my big creative year : paper mache

I have a long, happy  history with paper mache. It’s always been one of my most favorite mediums, I loved it at first sight. I love the simplicity, the economy, and the endless possibilities. I don’t think you need a lot of skill to have fun with it and it invites improvisational thinking. I love to dive in to creating something without  plan – just an idea and a pile of cardboard boxes, newspaper and masking tape. All sorts of problems and happy accidents occur – both spark new ideas. I think it’s good brain exercise. I spent part of this past weekend on an big paper mache experiment that failed dramatically but I learned a ton and  it sent me in a new direction, I landed on and idea that intrigues me, a new approach to a project I’ve been stalled on for months – more on that soon.

In a similar experiment a few years ago I made a classical style bust while I was spending a weekend upstate – just for fun – with whatever was on hand. I like him, he’s silly and and I decorate him every Christmas.

paper mache bust

Here he is in progress – lots of taped together cardboard and bunched up newspaper – I had a blast.

paper mache bust armatureIf you’ve never tried it before I have 2 free tutorials with templates and lots of instructions – paper mache boats and teacups.  The tea cups are lovely for Mother’s day and both make great parent child collaboration projects.


  1. Ruth Hoefert

    i am finishing up my third teacup, haven’t kept one of them yet. They are so fun. I am trying your cardboard horse. I intend to buy the ship pattern for sure.

  2. This is such a great papier mache bust! I am teaching a class and wondered what you used for the base of this bust? Found objects or did you just construct out of cardboard, etc.? Thank you in advance! Jen D

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