Easy Paper Mache Craft Ideas for Kiddies
How to Craft Halloween Materials That Kids Will Surely Enjoy
The holiday season is upon us, and parents and kids alike are scrambling to look for costume and craft ideas to wear and display. The simplest and easiest solution is paper mache.
Properly spelled as papier-mâché, it is French for chewed paper. Made from pulped paper and bound with an adhesive, such as starch, glue, or wallpaper paste, paper mache is a favorite crafting project for kids as the possibilities are endless. Originally used as masks in Ancient Egypt, this simple yet diverse craft has been around for a very long time and is now used for sculptures, puppets, lamps, bowls, and costumes.
The nice thing about paper mache as a kiddie craft is that one can find the materials lying about the house.
- Old newspapers or magazines
- Paper towels or clean sheets of bond paper
- Flour, starch, wallpaper paste, white glue
- A base structure
- Bowl or a big container
Paper mache is fun but can be a bit messy, so make sure to cover your work area with newspapers. Just remember to leave some (a lot!) for your project.
Preparing the Base
A good paper mache project needs a good base to structure it. You can use a bowl, a balloon, or even the bottom of a pan as a base. Just make sure it is the size you need for your project and remember to lightly oil the surface so that the hardened structure comes off it easily, especially if it’s something you can’t afford to break or ruin. For the balloon, it can be popped after even if you are just using half the balloon for a mask.
Preparing the Paste
There are many ways to make the paste. Mix together one cup flour to two parts water and stir well until you get the consistency of pancake batter. The same method works with starch. For wallpaper paste, use the instructions on the package. White glue may be used standalone.
Preparing the Paper
Take the old newspapers or magazines, and tear them into long strips around an inch thick. However, different projects need different shapes and sizes, so judge wisely. Make sure you tear out a lot especially if you want your project to be really solid. Make sure you tear and not cut, because torn edges absorb the glue as well as blend better.
- Take a strip of paper, and dip it in the glue mixture. Make sure the paper is completely covered with glue, and then shake off the excess.
- Put the strip over the base, and smooth it out using your fingers or paintbrush.
- Keep layering and smoothing in a crisscross pattern until you achieve the desired thickness.
- Layer on the smooth paper or the paper towels to create a smooth surface that is easier for painting.
Put your project on your chosen work surface and let it dry overnight or a day or two depending on how big it is. When it done, you may start painting your project.
You can make many different Halloween masks, Christmas ornaments, candy bowls, and many more projects. It is fun, easy to do, and a great activity for the whole family.