With school in recess, you may soon be hearing the dreaded, “I’m bored.” Paper mache crafts are a fun and easy craft for kids that can keep them entertained and off the screens, while flexing their creative muscles.
This craft is best for ages 5-10 and will take approximately two hours but can be broken into different sessions for younger participants. I found these plain Paper Mache coin banks at an area craft store, but you can use any pre-made Paper Mache item. I found tons of shapes and styles via a simple Amazon search.
What You Need:
- Paper Mache item
- Acrylic paints
- Paper – colored paper or newspaper
- Cup of water to clean paint brushes
- Paper towels
How To Do It:
Paint the top of the bank with acrylic paint and let dry for 15 minutes (start step 2 while it dries).
Cut up various sizes of paper shapes. I selected three colors, but you can use more. For the bank, I kept my cut pieces around ¾” in size. For a smaller item, use smaller paper strips.
Put a thin layer of glue on the coin bank. Do one area at a time to ensure the glue doesn’t dry. Layer the cut-up paper on the glue. The pieces can and should overlap. Keep pasting until the entire bank is covered. (It’s fine if not all your edges are glued down.) Be sure to get enough glue on the bank to hold the paper strips in place.
With a clean paintbrush, cover the strips in a thin layer of Mod Podge. (Mod Podge is a decoupage medium, meaning it is a glue, sealer, and finish all-in-one. You can find it at Wal-Mart or a craft store.) The Mod Podge will secure the strips in place. Don’t worry if it looks white when applying the Mod Podge. It will dry clear. If you don’t want a high-gloss shine, Mod Podge is available in matte.
Let dry for 30 minutes. Once dry, you can decorate with sticker, ribbons, or other embellishments!
What Makes it Fun!
The neat thing about this craft is that no two will ever be alike. This activity is a fun way for children to be creative using shapes and colors. It also helps develop fine-motor skills and serves as cutting practice for younger children.
At Christmas, a fun twist on this activity would be to decorate Paper Mache ornaments with holiday wrapping paper strips.
Take this easy craft for kids a step further! Research the origin of both mosaic and collage art. How are they different? What are some materials used in collages? Mosaics? Who are some famous collage artists? Who are some famous mosaic artists?