing close up

The key to this project will be making wings that are analogous to wings like the ones above, but with much less detail.

I found some sticks at a craft store made from bamboo.   There are fairly flexible.  And I like the organic nature of the little branches.   So I decided to use them for the outside of my wings.

paper mache Dragonfly- bamboo

I was able to put together some pairs of sticks, ones that had matching little branches (below).  Using pairs of sticks like this I can make sure that opposite wings are somewhat consistent in structure.

paper mache Dragonfly- bamboo pairs

Using masking tape I made the basic shapes of the wings.

paper mache Dragonfly- basic wing structure

I wanted some of the interior veins to be bigger than others.  So first I used pieces of wire clothes hangers wrapped with masking tape.

paper mache Dragonfly- inside wing structure

I put those inside the top wings first.

paper mache Dragonfly- wing structure

Right now I’m adding smaller gauge wire to finish the vein-like structures inside the wings.    To tell you the truth I’m not sure this will work yet.  I’m not sure if it will look the way I want.  Obviously I can’t create anything as detailed as the paper structures.     Here is a close-up of what I’m doing.

paper mache Dragonfly- wing structure

This is a far as I’ve gotten.   Once I have the internal structures complete I will paint everything black.  Then I’ll add a layer of some really cool cloth I bought for this project.    It could be really cool.  Then again, these might end up in the garbage can.   Can’t tell yet.paper mache Dragonfly- wing structure

I’ll make another post as soon as I have all the veining finished.  Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.  In case you’ve been wondering about the dragon raffle, that has been pushed into May (cancer awareness month).  I’ll let you know as soon as the foundation is ready to launch.

Make art!







About danmonsterman

I've been a paper mache artist for many years. Visit my website for instructional videos, galleries, and everything else paper mache. Or visit my WebPress blog,
This entry was posted in Paper Mache Dragonfly and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Paper Mache Dragonfly

  1. V L says:

    Good to find your email in my box ( was wondering where you went 😉)! I love the method that you are going with for the dragonfly wings…very clever!!


    Sent from my iPad


  2. Rose says:

    Those wings your daughter gave you are awesome!

    I wonder if you could use some of that shrink plastic on your wings…
    The kind you find wrapped around your gift baskets or fruit baskets, I’ve seen some really big ones!

    • Hi Rose. Shrink plastic is a great idea! I’m going to experiment with some translucent cloth I bought first. If that doesn’t work then I may try the plastic. Thank you!

  3. Rick says:

    Great idea! I hope your experiment works out.

    • Thanks Rick! Me too! I’ll know by the time I get one wing done. Hopefully in a few days. I’m off to the races now. I’m so happy to have launched into a new project. I have a couple more in mind as well. Take care

  4. thank for your generous sharing of technique – very timely for me as i want to make some wings for my “little creatures of the crow kiah labyrinth”

  5. Rebecca Finster (RF) says:

    These are beautiful. The cloth might not even be necessary.
    I have been meaning to write to you and say thanks for all the info and encouragement to try things on your website. My art class and I dove into the idea of doing your methods a couple of months ago (after viewing two of your videos) and they are just getting finished. Along with the additional help of some of your books, we filled the room with crazy animals! All sizes, not all dragons, very cool. I will send some pictures after I ask the students who wishes to send a photo to you. We could not afford the taxidermy eyes so we painted the backs of those 1″ or so clear ‘1/2 marbles’ that come in bags for floral arrangements. They worked very well.

    • Hey Rebecca. I’d love to see some photos, even post some on my website if you’d like. I think eyes can be made out of anything round. I don’t want people to think that they need taxidermy eyes. I’ve used porcelain drawer pulls (spherical from Home Depot) and marbles and even just polymer clay rolled between my palms. They all work. You are a saint for running such a class! Most teachers don’t want to deal with the mess. The kids will remember your class forever. Thank you!

  6. mrhomn333 says:

    Hi Dan,

    Is it considered ‘cheating’ if you use chickenwire for the veining? Painted white (or…), pulled to distort, etc.

    • Hey there. It wouldn’t be cheating, but I want the pattern to be a bit more random. The lattice of chicken wire is just too evenly spaced I think even if it was stretched. But I may be wrong. Of course now I’ve invested a few hours on this I am compelled to move in the same direction until I get one wing done. Then I’ll know. Even though I’m pursuing this method stubbornly, I appreciate the chicken wire idea.

  7. Margareth says:

    Beautiful as is a work in progress Can only get better. Inspirational……..thanks

  8. Willow says:

    Great to see you back at it. These look beautiful. I love the way your artistic mind works.

    • I can’t believe this. This comment was on page 2. I never go to page 2. I’m sorry I didn’t see this. But here it is. Thank you Willow. You are always so supportive (and understanding!).

  9. Karen Purewal says:

    I love your work!

    Sent from my iPhone


  10. Carol says:

    Those dragonfly wings are stunning! Lucky you… Your wings are very interesting. I love the way you can see how the bamboo will work. I think you’re right!

  11. DRC says:

    I just love your enthusiasm – even for something you know may not work. Very inspiring. For the record, the wings are looking great. Keep up the good work and look forward to the end result. I hope they work out 🙂

  12. bamauthor says:

    This is really fantastic! Such great talent….

  13. Linda says:

    Looks promising.

  14. conzaustin says:

    Amazing. With jaw dropping anticipation I look forward to your next post.


  15. vicki says:

    Dan you are amazing!! can not wait to see the dragon those wings will be attached too! I finished my first whole body dragon and he looks down on me at my computer!

  16. Elaine Valdiviez says:

    it looks so realistic

    # cowboys lover, thats me

  17. Giuliano R. says:

    The laserwork is amazing. Awesome stuff.


    Hi Dan, truly wonderful, excellent job, every day I admire the most, GREETINGS AND GOD BLESS.

  19. D. L. Cook says:

    These are absolutely beautiful! How did I almost miss this post?!

Leave a Reply to danmonsterman Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.