One of my favorite materials to work with for an art project is paper mache. I loved creating with it when I was a child and I still join my kids when they create with it today. It can get a bit messy, but it is definitely worth it!
Paper mache is inexpensive to make, can be done with groups of children and you can create truly impressive art projects. As a teacher, these are things that I always look for when I prepare art projects for my classroom. Most of the materials you need are common household items, so you can try it today!
Paper mache is surprisingly strong and durable when dry and the possibilities of things you can create with it are endless.
When creating paper mache for kids, I tend to use recycled paper, however, you can use any paper that you have on hand. You can either use glue and water or flour and water when making your mache mixture.
For simple instructions on how to create the mache mixture, click on the first post with the bowls to get you started.
I have put together a collection of over 17 paper mache ideas and crafts for kids to create. I hope that you see some ideas that you like and are inspired to create something new in your home or classroom.
Make sure to look through the different ideas, and I have included a few tips, for working with and making the best paper mache, at the bottom of the list of ideas.
*Click on the image or link to view the full description.*
1. Paper Mache for Kids – Everyday Objects
If you are just getting started with paper mache or simply looking for some new ideas, these ideas are a great place to start. With step by step instructions on how to make and create with paper mache, you will be able to create today!
From bowls and adorable animals, to food and other everyday objects, kids of all ages can create almost anything their imagination can come up with. Click here for the full activity.
Kids love to watch science experiments that include things fizzing and exploding. Add to the excitement and hands-on exploration as children create their own volcano. Click here for the full activity.
3. Dinosaur Land
For the classroom, or home, this dinosaur play land is perfect for any kids who love dinosaurs. Paper mache is sturdy and can last for quite some time – even with lots of play.
If dinosaurs aren’t what you are looking for, you could use the ideas to create a farm land or even the base for a carnival or fair. Click here for the full activity.
4. Classic Piñata
If you have a party coming up, a piñata is always popular with kids. Create your own paper piñata with this easy DIY piñata project that is perfect for the whole family. Click here for the full activity.
5. Tissue Paper Eggs
Often newspaper is used for mache crafts, but you can switch it up and try something different by using tissue paper to make some fun creations! Click here for the full activity.
6. Paper Moon
Create a simple shape with your paper mache, and turn it into a moon. Add a flameless tea light for something special. Click here for the full activity.
7. Pokeball Pinata
If you are looking for party or activity ideas for children who like Pokemon, this Pokeball piñata is simple to make and will be a party favorite! Click here for the full activity.
8. Fruit Bowls
How beautiful are these bowls? Take your paper mache art to a whole new level with these beautiful fruit inspired bowls. Click here for the full activity.
9. Paper Pirate Ship
I know a lot of kids who would love this! The possibilities are endless for what you can create from paper mache. Kids can design, build, paint and play with this awesome pirate ship. Click here for the full activity.
Kids can learn about nature and birds with these creations. Arts and crafts like this can be a great way to mix a bit of science and learning with a beautiful art project. Click here for the full activity.
Use paper mache to create some beautiful jellyfish. Place a small flameless candle inside to make them glow. Click here for the full activity.
12. Mermaid Paper Mache for Kids
The texture of mache makes for a great art project. Create with paper pulp for this creation. Great for the classroom or a craft at home. Give children to opportunity to create mermaids, dinosaurs, a favorite setting or even an animal with this art project. Click here for the full activity.
These fairy tale shoes are adorable! All of the things you can make with paper mache for kids are incredible. Even older children will enjoy creating these small shoes. Click here for the full activity.
14. Paper Mache Castle
Allow children to create their own play houses and toys using mache. Create a castle for imaginary play and give kids the opportunity to design and paint it however they want. A few layers of paper mache will help keep it strong and durable for play. Click here for the full activity.
Use a simple shoe box to create a shelf to hold and display children’s toys or collectables. Maybe a small parking garage for toy cars? Adding some paint and designs could turn this shelf into anything. Click here for the full activity.
16. Easter Paper Mache Ideas
Paper mache is versatile and you can create for any season or holiday. Click the image below for some craft ideas for Easter or spring. Click here for the full activity.
17. Paper Mache Bowls
Learn how to make Mod Podge bowls the easy way! You can paint them any colors you like to match your décor. So simple! Click here for the full activity.
BONUS Paper Mache Volcano
Make your own volcano and then really make it explode! Send molten lava cascading down the mountain with this super fun craft and science experiment. Click here for the full activity.
Tips and Tricks
I love to use paper that is about to be recycled for my mache layers. Sometimes my kids will choose some old art projects or drawings that they are ready to recycle to be reused. We cut them into strips and use them to dip into the mixture.
I often use a few sheets of paper towel throughout my creations when working with paper mache. It can help strengthen your project and adds another layer and texture.
Always make sure that your creations is fully dry before painting, or popping the balloon if you are making a hollow object, or piñata. A layer of white paint on top of your hard paper will make your top coat of color more vibrant and give it a more professional/finished look.
Paper mache is messy! It is a great sensory experience and kids will love to get their hands dirty, and it is messy. Cover the area you are working in with a cloth to keep some of the mess contained. If you are ready for the mess, then just enjoy the experience as you create art and memories.
Adding a layer of gloss, like modge podge when you have completed your project creates a finished, almost professional look. A link to gloss you could use is included below.
The more layers you add, the harder and more durable your creation will be. However, the more layers you add, the longer it will take to dry.
If there is something you are interesting in making, but not sure if mache will work, try it out! You’d be amazing at what all you can create with it.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more hands-on lessons and learning activities, below is a collection of my most popular and favorite activities. From escape rooms and science experiments to more arts and crafts, there is lots to keep kids busy, learning and having fun.