Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas paper-mache

Another fun and successful project with 3rd to 5th graders is this simple paper mache creations. We did it tis 2nd Quarter just before Christmas, so students worked on either Christmas ornaments or bowls with Christmas themes. They are both very fun ann simple, and same process. There are many You tube videos on paper mache, but I took most short-cut process, as I had only 2 class sessions (2 hours with some parents helps :D). This project is easily started as most materials can be found around your house.

Materials (per student)
balloons (12" for a bowl, or water balloons for an ornament or small cup)
many newspapers (cut into 1" stripes for a bowl, 1/2" for an ornament or small cups)
1" craft brush and several small brushes for painting
school glue mixed with water in 2:1 ratio in a bowl to make paste
acrylic paints
Sharpie pen
some wax paper for a working space
a pipe cleaner


1.  Blow up a balloon. Setting it on a cup will make it easy while you work next step.
2.  Dip newspaper strips in the paste OR paint paste with brush on strips (both front and back) and cover the balloon.  Repeat this process and cover the entire balloon (no need to cover the whole if you are making a bowl) with many layers. Tip for the success in this process is laying each strips carefully removing any air bubbles. For the bottom of the bowl, make a small circle with pipe cleaner and secure it with many layers of strips. Let dry.

3.  When dry, pop the balloon and remove it. If desired, trim the edge with scissor this will make a straight opening for a bowl and cup. For natural looks, many students left untouched the openings which had irregular edges. Draw design with a Sharpie pen. Paint your design with acrylic paints. I instructed students to choose only three colors, white and black. They mixed colors to create new colors.
4.  For an ornaments, poke two holes at the top to string through and make a handle for hanging.

May you be blessed with the spirit of true joy at Christmas and always~!