How to Make a Papier Mache Whale

Written by jennifer holik
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Paper mache is a craft associated with balloons as a base object around which paper strips are glued. Some paper mache crafts use glass and cardboard as a base. Create a paper mache whale using a cardboard whale shape cutout as the base around which the newspaper is glued. Teachers use this particular craft to teach not only about the art of paper mache but also about sketching, cutting and knowledge of whales.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Glue
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Dust sheet
  • Tape
  • Paint
  • Pencil
  • Picture frame hangers (optional)

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  1. 1

    Sketch a whale shape on a piece of cardboard. Cut the shape out. Lay a dust sheet down to protect the work area. Rip strips of newspaper into 1-by-4 inch strips. Lay these to the side. Mix the glue solution in a bowl by using 3/4 cup of glue and 1/4 cup of water, stirring until mixed thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Lay the whale shape on the dust sheet and dip newspaper strips into the glue solution. Pull strips out of the solution one at a time. Use your fingers to pull off excess glue as you remove each strip. Lay the strips across the front side of the whale and just over the sides. Do not cover the back of the whale. Cover the entire front side of the whale. Let the whale dry for at least 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Mix more of the glue solution and rip more strips of newspaper. Dip the strips and apply a second layer to the whale. Let this layer dry for at least 24 hours. Repeat the process one more time to give the whale three layers total. Let the final layer dry for 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Paint the whale. Be sure to paint the overlapping newspaper strips to completely cover the whale. When the paint is dry, picture frame hangers can be attached to the back of the whale to hang it on a wall.

Tips and warnings

  • The whale can be hung on the wall using picture frame hangars. Other hanging options are sticky backed magnets to attach the whale to a refrigerator or attaching ribbon to the back making a loop to hang on a nail.

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