‘Ugly’ Paper Mache Monsters

monsters-1024x641This is a new project I just tried out with my afterschool paper mache class. It’s based on those super thick Capri juice boxes that I’ve been hoarding all year. I taped a pair together both side by side and on top of each other to give the students a choice of monster shapes to build on.

1. PREP WORK: Tape pairs of boxes together with packing tape, some on the wide side to make a long rectangle (left), and some on the thin side to make a large square (right). For the first class, the students use newspaper and mache to cover the boxes and hide any seams. Let dry until hard to the touch.

2. PREP WORK: Glue small plastic cups for eyes and legs with craft glue and let dry before next mache session. Note: plastic or styrofoam is better than paper as it doesn’t “wilt” under the weight of too much mache. For class two, the students use large squares of paper towel with mache to cover roughly the bottom half of the monster. Let dry until hard to the touch.

3. PREP WORK: Cut curved ear shapes from large styrofoam cups and tape to top corners of the monster. For class, the students use paper towels again with mache to complete the top coverage of the monster. Let dry until hard to the touch.

4. Paint time! I like the inexpensive Michael’s brand of acrylic paints that come in really bright colors. I recommended to the kids that they paint a base color first and then add details on top. Let dry. To add a bit of shine at the end, a layer of Mod Podge could be added to the surface.

Thank you Ella (monster left) and Audrey (monster right) for letting me share your artwork. Can you believe they are both just in 1st grade?