Learn how to make this cool paper mâché horse head succulent holder.
Many months ago my friend Susan and I went to this amazing store called Rogers Gardens in Orange County. I was having serious plant envy during my visit and felt a wave of inspiration coming on. The succulent arrangements were amazing (and extremely expensive) so I planned this equestrian themed planter DIY in my mind. I wanted to create a white horse head filled with vibrant green succulents.
I decided to make a paper mâché sculpture. I knew making a horse head free style might be tricky. I thought about what I had around the house to make things easier. Immediately a pair of bookends came to mind. I used a pair of ceramic turquoise horse head bookends as my “mold”.
I wrapped the horse head in tin foil immediately realizing that it wasn’t going to pull off of the bookend with ease if I did the entire thing. So I had to do half a horse head at a time. Luckily I had a pair of bookends.
Next I made my paper mâché paste and was ready to go.
I began to tear my newspaper into strips and started the paper mâché process to cover the tin foil horse head. I started with the horse head on its side and moved and worked my way up. I also made a bottom base out of aluminum foil and covered this with the paper mâché technique as well. Once I was done, I allowed the paper mâché to dry overnight and completely harden.
The Next Day
I removed the molds from each bookend. I trimmed away any extra newspaper and foil, cut away a hole for the succulents and lined up each side and the base. I used a combination of glue and tape to hold everything together. The glue would have been sufficient but I needed some sort of clamp so I used clear packing tape to hold everything together. I allowed that to dry completely and ended up doing a few more touch ups, allowing my mold to sit another day.
Then it was time to paint. I took my sculpture outside and used white spray paint. After I was finished, I realized that some of my imperfections were coming through despite painting.
I began to feel a little frustrated with this DIY but I filled it with dirt and planted succulents. I should’ve been done to admire my creation but I felt frustrated. Sometimes projects don’t turn out how we hope. I was starting to feel like hurling the horse head across the patio. My husband popped outside at this moment and told me how awesome it turned out. When I explained my disappointment, he suggested trying to play with the imperfections and add more texture.
So I applied interior paint heavily with a paint brush, dabbing along the way. It created a cool texture. You could also try using a textured spray paint and skip this step entirely. It’s up to you!
In the end, I love this horse head! Now that I went through the entire process, I think I would make another. This would make an amazing gift or housewarming project. Below is the supply list and my YouTube video. If you have any questions please ask!
Horse head or other mold of choice
Paper mâché paste – My formula was this – one cup of Faultless Premium Starch, 1/2 cup flour plus about 1/4 cup water. You may use any brand of starch but this is exactly what I did.
Glue (I like Aleene’s Tacky Glue)
Paint – I used a base of white spray paint followed by white interior paint to texturize the sculpture)
Potting soil and succulents of choice
I hope you enjoy this DIY! Be sure to follow @horsesandheels_ on Instagram!