These fun paper mache Easter eggs are a great Spring activity for all ages. Paper Mache (French for “chewed paper”) is a substance that can be easily molded when wet, then dried, resulting in hard, plaster-like creations that can be painted or otherwise decorated. Because of the soggy nature of the raw material, some sort of form is usually required to hold the piece’s shape while it dries. Balloons are perfectly suited for this application, and as standard oval balloons yield egg-shaped creations, creating whimsical Paper Mache Easter eggs can easily be undertaken without the need for any special supplies.
What You Will Need:
- Oval shaped balloons, blown up and tied off
- Newspaper or butcher paper
- Paper mache glue (or a Homemade Recipe shown below)
- Acrylic paint
- Tissue paper, glitter, pressed dried flowers, washi tape, and/or other decorative adornments of your choosing
Make it Happen:
- Cut newspaper or butcher paper into rough squares. 2″ x 2″ ish work well, but adjust the size as you see fit. I also like to use longer strips, like 2″ x 6″
- Prepare your paper mache glue (recipe below)
Paper Mache Glue
Papier Mache (French for "chewed paper") is a substance that can be easily molded when wet, then dried, resulting in hard, plater-like creations that can be painted or otherwise decorated. Because of the soggy nature of the raw material, some sort of form is usually required to hold the piece's shape while it dries. Balloons are perfectly suited for this application
- 1 cup of white flour
- 1 ½ cup of room temperature water
- ½ tablespoon salt
- Mix flour, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk until lump-free.
- Bring to just boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Be sure to watch carefully as it begins to thicken, and keep stirring to make sure that the glue doesn't burn.
- As soon as it starts to bubble, remove the pan from the heat and allow the paste to cool, stirring frequently to speed the cooling process.
CAUTION: Glue will be extremely hot. Allow to cool completely before proceeding to the next step.
- Dip a piece of paper into the glue, allowing excess to drip off. There should be enough glue on the newspaper for the entire paper to be completely saturated.
- Place paper onto the balloon and smooth out.
- Repeat until the balloon is completely covered with one to two layers of paper, leaving just a small quarter-sized hole exposing the stem of the balloon. Do not apply more than a couple of layers of paper in one session; the paper needs to dry completely and relatively quickly to prevent molding and ensure a hard finish.
- Leave in a well-ventilated place to dry overnight. Hanging the balloon from a piece of yarn tied to the stem is recommended, but not required. Dispose of unused glue (used glue presents a mold risk).
- Repeat steps 2-6 several times until the balloon is covered with four to six layers of paper.
- Once the final layer has dried completely, pop the balloon and remove it, leaving just the shell. If desired, a couple of layers of additional material can be applied to cover the hole left by the balloon stem.
- Apply one to two layers of acrylic paint, allowing it to dry complexly between coats.
Decorate your paper mache Easter egg as desired.
Paper Mache Easter Egg Decoration Ideas:
- Create patterns using washi tape.
- Use painter’s tape to create a mask or resist on the egg and paint over the tape. Remove the tape to reveal a fun design!
- Cut pastel tissue paper into circles, stars, or other shapes and apply using Paper Mache glue.
- Press delicate spring flowers between layers of wax paper inside a stack of heavy books for 1-2 weeks. Apply to eggs using Paper Mache glue.
- Apply glitter as usual, using painted-on Paper Mache glue as your adhesive.
Allow to dry thoroughly (several days are recommended). Spray with a couple of coats of clear varnish or shellac to seal in your work, if you’d like. The finished product should last to be displayed for many Easters to come.
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