Posts Tagged With: paper mache

Tissue Paper Lanterns!


 These lanterns are so fun to make and cast a beautiful light!

Captain and I had a great time making these simple paper mache style lanterns.  We still have ours sitting on our counter with a tea light ready to glow upon our dinner.


Choose as many colors of tissue paper as you like, or have around, and cut them into strips.  The strips do not have to be the same size, in fact, we think different widths make a nicer texture.

Lay down newspaper and blow up your balloon.  For younger kids, keeping it at a smaller size is beneficial as it does take time to apply the layers of paper.  Mix equal parts water and white school glue in a bowl.

Cover the balloon with petroleum jelly (to prevent sticking) and start dipping strips of tissue paper into the glue mixture and apply, smoothing them down as you go.  They don’t have to be perfect!  Continue to add strips, crossing over and over to make at least 3 layers deep for sturdiness.  Do not cover the top of the balloon, where it ties, as this will be the opening at the top.  Captain did a lot of the work, but toward the end it got hard for her to hang onto the balloon so mom finished it for her. When it is all ready, hang to dry and then pop the balloon and remove it carefully.  We trimmed the opening of the candle to make it look nice and finished.

Voila!  Put a metal lid inside your lantern (to hold the candle) and add a tea candle.  Next step is to admire it as a family 🙂  This is also a great time to explain about candles and fire danger too.  We have a rule in our house, no candles except at the dinner table.

We would love to see your paper lantern pics if you make these!

Cheers!  Karen

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Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects, Science Rocks For Kids! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Paper Mache and Yarn Bowls!


It was a beautifully snowy, but terribly cold, winter’s day in the Sierra and we were looking for something FUN and crafty to do indoors.  We looked online and came across a great yarn and paper mache bowl project made by the very creative Carolyn at  homework: today’s assignment: be inspired

We made the simple paper mache paste first and Captain did all of the measuring.  It came out pretty thick and a bit lumpy so I added a few squirts of white school glue for good measure.  It made a lot of paste and next time I will plan to make a pinata or another craft with the leftovers, which seem to keep pretty well with a plate on top.

Paper Mache recipe:    Mix 2 1/2 cups flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl.  Boil 2 cups water.  Add cold mixture to the boiling water and bring back to boil.  Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of sugar.  It will thicken as it cools.

Here we go!

We covered our mixing bowls with saran wrap and placed them upside down on newspaper on the kitchen counter.  Now comes the fun part! Submerge your yarn into the gooey mess of paste being careful not to tangle it too much (my bowl was supposed to be bigger but I got so knotted up at the end that I couldn’t get it untangled) and begin coiling from the bottom. Captain and I laughed and laughed during all of this and I was reminded of a special thought regarding arts and crafts:  It’s not about the end product, rather the process of creation!

When you get to where you want to be with your bowl, let it sit until dry (ours took 2 days) then peel your piece carefully from the bowl and remove the plastic wrap. Voila!  Our bowls turned out pretty and much sturdier than I thought they would be.


I highly recommend this project for adults and kids alike.  Captain is 5 and made hers completely on her own, but I think it might have been difficult even a few months ago or if she wasn’t in the mood to be a bit careful and patient (laughing and poking each other with pasty fingers really keeps things flowing).
If you decide to make a yarn & paper mache bowl of your own, we would LOVE to see it!
Good thoughts, Karen
Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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