What do you do with the newspaper when you’re finished reading it? Try recycling it into a papier mache mask. All you need is newspaper, flour, water, and a balloon.
Blow up a balloon, but don’t pop it. The size of the balloon will be the size of your mask.
This project will be messy, so lay down a plastic garbage bag or something similar to protect your work space. Then, tear the newspaper into strips (these can be long or short—it depends on the size of your balloon). Make enough strips to put 3-4 layers on top your balloon.
Mix together 1 cup of flour and 2 cups of water very well and pour the mixture into a shallow container. Lay each strip of paper in the mixture to soak up paste. Lift it up and run it between your thumb and fingers to get rid of excess paste before laying it on the balloon. Gently run your finger over the strip to press it securely on the balloon.
Alternate laying strips on the balloon vertically and horizontally—this allows you to see which layer you’re working on.
After two layers, allow the paste to dry completely, then, add the third and fourth layers. Put your balloon on top of something that allows air to circulate around it. Allow several hours for your project to dry fully.
Carefully pop the balloon with a pin or needle.
Cut a bit off of the top or bottom or sides, if you wish!
Mark on the mask where you want eye or nose or mouth holes to go and carefully cut them out. Remember: if you are going to wear your mask, make sure that your eyes and the eye holes in the mask line up. Paint your mask or decorate it in other ways—add feathers, ribbon, glitter, pompons, yarn—whatever you have on hand.
What else can you make out of newspaper? Bowls, hats, pinatas, puppets, noisemakers, rainsticks—the list goes on! Take a look inside these books to find other fun things to create using papier mache.