Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cat in papier mache , part 1

Part 1 :

How to make papier mâché paste .

This lesson will have to be separated in 3 parts :

Part1 : How to make the papier mâché paste . (Only for teachers , art docents or parents)
Part 2 : How to make the cat itself .
Part 3 : Painting and finishing touches .

Grade level : I made this lesson with 5th graders . I know some teachers (or even some parents ) do not like projects that involves messes ....but they are ALWAYS the ones the children have the most fun with ! However you should remember that when the kids want to do something fun , they will be willing to compromise . They will behave themselves during the lesson and they will help clean up the mess at the end ! So relax and have fun with this project =0)

Art concept and skills : This project give the children the possibility to experiment with 3D . I find that students are always very enthusiastic with 3D lessons . They are able to focus much more on their work , maybe because they are so amazed of what they can accomplish .

If you are a teacher I will recommend that you start asking your students to bring old newspapers at school about one month before the lesson . They will be very generous ! Try not to reveal what the plan is ...they will be very curious and excited about it ! You may also ask that every child brings an empty clean SMALL plastic bottle (bottles of Gatorade or juice are excellent choices . (The newspaper and the plastic bottle will be needed for the 2nd part of this lesson , not this one .)

Materials needed : For making the paste you may need different items depending of the "recipe" you choose . (Some people follow a formula using glue , other use wallpaper paste .) Here I am listing the ingredients needed for the "recipe" I use . You will need :
(1) a medium pan
(2) a whisk
(3) measuring cups
(4) 1 cup of flour
(5) 5 cups of water
(6) 2 tablespoon of salt ( to prevent the papier mâché to mold .)
(7) a plastic container to store the final product .

"Recipe" : Mix flour , water and salt in the pan . Boil for about 3 minutes (whisking from time to time and making sure it does not stick to the bottom of your pan ). It will become a little bit like pudding . Let it cool . Store it in a plastic container and put in the refrigerator .

This is the cheapest method and it is nice and smooth .

Resources : As I said before there are plenty of papier mâché paste recipes . I found the one I use on a website called DLTK's Crafts for Kids . You can find more papier mache recipes (with flour , wallpaper paste and glue) on .

Another good website is called The Papier Mache Resource . Besides recipes it also contains some tutorials . Please RESPECT those fabulous artists work ! It is meant to inspire not to copy their work !

The second part of the lesson will be much more exciting and fun. I will try to have it ready as soon as possible .

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