The girls and I have been playing with paper mache lately. We’ve made paper mache people, paper mache masks and paper mache bowls. I thought I’d share how to make the people for now. Kids are able to help with a lot of the steps. The girls helped me mix the glue but I stirred it over the stove while they tore pieces of newspaper for the next step.
This is my favorite glue recipe:
Cooked Flour/Water Glue-
1 cup flour
1 cup water
*1 tablespoon salt(added at the end)
Directions: Mix the water and flour together until the two are well blended. Bring this to a boil over medium heat, stirring it the entire time. Once the glue reaches a smooth,custard like appearance remove it from heat. The whole process should take 4 to 5 minutes. Once this is cool you can use it to paper mache. Anything left over can be stored in the refrigerator and used as you would use regular glue.
We made paper mache people for our first project using small bottles and semi inflated balloons.
For these you’ll need:
Strips of newspaper
a plastic bottle that has been rinsed
A work surface prepped for messiness. Newspaper is okay but cardboard is better as you won’t have to worry about the glue seeping through it and onto your table.
Steps: Blow the balloons up slightly and then tie them closed or use balloons that were once normal size and have now deflated. At this point you either tape the balloons to the bottles with masking tape or just hold them in place as you cover both with the first layer of paper mache.
Rub the balloon with a small amount of oil before covering it with newspaper. This will help the balloon detach when you want it to.
You’ll need strips torn from newspaper or used copy machine paper that are an inch wide and four inches long. Obviously it’s not a big deal if your paper are a little shorter, ours were all sizes, but that is the ideal size to work with.
Dip the strips into the glue and get rid of the excess with your fingers so that it is not dripping. You’ll need to cover the form you’ve made with inter-lapping layers of the newspaper soaked with the glue.
Put these in spot to dry that is not too cold or too hot. Outside where there’s a breeze going is ideal or inside with a small fan blowing would be good too. This is just to speed the drying process up.
Once your forms are dry pop the balloon inside with a straight pin. Cover the surface with white paint. Let this dry.
We made a video of the first steps that you’ll need to follow, if you’ve never dealt with paper mache it might be helpful. Okay, it might not be all that helpful but it’s funny to watch us try to make a craft tutorial…so there’s that. The video starts off dark but lightens later.