How to make paper mache

Paper mache (or as the French call it: papier-mâché) is easy old-school craft will keep your kids entertained for at least an afternoon

How to make paper mache
(Image credit: Getty)

Learning how to make paper mache – what a throw back. You must remember covering balloons in sticky bits of newspaper, then popping them and painting them, turning them into fish and self-portraits and very interestingly shaped bowls. Anyway, all this time at home has got us thinking about those really simple, fun crafts that don't need much equipment and can entertain your kids for hours. 

So here are some really simple steps to how to make paper mache, and as you can probably tell we're doing everything we can to help keep you entertained through the Coronavirus outbreak, so you'll find plenty of inspiration on our No place like home hub page.

  • For more crafts, go straight to our hub page

You will need:

  • Newspaper, tissue paper, magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue or plain flour
  • Warm water
  • Mixing bowl 
  • Spoon

Step one: cut your paper into strips

Whatever kind of paper you are using, cut it into strips or squares or whatever shape your project requires. 

Step two: make your mix 

You can pick between either flour or glue to make your mix. If you are doing a craft with young children, might we suggest flour because they do tend to want to eat EVERYTHING. If you are using flour, mix one level mug with the same amount of warm water. If you are using glue decent a small amount into a bowl and slightly water down with a few tablespoons of warm water.

Mix your ingredients together until you get a paste with no lumps. 

Step three: start your project 

Whether you are covering a balloon, pots, moulds, dip the strips into the mix and scrape off any access on the side of the bowl. Then lay the paper onto the surface of what you are covering and smooth it down to get rid of any bubbles. Add one layer of paper and then allow that to dry before adding another layer. 

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.