Make Your Own Pin Activity

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Updated on Sep 17, 2012

Wearable art is a great way for your child to express herself. Papier mache provides a low cost, readily available medium in which to create jewelry, because when \the papier mache hardens, it makes a long-lasting piece of artwork.

This activity encourages self-expression, making it easy for a child to paint a picture of themselves, their pet, personal interpretations of creatures, or fanciful designs. When your child is finished she will have created a personalized pin to wear or give as a gift!

What You Need:

  • Cardboard – cereal box cardboard works fine
  • Scissors
  • White glue, diluted
  • Strips of newspaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Tempera paints
  • Sandpaper
  • Glue
  • Wax paper
  • Clear Sealant Spray
  • Pin back (1 per pin – available at craft stores)

What You Do:

  1. Trace a circle or shape onto your cardboard and cut it out.
  2. Fill a small bowl with glue. Stir in warm water until the glue is thin but not watery. Add glue as necessary. This will be your paste.
  3. Dip several strips of newspaper into the paste and wrap three or four layers around the cardboard. Be sure to cover the cardboard entirely. Allow this to dry overnight on wax paper.
  4. When the paper is completely dry you can smooth the rough edges with some sand paper. You can skip this step if you want to leave the texture as part of your design.
  5. Paint the entire surface white to cover the newsprint and give you a neutral palette, or you can use a different color as your base.
  6. Now you can paint your self portrait, your design, your monster, the earth, whatever suits your creative inspiration! When it's done you can spray it with a clear sealant spray.
  7. Glue your pin back to the backside of your pin and let it dry overnight.

Did You Know?

  • Papier mache was used to make furniture, wall panels and even to decorate armor. Even canoes have been made out of paper.
  • Papier mache dolls started showing up as early as the 1500's.
  • Papier mache has been used in Asia for making boxes for centuries.

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