Get crafty with your grandkids

PREPARATION: Paper mache can be a fun activity to enjoy with your grandchildren. Just keep ahead of the mess.
PREPARATION: Paper mache can be a fun activity to enjoy with your grandchildren. Just keep ahead of the mess.

LIKE most French words, papier (paper) mache sounds so much better than its English translation, which means, chewed paper. This can be a fun, low cost activity to enjoy with your grandchildren and impress them with your handy craft skills. Together you can create a bowl of any size for trinkets in their room, as a gift or as a fruit bowl for the family. The bonus is you should have most of what you need at home.

What you need:

Recycled paper, like lolly wrappers, coloured paper, envelopes, newspaper, magazines and wrapping paper. The newspaper will be ripped into small pieces/ strips (4-5cms wide and at least 15cms in length).

Paint and paintbrushes. A balloon. A wide cup/ small bowl. Vaseline. Scissors. Homemade glue/wallpaper paste. Strip of card, approx. 2cm x 25 cm. Stapler. Masking tape.

To make bowl:

1. Lie newspaper out on the table and create a work area.

2. Blow up the balloon and fasten with a knot and spread plenty of Vaseline all over it.

4. Sit the balloon in the cup with the knot facing into the cup.

5. Brush over some glue/paste with the paintbrush on the top half of the balloon.

6. Cover the top half of the balloon (that is covered in paste) with strips of newspaper.

7. Make sure the newspaper is wet entirely with glue - add more if required.

8. Paste the strips horizontally and vertically as this will strengthen the bowl.

9. Cover the ends that haven't been glued down properly with glue.

10. Add at least six layers of newspaper and glue to the top half of the balloon.

11. Leave it to dry. After it is dry, remove the newspaper mould from the balloon.

13. Trim off the rough edges, using scissors.

To make a base for the bowl:

1. Turn the bowl upside down.

2. Make a loop/circle with the strip of card, and staple in place (as a base) and attach the loop with masking tape.

3. Paste on some glue and cover it with newspaper pieces/strips extending up on side of bowl.

4. Once the bowl and base are completely dry it is ready to paint and decorate.


Wallpaper paste will work well for this activity. You can buy this from hardware shops. Put about a tablespoon in a bowl. Add water and mix until it binds together. It should be thick enough to brush onto a surface.

Topics:  craft general-seniors-news live-save paper mache

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