If I could just get all of my "Work in Progress" onto the website, I would have a really big site. I have a big folder of photos of completed craft projects and am constantly amazed by how long it takes to get them on the site. The good thing about that, though, is that when I do end up adding things it's like a little walk through parenting history for me (it's almost as good as scrapbooking!)
Anyways, the girls are 10 and 6 now (I think they were about 7 and 3 when we did this project)
Materials and directions are for ONE book end.
- milk carton
- something heavy (rocks work perfectly and are fun to collect outside, but you can also use dried beans, dried rice or sand).
- Colored macaroni (click here for directions on how to make).
- paper mache paste (click here for directions on how to make).
- masking tape
- white glue.
- Poster or tempra paint -- any color
- Photo of child
- Optional: spray varnish
- Prepare your paper mache paste right away so it has time to cool (if using the boil method). I like boiled paste as it's smoother and takes a lot less flour (the REDUCE part of the three R's!).
- Cut the top off the milk carton. This may require adult assistance.
- Measure the bottom of the carton (it should be about 5
- Measure up the same height on the milk carton and make a mark.
- Cut down from the top until you reach the mark you made.
- Fold over the edges so you have a perfect box (it doesn't have to be a complete cube, but it helps the kids practice measuring.)
- Fill the box with something heavy (we used rocks and had lots of fun collecting them).
- Refold the edges and tape TIGHTLY.
(you may notice we are always using this odd green masking tape in our crafts... er, you don't have to use green -- you can use the regular color).
- Tear strips of newspaper about 1 " wide and as long as you want.
- Dip in the paper mache paste, but then remove excess paste (I run it through my fingers to do this).
- Cover the milk carton cube, in no more than 4 layers of paper mache (I always tell the kids no more than 2 as they always put on too much *grin*). If you put on more than 4 it will likely mold before it dries depending on your climate.
- Let dry COMPLETELY. It goes faster in a warm breezy place. If it's a nice day, just stick it outside (just don't forget it if it starts to rain). It takes a day or so to dry.
- Optional: apply a second layer of mache. The more layers you
add, the sturdier it will be. We applied a second layer, but we only
did one layer, not 4 this time.
we always use scrap white computer paper or toilet paper (don't laugh *grin*) for the final layer of all of our paper mache projects.
- It takes less paint to cover.
- I find newspaper needs two coats of paint, whereas the white paper only needs one.
- Toilet paper gives a rough texture which is nice for some projects.
- We used computer paper for our bookends.
- Paint the whole thing your preferred color and let dry
- Use white glue (liberally) to glue colored macaroni onto the TOP AND
ONE SIDE ONLY! of the project
- If you put macaroni all over, it will break when you put it up against books and make a mess
- if you're making two book ends, put macaroni on opposite sides
of each book end
- Let dry.
- Optional: cover in a coat of clear varnish. This will make it last longer (especially since poster paints aren't water proof),
- After varnishing, cut out photo of child to the same size (or a bit smaller) than your cube. Glue onto the front of the cube.
- We made these bookends for Grandma Doris (one with each daughter) and they're still proudly displayed in her home. It would also make a nice Mother's Day or Father's Day gift.