Fun Paper Mache Projects

Paper Mache Shadow Box

Making fun paper mache projects is simple and easy to get started. Many of the materials needed to put together remarkable projects are easy to find and inexpensive. Paper mache is a simple craft and none other offers such a versatile way to create curiosities that are durable, strong and lightweight that will last a lifetime. For today's paper crafter who is mindful of recycling, making your own paper mache offers the perfect medium for creating special and unusual items while helping the environment that is easy on your pocketbook! 

Paper Mache (or papier-mache) literally means "chewed paper" in French. Making paper mache involves using strips of paper or pulp, mixed with other additives, that is held together with adhesives such as glue, starch or paste. The most common paper mache techniques are layering adhesive soaked paper strips over a form or armature. Or the paper pulp method where paper is soaked to create pulp and then combined with adhesive that can be applied to a form, shaped and sculpted like clay or used to create a cast of an object. 

Finished paper mache pieces become alterable surfaces that can be cut, sanded, drilled, painted, and sealed. Transform its common beginnings as throw away paper into something unexpected by creating faux decorative finishes such as stone, plaster, crackle, metallic, distressing and antiquing, patina and more.

Learning how to paper mache is way to have fun while recycling paper waste. Dig through your recycle and repurpose newspaper or newsprint. Don't forget your stash of tissue papers, handmade papers, kraft paper or paper towels, and yes, even toilet paper! Any thin, porous material will work that is flexible enough to shape and that dries quickly. 

One of the great things about making paper mache is you don't need any special materials, tools or supplies! You can use items found around the house to make sturdy frames, forms and armatures for paper mache projects.

  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Glue or paste
  • Brushes
  • Primer
  • Sealer
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Masking Tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Wire mesh
  • Balloons
  • Balled up paper or foil
  • Cardboard
  • Foam board
  • Craft foam
  • Cardboard rolls
  • Moulds
  • Modeling clay and tools
  • Shoe boxes
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Paper bags
  • Paper towels
  • Tissue paper
  • Jars or bottles
  • Plastic containers

Different paper mache glue recipes can include white glue and water, flour and water; which is either cooked or uncooked, wallpaper paste (without fungicides) and liquid starch. 

Just think, with a little know-how, basic skills and imagination, you can begin designing boxes, shrines, ornaments, frames, bowls, beads and jewelry, trays, sculptures, masks, dolls, vases, toys, figurines, plates and more!   

If you possess just a little imagination and have the desire to experiment and get your hands dirty, you can learn how to make paper mache! With such simple materials as recycled newspaper and paste, you can help save the environment as you enhance your surroundings.


Paper Mache Projects

Paper Mache Glue Recipes

Paper Mache Glue Recipes

Four easy paper mache glue recipes for every kind of paper mache project. Depending on what project you are planning, and what you want your glue to do, there is a glue recipe for you.

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