First I wished I took pictures of the whole process. We over the course of the last two weeks have made Paper Mache Masks. The over all process is simple but it is MESSY! So you have to have a bit of patience with this and you need a good place for storage while you wait for things to dry out.
- A balloon (1 for each child)
- strips of paper, newspaper is most likely the best, but I didn't have any so I used some left over Christmas wrap (see picture below)
This is the side of the paper that was touching the balloon.
- Paint (we used washable poster paint)
- and Paint Brushes
First blow up the balloon to as big as you want your mask to be. I told the kids to blow them up to be slightly bigger then your head. Once it's blown up tie a not in the bottom.
You'll also want to make your paper strips at this time if you haven't done so already. I did mine about 1-2 inches thick and about 5-6 inches long. Honestly I didn't measure them. You'll want them to be a thickness and length that is easy to handle for the kids, but also makes covering the balloon easy.
Then make the Paper Mache Paste. The Paste is made with the flour, water, and salt. It's about 1 part flour to 2 parts water and some salt added to help avoid mold. (Of course there are more detail instructions on how to make the paste.)
The process is really simple from there: Dip the paper into the paste, let it drip off some (although the kids didn't really follow that rule), and lay it on the balloon and smooth it out. Repeat the process until about 1/2 of the balloon is covered. When laying the strips be sure they overlapping some. Seeing we were using Christmas wrap I told the kids to lay the Christmas Print towards the balloon so the underside of the wrapping paper was on top.
After this is done you need to find a space to keep them stored for about a week. Waiting a week allows them to completely dry out and allows the balloon to naturally deflate some which makes removing the paper mache from the balloon easier.
After about a week has past it's time to remove the mask from the balloon. This step is easy, but a bit messy. I found I had what looked like potato flakes everywhere when handling the mask. I have the feeling it was just the extra flour flaking off. Superstar's balloon deflated nicely and his mask just came off with no issues. Web-princess's balloon did deflate but not as much so I had to aid the process of removing the balloon by carefully puncturing it with a push pin. I did NOT want it to "pop" I just wanted more air out. As soon as the balloon deflated more I was able to remove the paper mashe easily.
We then put a base coat of white poster paint on the masks and allowed them to dry over night. We did this to help stop the flaking of the flour, which it did help greatly. We also did it to help cover the Christmas print that did bleed through and to cover those pieces that did get laid the "wrong" way. (Print side up). If you use newspaper the white coat would also cover up the newsprint.
Then today we finished up the mask by painting faces on them! Again we used washable poster paint and as I type they are sitting on the table drying.
This is web-princess's mask
This is Superstar's mask
I MIGHT cut out actual holes in them for eyes and mouths and add some srting so they can be worn as a "real" mask. I'll just have to wait and see how they are after all the paint has dried. I'm not sure if they will hold up for that or not.
Either way they enjoyed the process. The reason it took two weeks was giving it time to dry out. Laying the paper on that took the kids only about 20 minutes and the paint took them about 30 minutes. This easily could be a 2 weekend project. One weekend to do the paper the following weekend to do paint.