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Two children playing with bowls of paper mache

How to make paper mache (papier-mâché)

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Papier-mâché, or what's more commonly searched for as paper mache, is the perfect activity for kids. Discover our winning recipe, step-by-step guide and easy video to make your project a breeze...

This paper mache recipe is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon inside. It's quick enough to hold a young child's attention and you only need a few storecupboard ingredients.

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For more hands-on crafts, see how to make slime, salt dough, oobleck and moon sand with affordable ingredients and easy steps.

Keep the little ones entertained at home with our summer activities for kids, sensory play ideas, fun yoga for kids and birthday ideas for kids at home.

See our new Kid's Kitchen series for essential cookery skills, plus easy recipes kids can make and kids summer baking projects.

Browse our family & kids hub for plenty of inspiration.

Girl playing with paper mache

Paper mache recipe

Makes 1 big batch
Prep 10 minutes

  • An old newspaper, comics or magazines
  • 1 level mug of plain flour
  • 1 level mug of warm water, plus extra tap water for loosening

Method

1. Tear or cut strips or little squares from your newspaper, comics or magazines according to the project you're working on. Do this first before you make the paste so that the paste doesn’t set while you’re cutting paper.

2. Stir together the flour and warm water in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add extra tap water a little at a time to loosen. You want a smooth, batter-like paste with no lumps. You can sift the flour first for a super smooth finish.

3. Cover your work area in more old newspaper. Dip the paper strips in the paste, wipe off the excess on the side of the bowl and stick onto your project. Use a paintbrush to smooth down the paper and remove any air bubbles or excess paste. Repeat to cover and leave to dry before adding further layers. In our video we made a comic-covered tin to use as a pot for storing kids’ cutlery and covered a balloon to paint and turn into a face, globe – or anything else you dream up.

How to make paper mache

For inspiration, visit our friends at 5 Minute Fun and discover 5 easy papier-mâché makes.

Like this? Try more activities for kids:

Indoor activities for kids
Playdough recipe
How to make salt dough
How to make a bath bomb
How to make bubbles
How to make slime without borax
Top 10 easy bakes for children
How to make a pom-pom
Family & kids hub page

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