How to Make a Paper Mache Sculpture

    by Melanie J. Martin

    About the Author

    Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.


    Paper mache is a creative outlet that is uncomplicated, inexpensive and uses materials found around the house or at a variety store. Whether a novice or a seasoned artist, you will enjoy creating a paper mache sculpture. Children enjoy making paper mache sculptures with the help of an adult, and teenagers can create a one-of-a-kind piece of paper mache art for their bedrooms. A birthday party or summer camp could include a paper mache-making session.

    Things You'll Need

    • Balloons
    • Cardboard tubes
    • Newspaper
    • Masking tape
    • Tarp
    • Flour
    • Cup measure
    • Water
    • Large bowl
    • Wooden spoon
    • Acrylic paints
    • Foam paintbrushes

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    Gather balloons, paper towel holders, boxes, pieces of cardboard and crumpled up newspaper and set all materials on a tarp.

    Blow up the balloons and connect them and pieces of cardboard and crumpled newspaper into a sculpture shape with masking tape. Tear newspaper into thin and wide strips that measure from 1 inch to 3 inches wide.

    Place one cup of flour in a large bowl. Add water, 1/4 cup at a time, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture resembles syrup.

    Dip each strip of newspaper in the paste so it has a light layer of paste on it. Apply the newspaper gently to the balloon and cardboard. Cover the sculpture evenly with a light layer of newspaper. Let the sculpture dry for 3 hours.

    Add additional layers of paper mache and reinforce places where you have joined one object to another. Let it dry for 3 hours.

    Paint the sculpture with acrylic paints, using a foam paintbrush. Let the paint dry for 3 hours.

    • Look in magazines and books for ideas for paper mache sculpture shapes.
    • Parents or other adults must use caution and proper supervision when allowing young children to blow up or handle balloons.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/ Images