Papier Mache Vases – Solomon Style Reply

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By Leigh Pirie

During the school holidays I was searching for activities for my very crafty 5 year old which would keep her attention for a large chunk of time and didn’t require many objects which I couldn’t acquire from the shops. I found this papier mache recipe online and was able to start this activity with objects we had in the pantry.

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  1. Glue: Make a simple, thin glue from flour and water. Mix 1/2 cup of flour into 1/2 cup of water until the mixture is thin and runny. Stir into 2 cups of boiling water (the heating gives the glue a nice consistency, but is not necessary). Simmer for about 3 minutes, then cool.
  1. Tear a lot of newspaper into strips. Strips should be about 1 inch wide or less; the length doesn’t really matter.
  1. Collect bottles or pots you will use for the vases – we used 2 plastic bottles with the tops cut off and 2 Pop Mie pots.
  1. Work on newspaper or a cooking tray to prevent glue going all over your table.
  1. Dip a strip of paper in the flour glue, wipe off the excess, and wrap the strip around the bottle. Cover the sides of the bottle, but not the bottom. Fold some over the top edge to prevent it being sharp. Have at most two layers around the bottle (otherwise, it takes too long to dry).
  1. Let it dry (at least overnight).
  1. Wait until the bottle is completely dry (it may take a few days, depending on how many layers you put on it) and then decorate the vase. You can either decorate it with strips of colourful paper or you can paint it. We used coloured paper for the top layer.
  1. Let it dry. If you like, you can coat the outside of the vase with a clear varnish (this will make the outside of the vase relatively waterproof). You now have a usable vase.

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