Papier-mâché Christmas decorations are a way to add a handcrafted touch to your home or tree. You can make them with supplies you probably have around the house; each ornament will be inexpensive and easy to make. Because papier-mâché is slightly messy, it makes a fun craft project for both kids and adults and makes a suitable activity for an entire family around the holidays. Adjust the ornament size to fit your individual needs.
Spread newspaper over a table, using double layers to protect the surface. Cut small strips of newspaper to use for the papier-mâché and set them to the side. Blow up the balloons to the size you want the ornaments to be and put them where they will be easy to reach.
Mix one part flour with two parts water. Mix the paste carefully to eliminate the lumps; it should be thin enough to spread easily but not to runny. Make as little or as much as you need, but make sure you have enough to fill the bottom of a flat dish like a plate.
Dip the newspaper strips into the paste mixture, one at a time. Spread them over the surface of the balloon, smoothing each strip out with your finger to remove any large wrinkles or bubbles and wipe off the excess paste. Cover the balloons with the strips, leaving the end of the balloon hanging out. Allow the layers to dry and add another layer of strips to strengthen the ornament. When it is completely dry, pop the balloon and carefully pull it out of its papier-mâché shell.
Paint the ornament using acrylic paints. Because the newspaper will soak up some of the paint, you may need to use several layers to get a uniform coverage. If you are artistic, you can paint small Christmas scenes or elements. Spray the ball with varnish to set the paint. Once the paint dries, glue on decorative elements to finish off the design.
Create a loop out of ribbon or twine and attach it to the top of the ornament with hot glue. Push the ends through the hole in the top of the ball left when you pulled out the balloon. Using a contrasting ribbon, make a large bow and glue it on top of the ends of the hanging loop. Arrange the bow to cover the hole; you may need to add a second bow on the other side of the loop.
Things you need
- Small balloons
- Flat dish
- Paints and brushes
- Spray varnish
- Decorative elements: tissue paper, adhesive gems, glitter, etc.
- Ribbon or twine
- Hot glue gun