How to make a paper mache ball without a balloon

Written by pam haefner
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How to make a paper mache ball without a balloon
Flour and water are key ingredients to making paper mache projects. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Creating a paper mache ball requires a round form. Even though the most popular form to use is a balloon, with a little ingenuity you can leave the balloon out and use another object. The trick is to choose an object that is resistive to the paper mache glue, so it can be removed. Plastic, vinyl and latex are good choices.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Flour
  • Table salt
  • Newspaper
  • 2 plastic bags
  • 3 bowls

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mix 1 cup water,1 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of table salt until the mixture is smooth. The consistency of the mixture should be that of double cream.

  2. 2

    Tear newspaper into 1-inch wide strips. Set the strips aside. Torn strips of paper blend together better than cut strips of paper.

  3. 3

    Crumple the newspaper into two balls that are approximately the same size. These newspaper balls will be your paper mache form. Determine how big you want your finished ball to be and make your newspaper balls slightly smaller.

  4. 4

    Cover each newspaper ball loosely with a plastic bag. The plastic bag will keep the paper mache strips from sticking to the form. Keeping the plastic bag loose on the form will aid in releasing the form once the paper mache dries.

  5. 5

    Place each plastic-covered newspaper form into a separate bowl. The bowl simply holds the paper mache form in place making it easier to apply the paper mache.

  6. 6

    Soak the 1-inch newspaper strips in the flour mixture. The strips should be well saturated.

  7. 7

    Pull out one strip at a time, gently wiping excess paper mache glue from the strip using your pointer finger and your thumb as a squeegee.

  8. 8

    Cover half of each plastic-covered newspaper ball with the flour-soaked newspaper strips. Cover with a minimum of three layers of paper mache. Let dry completely.

  9. 9

    Remove each newspaper ball from the centre of the dried paper mache. At this point, the newspaper form is only partially covered with paper mache. The newspaper form should be removed from the half that remains uncovered. The loose bag allows you to wiggle the plastic from the dried paper mache glue.

  10. 10

    Glue the two paper mache halves together to form a round shape using flour-soaked newspaper strips. Let dry completely. The two halves should be slightly flexible so that one of the forms can be slightly inserted into the opening of the other form.

  11. 11

    Continue adding flour-soaked newspaper strips to your paper mache ball until you are satisfied with the final size and shape.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply the soaked newspaper strips in a crisscross pattern.

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