Costume-Making Tips: How To Papier Mâché

Papier mâché creations: limited only by the imagination (and the laws of physics). For committed do-it-youselfers, papier mâché is the costume craft of choice. It's pliable,easy and kid-friendly, plus it's fun to watch your ideas take shape.

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Blink and you'll miss Halloween!  If you haven't started making a costume, now is the time. Of course you could go to Rickey's, but it's still not too late to create a great homemade costume. For committed do-it-youselfers,  papier mâché is the costume craft of choice. It's pliable,easy and kid-friendly, plus it's fun to watch your ideas take shape.

 

Here's How:

 

Create a mold: You can use a balloon, rolled-up masking tape, cardboard, or anything else you've got on hand. The recycle bin is a treasure trove of mold-making material. You can use pieces of cardboard taped on top of the mold to give it depth (cheekbones, eyebrows, etc.). If you have 'appendages' like horns, reinforce with a wire hanger from inside. Make the paste: Once you've got your mold in place (think a rough outline of Frankenstein's head, for example), its time to create the paste. A basic papier mâché paste is composed of 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of flour, and 5 cups of lightly boiling water. First mix the flour and water together until runny, then stir in the boiling water and let the paste cool. (You can also use 2 parts basic white glue to 1 part water, liquid starch, or wallpaper paste)

 

Begin Crafting:  Tear up newspaper or old computer paper into strips, dip the strips into the paste and run through your fingers to dispose of excess paste, then apply to the mold. You can use shiny paper as a top layer and you don't have to use paint later.

 Let dry then paint: Let the papier mâché mold dry completely after each layer. You can use some the paste pulp to give your creation greater detail.

Once it is completely dry, apply paint, and voilà, you're ready for the parade!

 

Want more help?  Check YouTube for videos-- there are over 2,000 videos about paper mache!

 

Making a costume for Halloween? We'd love to post some photos of your costume-making process on our Facebook page. Send them to