Upcycle Progress – Fast Food Wrapper Sculpture

Currently, I am preparing for the ‘building’ stage of my project. I have accumulated most of the materials I will be using for the project and solidified on general form and shape of the sculpture. My initial thoughts and sketches of the form is displayed below:

The final sculpture will consist of an arm gripping some object, with a larger independent face structure; the whole piece will be of moderate size (with the head being the size of about a real head). The arm sculpture will most likely consist of an inner wire frame in the loose form, with an outer layer of either cardboard or tightly packed/glued fast food wrappers, which is affixed to a base of wood or plastic. Similarly, the fingers of the hand will be shorter pieces of wire affixed to the inner base with fast food wrappers fixed to the outer surface. The head will consist of a base structure of some sort of round plastic or cardboard cylinder (most likely a milk jug or something similar), which will then be wrapped/built upon with fast food wrappers. The method of construction will probably be some sort of paper mache – either with liquid glue or simply with tape on the insides.

One major concern before I begin constructing is that I’m not sure if I have enough material to fully build a sculpture of the size I am imagining. I have around 200 sheets of various fast food wrappers, and am thinking of gathering more come the weekend.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Kevin,

    If you’re worrying about using a lot of material, making you’re wire frame thicker might help. It may also help if you use an arm as a cast and use some method to bind the wrappers to themselves. This may help reduce the amount of material at the cost of structure integrity. I think the project is well planned otherwise.

  • Hi, Kevin,

    I really like your idea for the upcycle project! It’s really cool to make a human-like sculpture and mimicking the move of consuming food out of the fast food wrappers! To me, it’s kind of like symbolizing literally “eat trash”. It kind of reminded me of a clay sculpture that I once did: shorturl.at/hmwDF (A shameless plug here) Anyway, I think your idea of making a wire frame for support and then stick on the food wrappers is good. But I’m wondering if the structure itself would be able to support that weight of food wrappers. It seems like that in the sketch that you drew, the idea is to use the wire frames as the core of the structure and you would wrap the food wrappers around? In that case, I can imagine that you would indeed need a lot of food wrappers. Well, for the concern of you running out of food wrappers, I have 2 ideas. One would decrease the amount of food wrappers that you need, by going with a more dense-looking wireframe design, such as this one: shorturl.at/iwCR9 With a more structural looking arm being built in the center, it would require significantly less paper mache to frame the outside part. Another idea that I have, is if you would like to stick with the original idea, you can ask for more food wrappers from fast stores or the customers. Or go to the compost bin or the CU Recycling Operations Center to see if they could help? (I don’t know if they consider food wrappers as recyclables, so it’s questionable whether it’ll even end up there.) Or another thing could be, (this is actually the third idea now), that you can just use other kinds of paper (like newspaper, magazine paper, parchment baking paper that has a similar texture to the wrappers, etc) on the inner side and frame the outside of the structure with the actual food wrappers.

    Anyway, good luck to your project! Looking forward to seeing the final work!




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