How to Make a Wigwam With Paper

An original wigwam is made from sapling trees with each end dug into the ground. It has a dome appearance and the walls consist of draped, well-woven mats. The door is just 3 feet tall, with a woven mat hung over the opening. A chimney hole is in the top centre, covered by a mat when not in use. Making a paper representation of a wigwam is an entertaining and educational project.

Cut an 8-inch foam ball in half to make two 4-by-8-inch domes. Tear newspaper into 1-inch strips that are 4 to 6 inches long. Mix paper mache paste in a plastic container that has a lid for storage after completion of the project.

Place the foam dome on a large piece of newspaper. Dip a strip of newspaper in the paper mache. Squeegee off excess paper mache by pulling the newspaper strip between your thumb and index finger. Smooth the newspaper strip onto the foam dome. Repeat this process until the wigwam has three layers of strips. Alternate and crisscross the newspaper strips for strength.

Set the dome aside for 24 hours to allow the paper mache to dry, then remove the wigwam from the foam dome. Cut a 1/2-inch chimney hole in the centre top of the wigwam and a 1-inch door with a serrated knife. Glue the wigwam to a 12-by-12-inch piece of cardboard and let dry.

Paint the wigwam and cardboard. Set it aside to dry.


The wigwam can be paper mached to the cardboard for better adherence. A sculptured ground can be done with the paper mache. Glue grass, twigs and leaves to the wigwam for a more natural look.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Paper mache
  • 8-inch foam ball
  • Serrated knife
  • 12-by-12-inch cardboard
  • Acrylic or Tempera Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Plastic container
  • Wooden spoon
  • White glue
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."