You do know what a Mandrake is, right? You have read all the Harry Potter Books and seen all the movies, right? Sadly some of you out there have no idea what a Mandrake is. I am here to rectify that problem and show you how I made a Mandrake prop a few years ago.But first I will give you an official definition of what a Mandrake is from a reliable Harry Potter source, the only reliable wizardling newspaper worth reading “The Daily Prophet”. As we all know you can not rely on the truth from the gossiping newspaper “The Quibbler”.
‘The Mandrake plant, or Mandragora, is a powerful restorative. It is used to return people who have been transfigured or cursed, to their original state. The Mandrake forms an essential part of most antidotes. However it is also very, dangerous. The cry of the Mandrake is fatal to anyone who hears it. Although baby mandrakes will not hurt you if you encounter one of their screams, it will only knock you out for a few hours, so protective gear must be wore at all times when handling them.’
Below is a photo of Ron Weasley holding his first baby Mandrake!
As you can tell I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I have made several of my own props taken from the Harry Potter movies and if you are into this kind of thing, a Mandrake is a must have in my opinion!
I was not sure how I would go about this so I took a wander through the dollar store and found a ceramic gourd that I felt had the right shape I was going for. I then found a plastic Christmas ball ornament for the head, cut the bottom off of it and just hot glued it on top of the gourde.
I bent some wire and hot glued that to his head and arms. I also added some extra hot glue around the mouth as a guide to where I would be adding some extra details. Still with the hot glue I added some fake greenery and wrapped wire around that making it thicker in some of the areas by wrapping more wire.
I kept adding more wire to his arms and adding wire to his finger tips to duplicate the look of roots coming out of his arms. I wrapped the lower part of his body with wire as I needed something to attach his legs to. I did not intend to start drilling holes in the ceramic gourd.
Once that was done I twisted more wire to form the legs and applied the same technique for the roots in his feet area. I also added small balls of hot glue in the root area of his lower half just for more detail there.
Quite a bit of glue was then added to make everything secure. I did not want anything wiggling around or moving while I moved on to the next step.
From Walmart I bought some children’s air dry modeling clay.
Bit by bit I covered the whole body with pieces of flattened out clay, making sure it was completely covered, including all that wire. I then rolled out a ton of little snake forms in different thickness and kept adding it to the body using a photo from the movie as a guide. I did not follow it exactly as like humans every Mandrake is different! I let that sit for a week to dry out and cure. It still has a slight spongy feel to it but once the paint is on it hardens up a bit more.
I then painted it and fell in love with my own Baby Mandrake. I used a dark gold metalic craft paint and then used a watered down black wash over it while wiping off the excess over the raised areas letting the black stay in all the crevices. I also painted the roots a solid flat brown color. To complete it I sealed it with an acrylic sealer.
I just love this guy so much and he was such a pleasure to work on. If you are a Harry Potter fan you really should try making one of these little guys!