Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Paper Mache bowls

(Goblin is 22 months)
The other day I found 100 sheets of coloured tissue paper for 99p in a weird little book shop where we live. I decided to do some paper mache with the Goblin. So I sat Goblin down and handed him a sheet of tissue paper to tear. He loved it. I had to help him start the tear and show him how to use his fingers rather than his fists. But once he got the hang of it he was really absorbed by tearing.

The colours were so vibrant and he loved being given different coloured sheets. Each time I handed a sheet over I'd tell him the colour and he'd repeat the word back to me. His speech isn't very understandable yet but his "purple" was crystal clear. 

He was so into tearing he wouldn't stop when we had enough. I started putting it away in a bag so it didn't get damaged before we could use it, but Goblin had other ideas. He tipped the bag up and then drove his cars through the magical tissue forest. 

The next morning I tried to get him interested in tearing up newspaper but he wasn't having any of it. Either he just wasn't in the mood for tearing, or boring grey is no match for purple, pink, green, yellow - you get the picture. So I ended up ripping the newspaper on my own. Then I set up our paper mache zone: Plastic mat; bowl of watered down PVA glue; ripped up tissue paper and newspaper; and a balloon. I dipped the tissue paper into the PVA mix and Goblin stuck the bits onto the balloon.

Unfortunately I drastically overestimated how long the Goblin would remain interested in this activity. In the end Hublet had to take the Goblin into the garden so that he didn't rampage around with gluey hands touching stuff, while I finished the job. Unless your toddler has amzing staying power I would recommend you do the first tissue layer and the newspaper layer while your toddler is napping, and then let your toddler do the final layer of tissue paper. 
Its also worth noting that the coloured tissue paper stains your hands. 

Once we'd finished the balloon with one layer of tissue paper, a couple of layers of newspaper strips and a final layer of tissue paper I left it to dry for 24 hours. 

When it was dry and felt really solid I pierced it with a craft knife to pop the balloon. Then I cut it in half. I used a craft knife but scissors would also work. 

And this is what the finished article looked like. 

The inside of the bowls are wonderfully shiny. I am so pleased with how they turned out. I can't wait for Goblin to wake up so I can show them to him. They are actually quite robust as well. I might be able to use them on Goblin's shelves. 


  1. Loving the paper mache bowls - they're awesome

  2. Your bowls turned out wonderfully! We love paper mache and working with tissue paper (and made some lanterns this year.. still need to do a post about it sometime!!!).

    Thank you for joining Kids Get Crafty!


  3. These bowls turned out to look very cool! Your story made me laugh, thinking back to how many times I would plan a project, and my kids' interest would fade much sooner than expected. We try!


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