Create a colorful and creative centerpiece for your holiday table by making a papier-mâché bowl with your child. Papier-mâché is an art process that uses paper and a paste to create a form. It dates back to the invention of paper thousands of years ago. She can learn more about this interesting—and messy style of art, and make a beautiful finished bowl fit for the center of the table!
What You Do:
- Invite your child to select a medium-sized mixing bowl from the kitchen along with locating a plastic grocery bag. Have her place the bowl in the plastic bag; press the opening of the bag into the inside of the bowl and smooth the plastic evenly around the outside.
- In a different bowl, help her create the paste for the papier-mâché by slowly mixing together equal parts warm water and flour until it forms a thick paste. She can help measure the flour and water, tapping into her math skills.
- Before working with the paste, place the plastic-covered mixing bowl upside down on a work surface that's covered with a large plastic bag. This will prevent your table from getting all sticky!
- Now she can begin tearing 1-inch strips from an old newspapers and coating them in the paste mixture. Once a strip is coated your child can press it around the outside of the mixing bowl covered in the plastic bag.
- Encourage your child to continue coating strips and pressing them onto the bowl until the entire thing is covered. This part gets messy—but it's also lots of fun!
- Have your kid continue to layer strips of paper coated in paste until the bowl has several good layers.
- Now she can leave the bowl coated in papier-mâché overnight to dry. You can help her place the bowl on a piece of waxed paper while it dries.
- Once the papier-mâché bowl has dried and you carefully removed the bowl used as a mold, your child can gently peel the plastic bag away from the inside of ther bowl. Now it's time to paint!
- Encourage your child to create a sketch for her holiday design. She can use colors, symbols or shapes that highlight the season.
- Finally, encourage her to paint the festive bowl with acrylic paints, following her sketch. Once it’s dry, it can proudly be displayed during the next holiday dinner as a beautiful centerpiece.
Add some simple shiny holiday ornaments to fill the bowl for a finishing touch or use it in an entryway with potpourri to add some festive cheer to your home!
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.