How to Paper Mache Monsters

Updated July 20, 2017

Paper-mache is a fun and easy creative way to make your own sculptures. The basic materials to make paper-mache are newspaper and a simple homemade glue mixture. You can use your imagination to add your own creative accents to your paper-mache sculptures, making them into different creatures such as monsters, for example. To make paper-mache monsters, use paint, recycled cardboard materials, glitter and pipe cleaners to create original monster designs.

Make the simple glue for paper-mache. Boil 5 cups of water in a pot. Mix 1/4 cup of flour with one cup of cold water until it's smooth. Add the flour mix to the boiling water, turn down the heat and stir at a gentle boil for 2 to 3 minutes until it thickens. Let the mixture cool before using.

Tear old newspaper or flyers into strips. Use an entire newspaper or more if you plan on making several paper-mache monsters. Keep the strips of paper in a pile or bowl at your work station for use with the glue.

Blow up a balloon. Begin painting part of the balloon with the glue mixture, then apply some strips of newspaper to the glued area on the balloon. The paper will stick. Continue to paint sections of the balloon and stick on paper until the balloon is totally covered. Repeat this process so there are at least 3 layers of newspaper and glue and the balloon is totally covered. Cover as many balloons as you want to make into monsters. Set the paper-mache balloons aside for several hours to dry.

Cover old light bulbs with glue and newspaper strips using a paintbrush. Apply at least 3 or 4 layers of paper-mache to the bulbs. Use the paper-mache light bulbs when they're dry to make mini monsters or to add later as appendages to larger paper-mache monsters. Let the paper-mache bulbs dry for several hours.

Add features to your paper-mache monsters. Cut up old egg cartons and use the cardboard shells as ears, a nose or a spine for your monster. Use cardboard rolls to make limbs to stick on your monster. Glue as many cardboard features as you like to your monster using white glue. Let the glue dry. Apply another layer of paper mache to the cardboard features to solidify the features to your monster. Let dry for about an hour.

Decorate your monsters with a creative paint job and other accents. Apply paint to the body and features of your paper-mache monster. Let the paint dry. Use white glue to add other accents like glitter to the monster's body and pipe cleaners to the monster's head to look like antennae. Repeat the decorating process for all of your monsters. Allow everything to dry thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Balloons
  • Used light bulbs
  • Paintbrush
  • Paints
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glitter
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Empty egg cartons
  • White glue
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Jessica Sharpe has been writing since 2003. Her work has appeared in several McGill University publications, including the "Scrivener Creative Review" and "The Channel". Sharpe has also written for the Montreal culture blog She Does the City and has experience as a copywriter. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from McGill University.