You will need:
- One egg (blown) or polystyrene head shape *
- One stocking
- Tissue paper pulp **
- Elastic bands
- Three screw thread eyelets (e.g. the ones used in picture framing)
- Linen thread
- Wallpaper paste
- Tissue paper
- Coloured wool, paint and varnish to finish
* Blowing an egg
See: Eggs - Their uses in papier mache sculpture by David Osborne.
** Tissue paper pulp
Tear up eight sheets of tissue paper and soak in water. Using a hand blender reduce this to pulp. Squeeze out as much of the water as possible and add a tablespoon or so of ground chalk, and enough wallpaper paste to give a clay consistency. Knead thoroughly and apply.
Start by styling the features of the mermaid onto the head shape using the plasticine. Then layer the head with small strips of newspaper until 4 or 5 layers have been built up then put on one side to dry.
Cut out a tail shape in cardboard and insert this into the toe of the stocking. Tie off with an elastic band. Make up each section of the body with scrunched up newspaper with a roll of cardboard around it, tying off each section with an elastic band. When shaping the torso I did cut out an upper body shape in cardboard and inserted this before adding the newspaper. Tie off the neck with a knot.
Finally, measure out the string so that the hands will hang in mid thigh and sew to the stocking over the shoulders. Make two plasticine hands and mould them around the string. Layer the torso with strips of newspaper until 4 - 5 layers have been built up and then leave to dry. Make sure that there is a gap either side of the elastic bands as this is the joint system of the marionette.