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PAPER MACHE – Recipes and Halloween Projects

Paper Mache  is a wonderful way to create stunning and unique props for Halloween.  Instead of spending oodles of money buying generic items, save money and make your own.  Just remember that you must allow enough time to finish your projects.

Basic Paper Mache Recipe

Always use 1 part flour, and 2 part water and always a pinch of salt. The salt is used to prevent molding. Make sure that you allow enough dry time to any paper mache piece that you work on and this will help prevent molding as well. Keep mixing until there are very few lumps left. You want it to be runny like a white glue, not thick like paste. Add more water or flour as necessary.

Mold cannot grow without water so make sure your projects are completely dry,  Add salt to your paste o help in he drying proccess

  • Boiled paste is not as strong
  • Wallpaper paste, expensive, contains additives which are possibly caustic or poisonous,
  • Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your paste to remove the unpleasant smell of flour and water.

More paper mache recipes:

  1. Glue Mixture
    Mix 2 parts white (PVA) glue with 1 part water or mix 3 parts clear water glue with 1 part water.
  2. Flour-Water Mixture (Cook)
    Mix 1 cup flour with 5 cups water. Remove lumps. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from stove. Add 3 tbsp sugar. Let cool before use.
  3. Liquid Starch – Use as is. Add a bit of water if necessary.

Types of paper

  • Newspaper – traditional, torn strips not cut. Torn paper blends in better.
  • Butchers paper, kraft paper, paper bags
  • softer papers, like paper towels and even tissue paper – good for texture and special effects.

Frame construction

Balloons – All sizes and shapes are great to use as bases of round designs. A balloon is also a perfect base for a pinata. Watch this how-to video to learn more about using balloons for paper mache projects.

Cardboard – Corrugated cardboard is great to make bases for projects; and lightweight cardboard, like from cereal boxes, works well for adding smaller details.

Chicken Wire –  Chicken Wire is a mesh of thin, flexible galvanized wire with hexagonal gaps typically used to build cages for birds. Because of it’s light weight and flexibility, it is a good material to use to create large  paper mache forms.

Masking Tape – This is great for holding all of the base pieces together while you apply the paper mache.

Newspaper – Besides being a key ingredient in holding your creation together, you can use it for creating details. Try rolling it to make an arm or leg, or crumple it up to make a ball.

Shoe Boxes – Cover one of these to create a special treasure box or use one as a base for a bigger project.

Toilet Paper Rolls and Paper Towel Rolls – Great for adding details like arms and legs.

There is no need to limit yourself to the items above. I bet you can find ways to create a work of art using any of these:

  • Aluminum Pie Pans
  • Blown Eggs
  • Bottles or Jars
  • Cardboard Ice Cream Containers
  • Detergent Boxes
  • Egg Cartons
  • Frozen Juice Cans
  • Juice Boxes
  • Oatmeal Containers
  • Paper Cup
  • Plastic Margarine Bowls
  • Soda Pop Bottles
  • Styrofoam Meat Trays
  • Tin Foil

Visit Stolloween for great paper mache Halloween ideas

Tortured Pumpkins

Tortured Pumpkins


Paper Machepiders

Zombie christmas

While trolling the web for Halloween inspiration, I followed a shiny thing and found something wonderful – Zombie Snowflakes! But, there was more… a Zombie Nativity scene, Zombie Christmas cards and more.  And thus, the idea of a Zombie Christmas was born. The idea that my 2nd favorite holiday, Christmas, could be merged with Zombies and Halloween was unbelievably awesome and oddly logical.

  • Depending on the size of your Zombie Christmas, you will need a dead tree or branches.  Start looking early because they maybe hard to find on short notice. Listen for the sounds of chainsaws to find trees being trimmed. Or,  check out this Twig Tree on Amazon. It is only 32 inches high but is already made and ready to go.
  • 32 inches tall 20 inches wide
  • 8 inch black metal square base
  • Made of plastic

Zombie Snowflakes

You will NEED an exacto knife!

Download Zombie Snowflake pattern

Legend has it that Ben Tripp was dissatisfied with the book cover  his publisher had designed for Rise Again. He started a website to give away alternate book covers for his book and wound up creating some pretty awesome paper products.

Check out this Zombie Nativity scene

Download Zombie Nativity Scene  (it comes already colored)

From Ben Tripp website;

Horror fans have one thing in common: they appreciate the most tasteful things in life. For you, the readers — the fans — we present this elegant nativity scene, creche, or crib.

Bring joy to Grandma’s heart by downloading, printing, and assembling this attractive tableau. It will make her hump fall off.

Zombie Christmas Ornaments

Download templates and instructions

Don’t forget to get Zomb-Aid bandages for Zombie Apocalypse preparedness.