How to make a paper mache love bird for Valentine's day

Paper Mache we have all heard of it but are you brave enough to have your students or kids use it?  Paper mache is the process where you take a glue mixture made from water and flour or white glue and dip newspapers or paper towels in it and construct your sculpture.  Sounds very scary now doesn't it!  But it really is not.  It's actually very simple and works great for kids crafts.  The hardest part is deciding what you are going to make!

kids crafts-how to make paper mache love birds for valentine day

For this project we decided to make Valentine Love Birds.  Aren't they cute!  These were made by my own kiddos (5 years old).

Supplies needed:
  • newspaper or paper towel
  • cardboard
  • masking tape
  • flour (1 cup)
  • water (2 cups)
  • salt (1tsp)

To begin you need to deign your base or basic shape.  There are many ways you can do this.  Some people use balloons and some use newspaper or cardboard.  To make our love birds, I decided to use newspaper.  We scrunched the paper into balls and then taped two balls on top of each other.  We also added a beak, made by folding a cardboard rectangle in half and then we taped it on as well.

kids crafts paper mache love bird roll two balls of newspaper

Next you need to cut up strips of newspaper or paper towel and prepare your glue mixture.  There are many different paper mache recipes.  Some use white glue, some use rubbing alcohol, some use flour, some use salt, and the list goes on....  For our love birds I decided to use 1 cup of flour, 2 cups of water and a tsp of salt.

kids crafts paper mache reciepe for paste

What you are left with is a nice goopy, globby, drippy concoction.  This next step is defineately the fun part.  You take the newspaper strips (or paper towel) one at a time and dip them into the mixture and then simply wrap them around your base.  You keep doing this until you have about 3 layers and your entire base is covered.   Some kids will not like touching the mixture and won't add enough layers and others will get right into it and have a drippy, soggy, blob.  Just keep reminding them to add one layer at a time and to cover the whole area.  The great thing about paper mache is that it is forgiving when it is wet.  Simply pull off layers or add layers until you get your desired result.  Then you have to let it dry.  It will take at least overnight.

kids crafts paper mache love birds dip strips in paste

When it is dry, take a little sand paper and give it a quick sanding, just to take off all the left over flour globs and give it a smooth finish.
kids crafts paper mache love birds sand paste excess

Lastly you get to paint it!  Now you might want to give it a quick layer of white paint first as a primer coat before you get into the colored paint but that is up to you.

kids crafts paper mache love birds paint red heart

kids crafts paper mache love birds paint love birds

And voila!  After adding some feathers our love birds were done just it time for Valentine's Day! 

kids crafts paper mache love birds

This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to 50 Craft Materials Linky, Coordinated by Craftulate.  50 different bloggers each presented an ultimate guide to different crafting materials.  To see the list of all 50 Craft Materials and the corresponding blog posts and linky head on over to Craftulate.

ultimate guide to craft materias

If you have any posts that show off your paper mache ideas and projects please link them up below.

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