Do you remember doing paper mache when you were little?
Making paper mache was the first craft I ever remember doing. I remember the joy of taking strips of newspaper with some water and flour and transforming those simple ingredients into a bowl. Paper mache just seemed like magic!
I remember making paper mache balls from balloons, covering them in layers of newspaper, waiting for them to dry before popping the balloon inside.
My sisters and I used to make different kinds of masks and create elaborate drama productions for our parents.
We loved it.
My 4.5 yr old son Jack loves to create. He draws everyday, paints and builds models. I knew he would love paper mache; gooey paste, sculpting, what’s not to love?
Paper Mache for Kids
This was our first time working with paper mache together and it was oh so much fun. Instead of using a balloon, we used a bowl.
A bowl is nice and stable for small hands who are just beginning at paper mache coordination! Obviously, everything I am about to describe as to how to do paper mache with kids can be modified for a more complex paper mache idea.
Easy Paper Mache Idea Without Balloons
How to make a paper mache bowl
Supplies needed: Water, flour, newspaper strips
- grab yourself a small bowl – plastic is best. If you don’t have a plastic one, you can use a metal or ceramic bowl, just slide a layer of plastic wrap over it first
- tear the newspaper into strips
- make up a mix of paper mache paste – 1:1 flour and water
- dip the newspaper into the paste and layer over the bowl
- you’ll want a few layers – the more the better. We made about 5 layers
- leave to dry overnight
- gently press out the bowl – if you have a plastic bowl, just give it a bit of a squeeze and it will pop out
- paint and decorate – we painted ours white and added some blue tissue paper
Once the bowl dried over night and was popped off the plastic form, we opened up our craft supplies and used what we could find. In our case, that was some white acrylic paint that took several coats to cover the newsprint type and some strips of blue tissue paper that we layered on the wet paint.
Our paper mache bowl turned out so pretty!
The bowl is the perfect size to hold some little treasures…
…or just to keep collect some coins.
Jack loved paper mache so much, we’ll definitely be doing it again soon.
Maybe next time we’ll make an animal mask just like I used to when I was a child.
- Strips of newspaper
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Flour
- Shallow pan to put the paper mache paste in for dipping the paper strips.
- For beginners: small plastic bowl, if you don't have a suitable plastic bowl, line the outside of a metal or ceramic bowl with plastic wrap first.
- For more advanced crafters: balloon to cover & pop once craft has dried overnight.
- Mix up the Paper Mache Paste by adding equal parts of flour and water.
- Put paper mache paste in a shallow pan.
- One at a time, drag and dip a paper strip in the paper mache paste completely covering the paper strip with the concoction.
- While the strip is still over the shallow pan, gently run fingers over the paper strip to remove excess paste with the goal of it not being "drippy".
- Place the paper strip over the upside-down bowl covering it as smoothly as possible. Keep adding strips until the entire bowl surface is covered.
- Make at least 5 layers of paper mache strips over the surface.
- Let the bowl dry overnight.
- Gently squeeze the plastic bowl allowing the paper mache shell to dislodge.
- Paint and decorate.
More Paper Mache Ideas from Kids Activities Blog
- Make a beautiful paper mache craft butterfly with these simple instructions.
- Use paper mache on plastic bottle for this rainstick craft.
- Make a paper mache head…as in a moose head!
- Make a tissue paper suncatcher craft which is a similar technique as paper mache, just using traditional glue and tissue paper instead of flour, water and newspaper.
Have you made easy paper mache projects with your kids? How did it go?