Fun with paper mache

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Updated: 8/11/2003 11:11 pm Published: 8/11/2003 11:11 pm

Paper mache (muh-SHAY) projects can be messy, but they're lots of fun. To make these sculptures, you'll need shapes to use as the skeleton for your creation. A turtle is an easy shape created with a ballon for the body and the toilet paper rolls for legs and the head. By adding a longer neck with a paper towel roll, you can transform the turtle into a dinosaur. You can use masking tape to join the elements of the skeleton, if you need to. Next, have the children cut strips of newspaper about an inch wide, and up to twelve inches long. Have them dip the strips of paper into a plate of glue, then layer on the frame of the sculpture. Cover it completely for a room decoration, but leave a hole 3 inches in diameter on the top of the main body if you plan to fill it with candy and use as a pinata. Paper mache sculptures are sturdiest when they have several layers of paper and glue on them. Once the layering is complete, allow the project to dry for a day or two, in a moisture-free, well-ventilated area. The final step is adding color to the paper mache creation. You can do this with poster paint, or by gluing scraps of colored tissue paper on it. While paper mache projects can be time consuming and messy, they're simple to do, and most children enjoy making them.

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