Friday, April 4, 2014

Paper Mache Easter Eggs Part 1

If you have never done a paper mache project with your kids, you should. It is the perfect kids project, it is cheap, fun, easy and messy. However, take note that it may not be the perfect project for parents, it's messy and usually tends to stretch into more than one day! But as I said, it's easy and cheap. Plus you probably have the needed supplies on hand.

There are plenty of paper mache recipes out there, but I have only ever used one. It's simple and takes about 2 minutes to make. That's including getting out the ingredients. To make paper mache paste add one part flour and two parts water. Mix thoroughly. There should be very few lumps left in the paste. If you prefer a slightly thicker paste add additional flour (in very small amounts at a time!) until you get the desired consistency. The paste that we used was pretty thin and I have always found this to work well. Unused paste can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for a few days. However, I prefer to make fresh paste every time. (It is cheap and easy to make after all)

Materials needed to make Paper Mache Easter Eggs:

Paper Mache Paste (1 part flour:2 parts water)
Paper ripped into strips
Balloons (blown up to the size that you want your eggs)
Large Garbage bag or a sheet of plastic to cover your work surface

First start by covering your work surface! If you are doing this with kids, it will get messy! Take a strip of paper and dip it completely into the paste. Pull it out immediately and run it between two of your fingers to remove excess paste. The strip of paper should be completely covered with paste but not dripping. Lay the strip of paper over the balloon. Keep repeating this process, slightly overlapping the paper strips on the balloon. Continue until you have completely covered the balloon with paper strips. 

Now you are going to keep adding more layers of paper mache to the balloon, but you want to change the direction of the papers that you are laying down. Also try to change up where they overlap. Basically after you have the balloon covered in one layer of paper, add the rest in random patterns. Just try to keep the layers fairly consistent.  (Example: you don't want 8 layers of paper in one spot and only 2 in another) I recommend making it at least 5 layers thick. At this point you are going to want to let dry. 

Drying time will be dependent on a few different things. First, how much paste you put on each strip of paper. How many layers you put on. Also by the humidity level. I recommend letting it dry for a couple of days. Then you can determine if you want to add more layers of paper mache. The more layers you add, the stronger it will get. Just keep in mind, that you need to add thin layers so that they can fully dry.

My Tips

  • Have your kids wear old clothes. It sounds like an innocent enough project, but once the paste dries it is a pain to get out!
  • Newspaper is the best paper to use, but any paper will work. We use lots of old scrap paper, office paper or even old phone book pages.
  • Clean up your mess immediately when you are done. As I said earlier, once the paste dries, it becomes very difficult to get off of things.

Check back in next week for Part 2 off our Paper Mache Easter Eggs!

No comments:

Post a Comment