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Paper Mache Recipes, Masks & Projects | Paper Sculpture Ideas

Papier Mache Tutorial Roundup

Paper mache is one of the most versatile crafts around because almost any shape is possible - if you can imagine it, you can create it! It's also a fun activity for kids to join in with.

You can be as creative as you want with your projects, from building large sculptures and Halloween decorations, to making fancy dress masks, pretty bowls, props and life-size animals. You can also make us of your artistic skills by painting or adding an interesting surface effect to your creations.

I hope this page inspires you to have a go at papier mache!

Kid's Starter Project

Top-Rated Paper Mache Books

Books are excellent purchases when learning a craft because they provide you with all the information in one place. Here is a selection of the best:

The Basics Of Papier Mache

THERE ARE 2 METHODS YOU CAN USE:

- The strip or laminating method is where paper is torn into strips and these strips are dipped in the paste and layered onto the surface you would like to cover. Newspaper is often used with this method.

- The pulp method is where a moldable mix is made from paper pulp and glue, and this clay material is built up over the surface you are covering. 3D details and shapes can be made with the pulp/clay - it doesn't have to be added in an even layer like the paper in the strip method does. Things like sawdust and sand can be added to the clay to create an interesting surface effect.

Often, the strip method is used first to make a smooth layer, then the pulp method is used to add the details and texture over the top.

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Paper mache is an inexpensive craft and the most common paste is made from just glue and water - so it's really easy too. There are also LOADS of other recipes in existence which call for different ingredients, different proportions of materials and different ways of making the mix. When I first started paper mache the sheer volume of different recipes confused me, but it really doesn't matter which one you pick, because they all work!

There isn't much accuracy involved so the recipe possibilities are almost infinite. It's all open to experimentation and people have their own favourite way of doing things. Just pick a simple recipe to begin with and then maybe experiment with your own mixes or try other people's ideas. You'll find some recipes result in different qualities of surface finish, so just keep trying different ones until you find your favourite. Just don't stress about it like I did!

Some people boil their paper mache and some don't, some people like flour and water mixes and some don't. The most important thing to note is that if you stick with the common ingredients like glue, water and flour, it's difficult to go wrong. Note: If you do use a flour recipe, add some salt to try and prevent mold growing on it.

The 'form' i.e. the shape you would like to cover in paper mache, can be created with all sorts of materials including newspaper and tape, used plastic bottles and tins, cereal boxes, cardboard, tin foil, balloons, foam and chicken wire mesh. If you just need a mold i.e. something used to get the right shape but will be removed undamaged later - such as a bowl - then just cover the surface with a protective layer of plastic wrap or foil first.

To make your papier mache durable, remember to seal it with varnish or urethene sealant.

Below you will find recipes for different types of paste and pulp/clay to try out, plus some really impressive projects. If you don't want to make your own mix, you can also buy it. I hope you have fun :-)

Paper Mache Bowl

With wood pieces glued on for decoration, and painted with acrylic paints.

With wood pieces glued on for decoration, and painted with acrylic paints.

Paper Mache Recipes

Big Head Masks

Impressive DIY Projects

Paper Mache Beads

Click here to see how to make these beads yourself.

Things for Kids to Make

Carnival Dragon

I absolutely love the colours on this dragon!

I absolutely love the colours on this dragon!

More Children's Activities

Light-Up House

Lit up with fairy lights!

Lit up with fairy lights!

Fun Paper Mache Tutorials

Large Handmade Sculptures

Creative How-Tos

Holiday Decorations

Click here for a tutorial showing you how to make these cute Halloween pumpkins out of paper mache clay.

More Things to Make

Paper Mache in Progress

Projects Galore!

Paper Mache With Book Pages

More of The Best Paper Mache Products

The following products include a bag of ready-to-mix paper mache clay, a pack of paper clay, and hard coat Mod Podge glue for giving a protective coating to your project.

Skeleton Flamingo

A fun idea for a Halloween decoration!

A fun idea for a Halloween decoration!

Inspiration & Creative Examples

Fast Easy Paper Mache Recipe

Please Leave a Comment!

Colin Garrow from Inverbervie, Scotland on May 08, 2015:

Some great examples here - I've made lots of papier mache masks over the years (mainly for theatre work) but it's always handy to discover new ideas. Great Hub. Voted up.

Elliott Shifman L on December 09, 2014:

The ideas are just outstanding. I will have to try to make something out of paper mache. It seems like a project that I will enjoy doing. #elliottshifmanl

Neetu M from USA on October 21, 2014:

Very nice hub, wellingtonboot. I love paper mache crafts, although I haven't tried doing them myself. Maybe I will get my daughter inspired with this hub to experiment with it over the holidays. :) Thank you.

wellingtonboot (author) from U.K. on October 06, 2014:

Unfortunately I don't think there are :( Glad you liked the page though!

Loraine Brummer from Hartington, Nebraska on October 06, 2014:

I love the lighted house. Are there instructions for it? Lots of great ideas here. Thanks

pitlock on November 10, 2013:

im thinking about making my own skeleton bones for Halloween decorations next year.

anonymous on September 10, 2013:

amazing efforts and appericiate

anonymous on January 17, 2013:

Amazingly thorough - thank you!

lizbradshaw on October 29, 2012:

Thanks for the share, especially the link to the paper mache beads. I'm going to try this tonight!

cdgood on October 20, 2012:

Great!

cdgood on October 20, 2012:

I forgot how much I like Paper Mache!

halloweencostumebuyingideas on September 29, 2012:

Great Ideas!

queenofduvetcover on September 14, 2012:

Very cool!

anonymous on July 22, 2012:

Great lens. I usually use clay, but it's getting hard to get where I am and was looking for another medium. Thanks.

Spiderlily321 on July 19, 2012:

Wow, very, very cool. Thanks for sharing this. I'm adding you to my featured lens list on my halloween lens :)

AngelDey on July 15, 2012:

This was EXACTLY what I was looking for! A lot of other pages I've come across had pictures to admire but nothing to tell me how to do the crafts. I have a ton of paper (junk mail, ads, etc.) that I didn't want to throw out and didn't really want to just make a bunch of sheets of paper. I'm not much of a card maker so I wanted something different to do with it all. This lens will be so very useful for me. Thanks so much!

Kathleen Hiler on April 16, 2012:

This is one of the best sites..bookmarked it ot come back..did some great pieces befroe but not for awahile..want to do life-size:)

Nany Palacio on March 10, 2012:

I really love the dragon and elephant! thanks for sharing this information

ara-bella on March 09, 2012:

The dragon is awesome

curious0927 on February 14, 2012:

Just Love this lens! Going to feature it on my Art Tools & Supplies lens! Just wonderful! Blessed! I love the colors on that dragon too. WOW

KevCooper on February 04, 2012:

The only limit with papier mache is your imagination.

Traceeshobbies on January 21, 2012:

Second time checking out this lens. I think it's my favorite!

Traceeshobbies on January 11, 2012:

This will keep me quite busy without spending too much. I love the elephant I'm going to try it!

kathysart on December 25, 2011:

I've been looking through a lot of your lenses on sculpture.. sooo good! THUMBS UP ANGEL BLESSED

JohnMichael2 on November 29, 2011:

A wonderful presentation... thanks for sharing

DanMonsterMan on September 04, 2011:

Paper mache is so much more than people remember from elementary school. I don't know any other medium that is as versatile and forgiving. I make dragons, but there is no limit to what can be created. Everyone should be doing this.

Need more examples? Visit my site GourmetPaperMache.com or my blog, PaperMacheBlog.com.

Dan (the monster-man) Reeder

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