Friday, November 20, 2009

Fall Kid Craft - Papier Mache Pumpkin

Caution: this project not for those who freak out at the slightest bit of a mess.  You, your child, your work surface and possibly your floor will get sticky - verrrry sticky!  Papier mache is messy, but that's part of the fun :o)

To begin, you first need to form a basic pumpkin shape.  We used a paper bag stuffed with newspaper.  We squeezed and shaped the bag until it looked somewhat like a pumpkin and twisted the top to form the stem.  Then, it was time to make the papier mache.

Here's the recipe:
Combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl. Add this mixture to a saucepan of 2 cups boiling water and bring it to a boil again. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool; it will thicken as it cools. Once it does, it's ready to use.

As the papier mache cooled, we cut up newspaper ads and paper scraps from our recycling box into long strips.

Now, for the fun part!  Dip the paper strips into the sticky goo, gently squeeze off the excess and lay the strip over the 'pumpkin'.  Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you've got your shape well-covered.  Our pumpkin took about 24 hours to dry and harden completely, but that may have been because my 5-yr-old made her strips extra goopy :o)

Once the pumpkin was dry, Ella painted her pumpkin and voila!  We now have a special handmade Fall decoration that we can set out year after year.

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