|Getting in the mood for creativity.|
What is papier-mâché? It literally means, chewed paper in French. To you and I, paper mache is a sculpture technique using strips of newspaper, starch or glue, and some sort of form to support the soaked newspaper strips.
It's a messy but fun project. I've done this project before and with a large number of children it's madness. But I figured since we're working with a small subject (a heart) and only three kids, it should be a walk in the park.
For this particular project, I decided to use clay as the base of our shape, just like the original project did. This way, I gave my kids the chance to play with moist clay, which is always soothing and therapeutic.
Think I'm kidding (or crazy)?
Sit down a group of rambunctious kids with some clay and in a few minutes you'll have them all quietly shaping their clay, in total Zen mode.
What You'll Need:
- modeling clay
- bottle of concentrated liquid starch such as Sta-Flo.
- bowl for starch
- newspaper (torn into strips)
- white primer (liquid or spray can)
- craft paint
- paint brushes
- #11 x-acto blade (or sharp cutting tool)
- Mod Podge (I like Sparkle)
|Your modeling clay should be moist enough to shape without a lot of water.|
|Make sure your heart isn't too flat--it should be nice and plump because you'll be cutting it in half to make your box.|
|Important: Make sure you completely wrap your clay heart in plastic wrap before you begin to paper mache over it.|
|Look how focused their little faces are! Love these guys.|
Everyone uses a different paper mache formula. I used to mix liquid starch with equal parts water. Now I'm too lazy. I just use straight liquid starch and pour it in a bowl. It's cheap, easy and does the job. Paper mache is as simple as dunking your newspaper strips into the starch liquid, squeegeeing (is this even a word?) off the excess liquid back into the bowl and then wrapping the strip around your object. You will repeat this process until the entire object is covered. I usually do two or three layers to make it extra sturdy. This is what your paper mache heart will look like. Isn't it cute?
|Let it dry. Flip the heart to ensure both sides are completely dry. Mine took a couple of days because of the weather.|
|Using a white primer will prepare the surface for the craft paint. You can either brush it on or use a spray can.|
|Once the primer is dry, place it on its side and cut it open with x-acto blade. Make sure your line is straight all the way around--this is how you're going to achieve your box.|
|Now you have a top and bottom to your heart box.|
Once you cut the heart into two pieces, you can pop out your plastic-wrapped heart. All you have to do is remove the plastic wrap and it's totally reusable--just throw it back into your clay stash.
Okay, now for the fun part.
Can I share a little secret with you? Since my husband and I are both artists, we have a ton of professional artist grade paint that is amazing. But I always bypass it when I do crafts because I have a love affair with craft paint. Folk Art, Craft Smart, Martha Stewart, Americana brand--I don't discriminate. I can't get enough of the little 2 oz. bottles of goodness. They come in so many great colors and they usually cost less than a dollar.
What can I say? Craft paint is my jam.
Start painting your heart boxes! We painted layers of solid colors and patterns like stripes, polka-dots, hearts within hearts--encourage your kids to get creative with their designs. Once the paint is dry, add a coat of your favorite Mod Podge finish. Sparkle never hurt nobody, ya'll.