A simple introduction to paper mache for kids – easy enough for a preschooler, with room for an older child to create a more complex project.
My daughter Anna LOVES art, and she spends a lot of time noticing the different kinds of art all around her. She came up with the idea of making a paper mache project after watching an episode of Creative Galaxy (Arty’s Art-y Party, if you’re curious). It took me a while to figure out why she needed paper strips and a balloon, but we eventually sorted everything out.
Thank you, Craft Project Ideas, for sending the glitter, fuzzy sticks, and paint brush that we used in this project.
How to Do Paper Mache for Kids
- Strips of paper or newspaper
- Glue (some people use flour, but I recommend glue both for ease of use and to avoid attracting animals)
- Fuzzy sticks
- Anything else you would like to decorate your creation with. Googley eyes, pom poms, Sharpie pens, cardboard tubes… the sky’s the limit!
Paper Mache Directions:
- Rip your paper or newspaper into strips.
- Blow up your balloon.
- Mix equal parts water and glue.
- Dip your strips of paper or newspaper in the glue and water mixture. Use your fingers to remove the extra liquid, then place the strip on the balloon.
- Repeat until the balloon is covered in paper or newspaper. Depending how strong you want your final creation to be, you may want to add more than one layer of paper.
- Set aside to dry.
Decorating your Paper Mache Creation
Once your paper mache creation is dry, it’s time to decorate it! Anna decided to create a a planet bag, just like she saw in the Creative Galaxy episode. She taped a fuzzy stick to create a handle, and added a little glitter to make it fancy.
Remember what I said about adding layers for strength? Anna was all done adding paper as a single layer. It held together, but that is also part of the reason her finished project dents easily. She’s okay with that, luckily – the dents are simply craters on her planet.