Easy Paper Mache Ideas

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Paper mache, also known as papier mache, is a material made up of adhesive and paper used to make crafts. For an easy recipe, mix two parts white (PVA) glue with one part warm water. Adults and children can use papier mache in a variety of craft projects. Some crafts are time consuming; however, a few papier mache crafts are easy and you can do them with a few supplies you might already have right at home.

Round Crafts

Papier mache an inflated balloon to make round projects. Dip strips of newspaper in the glue and water mix. Put three or four layers on the balloon until it is completely covered. You can apply as many layers as you would like; however, make sure each layer dries before adding a new layer. After the papier mache dries, paint the ball green and blue to resemble the earth. Other ideas include sports balls, a beach ball or paint the ball white and add your own design. Leave the end of the balloon tie showing so you can tie a string to it if you want to hang the ball up.

Bowl and Cup Crafts

Spray the outside of a bowl or cup with vegetable oil. Cover it with cling film and turn it upside down. Paint a layer of papier mache mixture on the cup or bowl. Cut squares of tissue paper and cover the bowl or cup with several sheets. Paint another layer of mixture and cover with another layer of tissue paper. Allow each layer to dry and add another layer. Add at least five to six layers or until it has a thick coating. Let it dry overnight and peel the cling film away from the bowl or cup. Smooth the edges with scissors. Use a colour scheme, such as red, white and blue or neon colours to create a design.

Holiday Crafts

Use the balloon method to make round papier mache crafts for holiday craft items. For example, paint the papier mache balls different solid colours with snowmen or snowflakes to resemble Christmas ornaments. Paint a ball orange with a black jack-o'-lantern face to look like a pumpkin. Use a heart-shaped balloon to create a heart for Valentine's Day. You can use red, pink and white tissue paper to cover the heart instead of paint.

Other Projects

Make a piggy bank using a balloon turned on its side. Use an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces to make the nose and feet of the pig. Tape the nose on the end of the pig and the four feet on the bottom. Cover in papier mache and paint it pink. You can also use pink tissue paper instead of paint. For another project, make papier mache masks by cutting a mask shape out of cardboard. One example is a butterfly. Cut a butterfly shape with two holes for the eyes. Cover with tissue paper or newspaper. For added decoration, add glitter, beads and shiny paint to make the mask shiny. Poke two holes in the sides of the mask and attach an elastic string through each hole.

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