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How to Do Paper Mache for Kids

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.

Paper Mache for kids

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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.

An Easy Paper Mache Project for Kids

Materials

  • Balloon
  • Strips of paper or newspaper
  • Glue (some people use flour, but I recommend glue both for ease of use and to avoid attracting animals)
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • 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:

  1. Rip your paper or newspaper into strips.
  2. Blow up your balloon.
  3. Mix equal parts water and glue.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Set aside to dry.

Decorating your Paper Mache Creation

How to do paper mache with kids

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.

Easy paper mache project for kids: make a planet

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.

Have your kids made a fun paper mache project? What tips should I add to this post? Share ideas in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram.

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

7 thoughts on “How to Do Paper Mache for Kids”

  1. How funny! Coincidentally, I literally just did paper mache with my kids today for the first time in like 3 years. My 3 and 5 year olds loved it, but my 7 year old thought it was torture. We’re still waiting for their Viking helmets to dry, so hopefully we can paint them tomorrow. I think we’ll have to try glue next time. We used flour, but it turned out a little….chunky. Maybe I’ll let them watch that episode so they can extend their paper mache experience. :)

    1. Viking helmets – how cool! That’s funny that your 7yo felt tortured by the experience. Come to think of it, my 9yo might agree… The glue is much easier to use than flour, in my experience. And it’s a fun episode :)

  2. It’s very cute. We haven’t done too much with paper mache because my kids are all about the instant gratification, and waiting for it to dry is hard.

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