How to Craft Papier Mache Stone Plops

Written by lisa mcquerrey
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How to Craft Papier Mache Stone Plops
Use papier mache to make natural-looking rock formations. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Papier mache stone plops are abstractly designed papier mache moulds crafted to look like the top of stones that have been dropped or "plopped" into water. You can use papier mache stone plops as decorative elements for holidays like Halloween, for natural landscape decor, such as indoor silk terrariums, or in floral displays. Although there are basic techniques for crafting papier mache stone plops, the objective is to create pieces that look free formed and organic. Ideally, no two should look alike, so feel free to create deviations of the standard.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Balloons
  • Spoon
  • Pan
  • Bowl
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Small stove pot
  • Kitchen shears
  • Craft paper
  • Craft paints
  • Polyurethane spray

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  1. 1

    Blow up a variety of different shapes and sizes of balloons, such as ovals, oblongs and even "fancy" balloons that have a scalloped or wavy appearance.

  2. 2

    Mix together one-half cup of all-purpose flour and two cups of cold water.

  3. 3

    Boil two cups of water and stir in the cold water-flour paste, stirring rapidly to mix well. Return the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and add three tablespoons of sugar. Stir well and cool.

  4. 4

    Cut or tear brown craft paper into different shapes and sizes. Dip craft paper into the cooled papier mache mix and drape the strips across the balloons. Repeat the process until you have covered the balloons. Allow to fully dry.

  5. 5

    Pop the balloons and remove them from their papier mache shells. Use heavy-duty kitchen shears to cut the moulds in half. If the insides are damp, allow to air dry.

  6. 6

    Place the papier mache mould halves on a work surface. Make a new blend of papier mache mix and tear additional pieces of brown craft paper.

  7. 7

    Dip craft paper in the papier mache mix and crumple it slightly so it begins to ball up. Apply the mass to the papier mache shells. Continue this process, crafting grooves and rocklike formations across the tops of the shells. The goal is to add texture to the moulds so they become more organic looking. Allow the shells to dry fully.

  8. 8

    Place small amounts of light brown, dark brown, black and cream-coloured craft paints on a paper plate or artist palette.

  9. 9

    Using a foam sponge paintbrush, dip first into one colour and then another, and apply the paint to the papier mache stone plops in a dabbing motion. Sponge the different colours onto the surface. Repeat the process, layering colours as necessary, until you achieve your desired colour. Allow the shells to dry.

  10. 10

    Finish crafting papier mache stone plops by spraying with a glossy or matt polyurethane aerosol. Allow to dry fully.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply an antiquing gel over the paint, if desired, to give stone plops an aged look.
  • You may substitute different colours of craft paint if desired.

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