Paper Mache Kids Craft

For part of our summer homeschool activities, I wanted to do some hands on art/creating during the unbearably hot hours of summer.  We have enjoyed using for review Activa Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit and the ACTÍVA Products’ Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS (a free ebook).

What It Is & How We Used It

We received the kit which contains both Rigid Wrap and CelluClay. And … if you are anything like me, you (may be?) clueless about what either of these products are really used for. So here is my breakdown:

The Rigid Wrap is plaster cloth, comes in 2 rolls that are 4″ wide each, and is used to cover just about anything you would cover in paper mache. You simply cut the cloth to strips in the size you need, place on your object/project, and add water using your fingers to smooth the surface and create!

For an object, we chose to use cardboard from a box we had on hand. Using the beautiful butterfly template from the ACTÍVA Products’ Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS ebook, I cut out the butterfly shape from the cardboard. Then we used the instructions and tips from page 10 of the ebook to create a butterfly!

Honestly y’all, this was so easy and fun! Because my oldest is 6, and I had a 2 and 4 year olds helping, our steps were:

  • I placed an empty dog food bag on the counter just in case we made a mess =)
  • I measured the strips
  • had a helper cut them
  • I wrapped them around the cardboard butterfly
  • then they each took turns applying water to their finger tips and rubbing the plaster cloth to a smooth finish.
  • we did front and back of the butterfly
  • to speed up drying time, we chose to microwave it for a minute or two (wow!  That really works!)
  • then we did the same thing, applying a second layer of plaster
  • speed dried in the microwave, and let it sit to finish drying

Because I don’t believe in “fixing” my kids creative projects, I let them rub it in as much or as little as they wanted/were able. They were SO proud of the finished project. I couldn’t believe how easy this was to do! It makes me look forward to creating more projects with them; there was virtually no mess (yay!) and was something we could all enjoy, even the 2 year old.

We used our tempera paint sticks to paint the butterfly for one reason: my back went out and I couldn’t reach the actual paints … =( haha (and my husband was gone, so he couldn’t get them for me). While the painting job is far from a professional, smooth finish, it was fun to do and easy for my oldest to do on her own.

The CelluClay project was also fun! If I am being completely honest, I am a terrible (I mean terrible) paper mache-er.  I did it one time in high school for a project in my Spanish class and failed the project miserably. I’ve never really been interested in trying it again.

But the CelluClay made it simple, and now that I understand the process a bit better (after having actually used the CelluClay) I can imagine the possibilities are endless for projects!

We mixed the CelluClay as instructed (which is great because it keeps in the fridge- score!).  Then we decided to make bowls.

Now, you probably shouldn’t do like *I* did, and just go creating a bowl from scratch.  It works! Because CelluClay is pretty awesome like that.

But for best results, you could need to have a template of some kinda to adhere the paper mache to (looking back on it, I’m thinking *duh*).  Anyway, we made bowls by forming the CelluClay like you would using a regular clay.  The kids used damp fingers to mold and smooth their own bowls- this was really fun and relaxing for them! I just handed them a ball of CelluClay, they did the rest!

After we were done, we placed them on a cooling rack and let them air dry for a few days. They hardened so nicely! I mean, they are really hard. I thought for sure they would crumble and fall a part- NOPE! They are enduring almost daily play by all the oldest three kids (6, 4, and 2 year olds).

I was really excited to use these products and very thankful for the free ebook that is full of project ideas, templates, and tips when creating paper mache projects. We printed out the pages we needed and kept them on hand during our work; my 6 year old read the directions for me as we went (which is why we just *had* to microwave the butterfly haha).

If you are looking for a fun, endless art activity for your school year this fall, this is a *great* product for kids (and adults) of just about any age; and better yet, you can grab it on Amazon!

What would you use this sculpting kit for in your homeschool?

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