How to Make a Model of a Frog

by Kat Walcott Google
Create a realistic frog using paper mache.

Create a realistic frog using paper mache.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Frogs are fascinating creatures and a one way to learn more about them is by creating a life-like model. Creating a model frog is an activity to do for science class presentations, science fairs, art projects or for something to do on a rainy day. This activity can be done in a few hours and requires a few household items, as well as items that are accessible at craft and hardware stores.

Items you will need

  • Newspaper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Masking tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Art spatula or old butter knife
  • Sand paper or drywall sanding screen
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper mache clay
  • 1 tbsp. joint compound
  • 1 tsp. white glue
  • Art glaze or lacquer (optional)
Step 1

Form some newspaper into a frog-like shape. Do this by crumpling up some newspaper into two ovals -- one for the body, and then a smaller, flatter one for the head. The amount of newspaper you use depends on the size you want your model to be. Attach the two balls of newspaper together with masking tape.

Step 2

Cover the entire shape with masking tape to strengthen and secure it. Do not worry about any bumps; the paper mache will smooth it out.

Step 3

Tape a pipe cleaner across the shape, right below the model's "chin" area where the head and body meet. You will use this to form the frog's front legs.

Step 4

Cut 1-inch pieces of pipe cleaner and twist them to the ends of the pipe cleaner you attached in Step 3 to create toes. If you cut your pieces too long, twist the remaining length around the leg.

Step 5

Attach a pipe cleaner to each side of the opposite end of the model to create the back legs. Bend the pipe cleaners into a "Z" formation for a more realistic frog look.

Step 6

Repeat Step 4 to create toes for the frog's back legs.

Step 7

Wrap aluminum foil around the model's front and back legs for reinforcement and to fill them out. Reinforce the toes with a layer of masking tape.

Step 8

Hold the model firmly in one hand and, with the other hand, start spreading on the paper mache clay with an art spatula or old butter knife. Apply a thin layer, approximately 1/8-inch thick, for a nice, smooth finish. Only apply as much clay as you can while holding a dry area of the model. If you have nowhere else to hold, let the clay dry for a bit in a warm area and then continue. Once completely covered, let the model dry thoroughly for 2 hours.

Step 9

Add two little bumps of clay to the top of the model's head to form eyes. Additional bumps can also be added along the model's back as some frogs have this characteristic. This is optional. Let the eyes and bumps dry for 1 hour, or until they are completely hard.

Step 10

Mix together the joint compound and white glue in a bowl to create a mixture that will further strengthen the model and allow the paint to go on smoothly.

Step 11

Cover the entire model with the joint compound and white glue mixture with a paintbrush. Spread it on in a thin, even layer. Let the model dry for 1 hour.

Step 12

Sand the model to get rid of any bumps if necessary. Do this by gently rubbing it with sandpaper or sanding screen.

Step 13

Paint your frog. Pick colors that match the type of frog you are trying to recreate. Consult a photo of a frog to use as a guide. To prevent paint chipping, go over your model with art glaze or lacquer after the paint dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work in a spacious, well-ventilated area.

About the Author

Based in Gatineau, Canada, Kat Walcott has been writing entertainment and informative articles since 2008. Her work has appeared in major publications including Her Campus, Equals6 and Uppercase. She holds an honors diploma in social science from Heritage College and is currently majoring in communication studies and minoring in sexuality studies.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images