Rocks can be beautiful exterior decoration, vital stage pieces or simply a child's toy. The weight of these large mineral deposits can be cumbersome however, particularly as the size increases. Newspaper offers an inexpensive solution and a great way to recycle your daily reading. Someone of any age can enjoy creating a fake rock and it is a constructive activity for small children.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Chicken wire
- Large bowl
Clear a workspace and lay newspaper on the floor or table in preparation of a messy task.
Mix together glue and water in a large bowl and set aside. The proportions are not exact but the more glue you add, the less runny the mixture. One part glue to three or four parts water is recommended for small children.
Tear strips of newspaper. The strips can be of any size, but it's easier to work with larger pieces. Smaller rocks can be made from smaller strips and large boulders would require strips that were over six inches in length and three inches in width.
Construct a frame for the rock. Larger rocks or boulders need wire frames constructed out of chicken wire. Cut the chicken wire into a rectangular shape and connect all of the edges so the wire creates a globe with many edges. Push and pull on points of the globe until you have the desired appearance. Flatten one area so the rock, once finished, can rest solidly on the ground. Smaller rocks and pebbles can be built out of wadded up newspaper balls.
Dip the newspaper strips into the glue mixture and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Slide the glue-covered strips through two fingers to wring it out.
Cover your wire frame with the coated newspaper strips until the frame is completely hidden by the strips. Overlap the strips to ensure full coating.
Layer the glue covered strips on top of each other several times to create a solid structure. There should be at least four layers. Larger rocks require more layers to stabilise than smaller rocks.
Lay the covered rocks in a safe area to solidify and dry. This could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the size of the rock and the number of layers of newspaper.
Paint the rock once it has dried with spray paint or water based acrylics. Rocks can be any colour you choose.
Tips and warnings
- Coating the rock with the glue mixture between layers of papier mache can be helpful.
- Be careful of sharp wire edges around children.
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