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How to Paper Mache

how to create paper mache projects from start to finish
Keyword: paper mache
Author: Emma


  • paper
  • paste see notes for recipe
  • balloons
  • paint and other embellishments


  • Cut your paper into small strips or pieces.
  • Make paper mache paste (see notes).
  • If you’ve never paper mached before, try covering a blown up balloon. Blow up and tie off the balloon.
  • Dip the papers in the paste and use your hands or the side of the bowl to remove excess paste before sticking to your object. You want the entire paper wet, but not dripping wet.
  • Add the wet paper to the balloon. Continue until you cover the entire balloon.
  • Once your object is covered in paper, allow to dry for at least 8 hours or overnight. While drying, place the balloon somewhere so air can circulate all around it, like a bowl or a cooling rack.
  • Once the paste is fully dry, you can remove the balloon from the center by cutting a small slit in the top and then as it gently deflates it will pull away from the sides or you can help gently pull it away from the sides. Then remove the balloon.
  • If you are planning to paint your shapes first, you may want to leave the balloon inside until you are done painting to help the object hold its shape.
  • Paint or add other embellishments to the outside of your balloon. Once dry, you're ready to display your paper mache project!


See how to make paper mache paste with 2 ingredients.