How to Make a Paper Mâché Coral Reefs

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Coral reefs are part of the ocean ecosystem. When teaching children about coral reefs or for a home project, make a paper mache coral reef. This will make understanding the subject easier and will give the children an interesting craft project.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoe box or similar box
  • Paper towel tubes
  • Construction paper
  • Latex or similar glove
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Newspaper or lined paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Cut the paper towel tubes into thirds. These are the outer structure of the reef.

  • Roll the construction paper so it fits snugly inside the paper towel rolls. Slip it inside so some paper comes out of top of the paper towel roll. Leave a little paper coming out of the bottom, and fold it outward so the center of the construction paper and paper towel roll is cleared. Slip the gloves through the paper towel and construction paper roll in the middle so the end of one finger sticks out. Connect the material to the shoebox top by gluing the folded part of the construction paper. To keep the paper towel roll in place, glue it to the construction paper at the bottom as well.

  • Mix together one part water and one part flour. If a boiled water method is preferred, use five parts flour for one part boiling water and allow it to boil for three minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to comfortable temperatures. The boiled water method creates a smoother mixture but takes a longer time to prepare and requires more materials.

  • Dip small chunks of paper into the flour mache mixture and put the paper over the entire project. Use any paper, such as newspaper, lined paper or even computer paper. Thinner papers are ideal. The paper mache forms the textured appearance. Put two to four layers of mache. Allow the mache to dry.

  • Paint the mache.

References

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