Paper Mâché Bee Hives

 

Our Paper Mache Day was a heap of fun and even more mess! There is much more prep and clean up than the actual craft so get your gear set up and have no other plans or interruptions for the next hour at least because your hands are going to be dipped in glue and paper stuck to them over and over and over and over again. It’s really fun though…trust me!

I will give you the instructions and ingredients below to make my Paper Mache balloon, but once you have completed your first one you can get creative and make all sorts of shapes using things around the house like a ball, bowl, pot plant etc. My chosen shape was a Bee Hive so I used a balloon that I blew up as big as possible and we added a final layer of special packing paper over the newspaper that we found at home.

All you need:

A medium sized plastic bowl

250ml PVA glue – at least

2 cups of water

Water based paint – optional

Glitter – optional

medium sized paintbrush

2 large towels

Balloon – blown up to the size of the bowl you want to make

A length of string measuring 30 cms

Cling wrap to cover the item you are using for your desired shape (unless it’s a balloon)

I love craft and mess but not the clean up so I make sure I am well prepared in advance for this craft session. Doing this craft activity outside is a good idea as when the kidlets are finished, a hand scrub under the garden hose is handy for cleaning up.

 

All you do:

Blow up your balloon to the size you want and tie the string to the end tightly.

Mix fairly vigorously 1 part PVA glue and 2 parts water together until you get a runny white liquid. Add some water based colour at this stage to get the colour you require.

Dip your Lengths of newspaper one at a time into the glue mix – I start at one end and slither the paper through until the other end has glue on it.

Lay the piece of wet paper onto your balloon (the runny glue mix drips and runs everywhere) and repeat the steps again and again overlapping each piece of wet paper so you cannot see the balloon anymore. The more layers you do the stronger the paper mache will be.

The top and bottom of the balloon takes a bit of extra care to cover. With the gaps, dribble a bit of the glue mixture underneath the paper and pat it down. You can use a paintbrush at this stage to get an even stroke. Sprinkle some glitter over it also if you like.

Let it dry by hanging it in the sun by it’s string on your clothes line. Alternatively place in a bowl on the kitchen bench, rotating it every 15 minutes so it doesn’t stick to the bowl.

Once dry you can decorate by painting or collaging or turning it into a Beehive like we ended up doing.

Happy Paper Mache Making!

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