Easy Paper Mache: Mache It!

paper mache

Photo by Samantha Bell

The term “ paper mache ” refers to using paper and a mixture of glue and water to form something that hardens as it dries. For this project, you don’t need any glue – just flour and water will do! It’s is a great project for children who are tactile learners, love textures, or love getting messy!

What You’ll Need

Newspaper

Flour

Water

Large bowl

Hand mixer

Small bowl

Mix the “Glue”

Begin by mixing up the “glue” for your project. Pour some flour in the large bowl. Add water until it becomes a consistency that you like. If it becomes too watery, just add a little more flour. Use a hand mixer to stir the flour and water together. This helps eliminate lumps and makes the mixture very smooth.

Tear the Paper

Next, tear the newspaper into strips. It’s easier to tear it vertically, going with the grain of the paper. Smaller strips work well for smaller sculptures and ones that have a lot of curves or rounded edges.

Glue It!

Pull a paper strip through the “glue” mixture, making sure it gets on both sides. Run the strip between your thumb and forefinger to get off any excess. Place the paper on the sculpture and press it until it is smooth.  Repeat this step until the whole sculpture is covered. The paper pieces can (and should) overlap each other.

That’s it! Your child can paste up to two layers at a time; if he does more than that, it might not dry well.

Let the sculpture dry for a few days, then repeat the process. I always have my students do a minimum of two layers (on two separate days), but more is usually better. The more layers he does, the firmer and more stable the sculpture will be.

Some children really love the messy paper mache process, while others become squeamish.

Did your child have fun gluing his sculpture?

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