The Artful Parent inspired me to break out the flour paste and get messy. I used to do a lot of paper mache projects when I taught elementary art. Here is what I learned:
- Show your child how to dip than squeegee the extra paste off with their fingers.
- If you have rodent issues do not use a flour based paste. My classroom was like the all you can eat buffet at the the mouse and rat Golden Corral. Use a commercial paste or glue and water.
- Make your final layer white paper towel or white newsprint. This makes painting easier.
- After your wee one is done making a mess go in and smooth down your little ones work. Help them fill in the gaps. I do not believe you should alter your little ones art but if it means major disappointment during the big reveal than yes no harm in checking the structure. This is more critical when doing a balloon based paper mache project. I have seen too many students crestfallen when their projects collapse. The paper towel final layer is kind of a great way to ensure everything is covered.
- Cheap paint chips off paper mache so try to use the best quality paint you've got. Or seal with a layer of Mod Podge or similar.
- Salt is suppose to prevent mold. I do not know this to be proven.
Right now they are still soaking wet. Gloppy gooey paste is fun for a toddler so expect a long drying time! Plus it has been raining here so not the best drying environment.
Edit: to see the complete project click here.