April 24, 2019

Paper Mache Made Easy(ish)

I decided to skip my "Ugly Doll" lesson with my 4th graders this year for multiple reasons, but wanted to have something fun, exciting, affordable, and where they would find a great deal of success no matter the ability level.  I decided to do paper mache masks!  I've not done this project in a number of years, but am excited to see it progress.  This week is just the 1st stage.  We start the lesson with a Power Point on masks from around the world We looked at & discussed functional, decorative, ceremonial, and party masks.  After that intro we jumped into creating the base of the mask.  My plan is next week that we'd start the class with a "think sheet" so they could come up with their idea for their mask & plan it out before going any farther with the base.

I scored  roll of paper towels to use for the paper mache.  I know I could have used news paper, but the softness of the paper towel allows for a much smoother surface.  

I'm using foam faces I acquired from a district art camp I did many many years ago.  I cover them with aluminum foil for a few reasons.  It protects the Styrofoam. It makes clean up easier.  It adds support and you pull the masks off the face forms.  Because I need to create with a new class each day...I have to pull the paper mache faces off before they are 100% dry.  The aluminum gives it a bit more support. 

I use liquid starch for the adhesive.  It is affordable, easy to clean up, and works well!!

This is what the back looks like once I pull it off the form.

Here is a front view of the paper mache.

I have students paper mache their name on at the very end so we can keep track of who's is who's. 

Thinking about brushing on a coat of Mod Podge Matte finish to make sure everything stays in place.  

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