How to Make a Paper Mache Shark

Bring a shark out of the ocean and into the house using paste and paper. The basic shape of this paper mache shark is formed using balloons and cardboard to support the paper mache. Strips of newspaper are coated in glue and applied to the shark form in layers. Once the shark is covered in several layers of paper, it is then painted and any small details added.

Paper mache was created to recycle expensive paper. (Image: moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images)

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper strips

  • Flour

  • Water

  • Balloons

  • Cardboard

  • Tape

  • Paint brushes

  • Paint

  • Hanger

  • Clip

  • Craft paper (optional)

  • White craft glue (optional)

Step 1

Make the paste. Boil 5 cups of water in a saucepan. Mix 1/4 cup of flour with 1 cup cold water in a bowl until the mixture is smooth. Add to the hot water and boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Cool completely before using.

Step 2

Create the shark head and body. Use a balloon for the basic shape of the head. Extend the body of the shark by taping cardboard into an oval cone shape and tape to the bottom of the balloon.

Step 3

Shape the nose out of cardboard.

Step 4

Create the fins. Cut the fins out of cardboard. Tape the fins to the body and tail of the shark. If the shark's mouth will be open do not add teeth at this point – the paper mache will make them too thick and they will not look pointed.

Step 5

Cover with the newspaper strips. Apply paste to one strip of paper at a time using a wide paint brush, coating both sides of the paper with paste. Apply the strips of paper to the shark form, overlapping the strips. The shark should have several layers of paper over it. Use more paper to fill in gaps or low spots.

Step 6

Paint the shark. Add the face, gills and other details. If the mouth is to be open, add the teeth by cutting teeth out of paper and gluing into place.

Step 7

Clip the shark to a hanger once it is covered in paper and hang it up to dry. It will need to be dried at least overnight, possibly longer if the paper is applied thickly.


For a shark such as a hammerhead shark, use a long, thin balloon for the body and head rather than a round balloon.

Colored craft paper can also be used for paper mache rather than painting the entire body.

White craft glue can be thinned with water and used instead of making paste.

The shark does not have to be completed all at once. Once the form is covered with one or two layers of paper mache, the shark can be allowed to dry before more layers are added.

References & Resources