I created this project when I accidentally ordered too many rolls of masking tape and I didn't know what to do with all of it. I had more than enough for each student to have their own roll, so the masking tape people came to be! You will need a roll of masking tape, 9 pipe cleaners, a stack of newspaper and scissors for each student in your class to do this project. This will also happen over the course of several sessions depending on how much detail is added to your projects. I created my examples ahead of time so that students could see how much detail could be created with just newspaper and tape, it keeps them inspired to push for more details on their own projects.
This is also a simple anatomy project for students, the pipe cleaners are the bones, the newspaper is the muscle and the tape is the skin. To start making the bone structure, you need 9 pipe cleaner wires (color doesn't matter here). Loop the first one into a circle for a head that is about 1 1/2" wide, twist the pipe cleaner to itself so that you have a lollipop looking form. Then bend the pipe cleaner over the loop the opposite direction so that it looks like a basketball and twist the ends together so that becomes the neck. Take the next pipe cleaner and twist it to the neck of the first one. Now make the shoulders from the second one by bending it out to one shoulder and then all the way back to the second shoulder and then back to the neck again (basically the shape of a hanger) then twist to connect the end. Connect the third pipe cleaner to the middle of the shoulders by twisting it around on the end and let it be straight down for a spine then make hip bones the same way we made the shoulders. Add the forth pipe cleaner for the arm by looping it through the shoulder and folding it in half, then give it a twist at the elbow and wrist joint. Do the same with the fifth pipe cleaner for the other arm. Now loop the sixth pipe cleaner through the hip joint and fold it into thirds to make the thigh bones, twist the ends to make it stay. Do the same for the seventh one to make the other thigh. The eighth pipe cleaner gets looped through the bottom of the thigh, at the knee and folded in half, give it a twist at the ankle and bend forward to create the foot. Do the same with the ninth pipe cleaner for the other shin bone and foot. Check out the photo above if you get confused on this.
Now you need to start tearing and crumbling up newspaper into pieces to start building your muscles. You'll need the tape to hold the newspaper in place so I like to have students tear off (or cut with scissors) a whole bunch of pieces of tape and stick them to the edge of the table so that they can grab them with one hand easily when they need them. Start with a ball of newspaper that you can fit into the basketball shape of the skull and then tape around to hold it in place. Then crumble up and large puffy triangle shape to fill out the torso and tape that into place. Sometimes its good to take strips of newspaper and twist them and wrap them around the legs and arm muscles. Have students really think about where the bigger muscles are and what shape they are, then use the newspaper to build that shape. You can continue adding on newspaper muscles until you are satisfied with your person's build. Remember that the tape will stiffen the overall form, so position your body they way that you'd like to as you continue to tape. Make sure that all of the surfaces are covered with the tape. Then you can create details like clothes, hair and accessories out of the newspaper and tape. The newspaper lady at the top has a skirt, shirt, jacket, shoes, a hat, a bag with a book, wallet and water bottle in it and she's reading the paper. The skydiver has pants, a shirt, helmet, goggles and of course a parachute. If you'd like to make your person standing, you can take bamboo skewers and push them through the newspaper up into the legs leaving just a tiny bit poking out of the bottom of the feet. Then find a wooden base (sand and paint the base) and drill two holes the size of the skewer where the feet will be positioned put a little wood glue in there and stick in the end of the skewers. You can also add support by staple gunning the feet to the wooden base and taping over the staples so they don't show. Masking tape people should be painted with at least a coat or two of clear spray paint to keep the glue on the tape from drying out and peeling off, but you can also give students acrylics and paint them completely with color.