Making a New Nose with Papier Maché and Magnet

by | Mar 26, 2023 | Clown

After losing my second „Kleines Bleibgesund“ nose from HumorKolleg’s Nasenwerstat, I decided to embark on a make my own nose making adventure.  The great thing about the Belibgesund is the little magnet on the inside that allows you to ‘glue it’ to your facemask using another small magnet on the inside of the mask, then the nose magically adheres to the mask.  Just perfect for my work with Medical Clown Project here in San Francisco!

My first attempts have already been documented in these pages, the idea of using barge cement to glue a magnet to the inside of an existing clown nose.  I have had hit and miss excursions with this method, and although it works, it would be hard to describe the device as elegant, not that it need be. Still the design of most N95 masks offers a relatively sharp triangular shape to the mask relative to the flat circular shape of the nose which creates a significant gap between the magnet glued to the inside of the nose and the edge of the facemask.  I resorted to creating mini-towers of magnets (2 or 3) to bridge the gap, which can be a bit top heavy when navigating challenging pathways.

So next stop, yes indeed, the aforementioned papier maché.  I’m in the middle of creation as i type these words to share a few pics of nose in progress,

First, you get to design your nose as in what shape would you like it to be?  Take a bit of clay and shape a nose, or various noses, to your delight.  As you can

see I am going for a rather small nose, and i’m using this product i found at the art store (Arches on Arkansas street) called Sculpey.  I love that i can buy just a little bit and it doesn’t seem to dry out that easily.

Next you will want to mix up some papier maché sauce, and find a source of newspaper.  If you wish for a finer material such as tissue paper, i’m told that will work too, however that you will need more layers…for the sauce i’m mixing wood glue and water about 50-50.  If you are not familiar with making papier maché then no doubt there are abundant how to’s within a few clicks of your searching device.

I am using relatively thin long strips of paper to navigate the curves of  the nose, about 1/8 inch wide.  I’m trying 2 long strips of paper circumnavigating the  bottom of the nose, hopefully creating a stable support band, although i’m not sure that is necessary.  I did 2-3 layers of papier and it feels pretty solid.


In this photo, i have yet to trim around the edges or sand the papier.  I did use small scissors to cut wedges out of the top and bottom so that the nose can fit snugly over the mask.  If you are wondering about that paper clip and the green bit caught in it’s teeth, that is my improvised clamp for the wood glue holding a rolled up strip of cardboard with a magnet inside.  In the photos, the magnet is inside that little red circle.  The idea is that the magnet needs a certain height inside the nose to reach the edge of the mask thus bringing the magnet inside the nose close enough for the two magnets to grip together.

This is of course the prototype.

UPdate 3.28

– i’ve used little strips of papier maché to ‘glue’ the magnet to the inside of the nose . the hardened maché has stabilized the magnet in place, yet not exactly on the right angle so that it is flat in relation to the mask…almost right.  it turns out the platform is too low in relation to the mask, so i have to add an extra magnet inside the nose.  Now the nose its on the mask quite well, and it’s holding well in place. Yay.
-I painted the nose, after a layer of gesso.  I like the rough look of the paper and paint.

I”ll be trying it out tomorrow on my shift:)





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