A Paper Mache Day

Earlier this month (or was it last month? Geez, I really need a calendar) we set aside a day and declared it Paper Mache Day. We tackled not one, but two gooey newspaper projects and had such fun doing it we've decided to do it again soon...and next time I think we'll invite our friends over and have one big Paper Mache Party! 

So, the first thing we did was tear paper into strips. This was both therapeutic and chaotic.

Kids love a good excuse to rip up paper.

Once the paper was torn and the flour/water goo was mixed we got to work on our projects. We each made two bowls and the girls worked together on the second project, which involved a blown up balloon for the base.

The basic process was we laid strips of paper across the bowls we were using as molds and used paint brushes to brush on the goo. We worked this way piece by piece, layer by layer.

My older gal decided to tear up the comic section of the newspaper and use those pieces for the base of her bowl.

We each put about 5 layers on our bowls (some less some more depending on attention spans)

and set them out to dry for a few days...

After they were dry we popped them out of the molds, trimmed the edges, and painted. And painted and painted. (Note to self: Put a base coat of white on the bowls next time before painting...or use thicker paints)

The darker colors only took about 3 coats...but the lighter colors needed more. But that's OK, painting is a peaceful therapeutic process (yes, even with kids...well, at least sometimes) and we took our time and had fun with it. At least that's the story I tell myself.

These are Little Bear's.

And these are Older Bear's. Her comic strip idea turned out really well and all she had to do was paint the outside and add varnish. Both girls were so impressed they could make bowls. They were so proud of themselves and I learned that while paper mache is messy, it's not difficult or time-consuming - at least not so much that it's not worth setting aside a day every now and then to make something fun and interesting.

Little Bear was so excited about hers she took them to a Girl Scout meeting to show all her friends during a discussion about recycled art. I love when they get excited about their projects.

And here are a few that I did.

I think on our next Paper Mache Day we'll make a set of bowls to give as gifts to our family and friends.

So the other project we worked on was from the Arty Facts book series that I've mentioned before here and here and here. During our study on all things Ocean I let them pick several projects from the book to work on and a paper mache whale was a project they both agreed on. So we went for it.

We covered a balloon with about 5 layers of paper and goo and let it sit out to dry for a few days. (You'll also see in the next few pics that we added a tail constructed out of cardboard, taped it on, and paper mached it to the whale's body)

Once it was dry I cut out a square hole on the side...(see the tail?)

and it was ready to paint!

This is the picture from the Arty Facts book. And Older Bear drawing accessories to go inside the whale.

The girls took turns painting the big ol dude.

And added a face...

and glitter and sequins...and a small blow-hole with tissue coming out to look like water...and a coat of varnish (we used Modge Podge)

We hung accessories up inside the top of the whale with string and tape (fish, seaweed, tin can, etc)

and off he went on his journey (he became a home for Little Pet Shop critters). Awww, isn't he cute?

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