Make Something: Papier Mache

When was the last time you tried papier-mache? Yeah. Same here. Some poor, grade school art teacher led me and a roomful of other nine-year-olds through the messy process. God bless her.


Today’s “make something” suggestion was to create with papier-mache. Naturally, the daughters were all in. So Jim went out and got us a Sunday paper, and we mixed up some flour paste. Then we made a disaster of the dining room, they took off for electronic entertainment, I cleaned up the mess, and we waited all day for our creations to dry.

Hannah was reasonably successful. At least she seems happy with the little bird she made as a cat toy. Hannah is a fast crafter. The other day she decorated half a full-size dining chair with acrylic paints in about six minutes. She was in and out of the papier-mache project in oh, say, 12 minutes.

Emma, who is more of a marathon crafter and enjoys a good mess, surprised me by whining and complaining from the get-go. Her face squished in disgust the whole time, she struggled to get the knack of using her fingers as a squeegee to remove excess paste before laying her strips in place. But she gave the work a good hour of her life. The Pyrex bowl she covered is still quite damp, some 10 hours later. Actually, I believe the paper and paste are now one with the glass. So the whole thing may be headed for the recycling bin when she’s not looking. Good thing we have plenty of mixing bowls.

And me? Well, I remembered just enough about this art form to play it very safe. I covered a small cardboard box. It’s not pretty. It looks like someone poured oatmeal all over last week’s paper and stomped off in a huff. But it did dry. So I sanded off the biggest lumps, labeled it with Sharpies, and am using it as a placeholder. Just for now.


One response to “Make Something: Papier Mache

  1. Pingback: Make Something: Piñata | Beth Nyland·

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