Paper maché is the ultimate medium for kids to learn, craft, and create. Over the holidays and festive season, we’ve picked a few of our favourites to celebrate the season and entertain the kids for hours!
They’ll love making a volcano then watching it erupt, or creating personalised Christmas decorations and finger puppets. Once you’ve got the basics down, use them to create your own designs and let your imagination run wild – the paper maché possibilities are endless!
What You Need
• 2L plastic soft drink bottle
• 4 bottle lids
• Craft glue and glue gun
• Aluminium foil
• 4 paper towel roll tubes
• Masking tape
Using a dinner plate as your guide, trace a round shape on your cardboard. This will be the base of your volcano. Cut it out, then wrap the bottom side of your base with Aluminium Foil and tape down with masking tape. Using your glue gun, gluing the bottle lids onto the foil side (like table legs). This will help keep your cardboard dry, when your volcano erupts so you can use it over and over again!
Glue your plastic bottle to the middle of your cardboard base using your glue gun. After cutting your paper towel tubes in half, tape them to the base and bottle, creating a volcano shape. It’s time to paper maché this shape – leaving the opening of the soft drink bottle uncovered, this is the volcano crater.
Using a brush, cover the entire structure in paste one final time, then let dry. Once ready, you can finally get painting – and decorating. You can add rocks, grass, even fake trees or small dinosaurs to set the scene.
To make your volcano erupt we’re going to initiate a classic neutralisation reaction. Combine half a cup of water with baking soda to create a slurry, this is our alkali / base. In a different container, combine the vinegar, 400ml of water, dish soap, and some food colouring, this is our acidic mixture. Using a funnel, pour the acidic mixture into the volcano crater. When you’re ready for the show, quickly add the baking soda mix and WATCH OUT!
Tip: Place your volcano on a tray big enough to catch the spill from the eruption. It’ll help with clean up.
Paper Maché Finger Puppets
What You Need
• Twisting balloons (the kind you make balloon animals out of)
• Balloon pump
• Craft glue
• Paint and brushes
• Paper maché paste
• Pipe cleaners
Begin with deciding what animal you’d like to create, use your imagination. Blow up the balloon until its width is a little bigger than two of your fingers, and its length is slightly more than your finger length. You can use a toilet paper roll if you can’t get your hands on any balloons. Now grab your newspaper and paste, and get machéing. Make sure to develop the body with multiple layers of paper maché.
Once your creature is fully dry, gently deflate the balloon, and let the painting begin! Be as creative and otherworldly as you like. We like to use a toothpick to dip in some black paint for painting the finer details like faces. A pipe cleaner makes a great tail, and felt makes for great ears. Simply cut to the size and length you want and glue on with your craft glue. Once dry – it’s time to put on a puppet show!
Santa Christmas Decoration
What You Need
• Plastic egg or water balloons (and balloon pump)
Blow up your water balloon with your balloon pump or if you’re using a plastic Easter egg, cover the surface in Vaseline first – to make removing the dried paper maché easier.
With your paste and newspaper strips – start paper machéing around the top half of your egg or balloon. After a few layers, let it dry then gently deflate and remove the balloon (or egg) while retaining the shape.
Trim of the excess paper at the bottom, so it’s a clean semi spherical shape. You can now draw and paint yourself a little Santa. If you’d like to add legs, super glue some decorative rope with beads into the inside of the shell. You can also add string through the top and hang it from your tree. Using the same method, try making other Christmassy characters to decorate your tree with.
Paper Maché Paste
What You Need
• 1 Cup Flour
• 1 Cup Water
• Whisk / spoon
Create the paste using a 1:1 water to flour ratio. Whisk the mixture in a bowl until gluggy, then maché away. The paste will last refrigerated for up to a week, but it’s best used within 2-3 days. Tip: stir in a few tablespoons of salt to the combined mixture to help prevent mould.
How to Paper Maché – Simply cut newspaper into strips and then place a strip in your paste. Lift up and use two fingers to squeeze off the excess paste before use. It’s that simple.
Check out more DIY Christmas Gift!