Papier – mâché

Modeling a 3-dimensional figure stimulates the development of visual perspective
and space-awareness in young children.


  • pre-mixed, inexpensive, (non-toxic) wallpaper paste
  • bowl
  • newspaper, paper towels, masking tape
  • poster paint or colored tissue paper
  • optional: acrylic gloss medium (a polymer) for shiny topcoat

On Friday: Encourage your child to browse through magazines or books until he chooses a theme for his 3-dimensional figure. The theme could highlight a specific holiday, animal, pet, book character …. Now have him select a detailed photo to use as a model.

Building the base: Start with the biggest part of the figure. Ball up a sheet of newspaper and place it on a flat sheet of newspaper. Wrap the ball and add extremities (arms, legs, feet, ears …) Use masking tape to fasten the paper into the different shapes.

Tear newspaper into strips: Dip each strip into the liquid paste and apply to the form – from the bottom up. This is known as stripping. Let the first layer dry. Add more layers, as needed. The final layer should be white paper towels.

Let dry. If you want to speed up the drying process, preheat the oven to 200 degrees, turn OFF the oven, and place the figure in the warm oven.

Paint the cooled figure with poster paint or apply colored tissue paper.

Optional: apply an acrylic topcoat.

– End –


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