Dating back to the Han Dynasty of China in 202 B.C., paper mache techniques have spanned various cultures throughout history. The paper mache method allows budding artists to mold paper into shapes and characters to fit any theme, holiday or interest. Whether studying a unit on ocean animals with children or decorating an ocean-themed event, use paper mache to sculpt seahorses of various sizes. These three-dimensional ocean creatures will make colorful props for a classroom, dance, baby shower or birthday party.
Things You'll Need
Large mixing bowl
Wooden stir stick
1/2 cup warm water
Long skinny balloon
Small round balloon
Googly eyes purchased from a craft store
Blue, orange or brown paint
Small paint brush
Stir 1 cup of white glue with the warm water in a large mixing bowl to create the paper mache paste. Tear newspaper into 2-inch-wide and 6-inch-long strips and stack them neatly next to the bowl. Blow the longer balloon into a long oval shape, tie it off and set it aside. Then, blow the smaller balloon into a small pear shape and seal it. Connect the two balloons by forming a knot with the ties to create a basic seahorse figure.
Dip the strips of newspaper into the paste, coating them completely. Wrap them around the balloons in diagonal patterns. Continue adding the coated strips to the balloons until you have covered the entire surface area of the balloon with two layers of newspaper strips. Tear several strips of newspaper in half and use them to create texture on the back of the seahorse. Dip the small pieces in the paste and pinch them onto the seahorse to form scalloped or triangle shapes. Do this down the length of the seahorse.
Paint the entire seahorse using use blue, orange and brown paint once the paste dries and hardens onto the balloons. Attach the googly eyes on the seahorse's face and add pom poms in between the ridges on its back with glue. To add sparkle to the craft, sprinkle any color glitter over the entire seahorse. Allow the seahorse to dry -- and then use it for play or decorating.
Make the paste with flour as an alternative to glue.
Avoid using glitter around young children who might put it near their eyes.