I’m not going to lie, these weren’t that easy and took about a week to complete (allowing for drying time and lapses in our ability to concentrate on what became a rather gargantuan task). I was also the sole member of our team left to put on the tin foil on the inside – the fun of sticking had long gone for my kids.
Having said that, I was initially inspired to give it a go after seeing the amazing effort by MudPieFridays. My 7-year-old and 5-year-old made theirs at the same time, which proved a little difficult when they both needed help simultaneously…
Despite low expectations, I was intrigued to see if we could pull-off something similar using stuff that we already had around the house, so we found two balloons and a roll of packing paper left over from when we moved house. The paper was thin and there was lots of it, so it seemed great for the job.
We then mixed some flour/salt/water to make the paper mache mix (with a ratio of 1:1 flour to water and 3 tablespoons of salt to prevent the finished piece going mouldy). The plan was to do 3 layers, let it dry completely and then do 3 more layers (but by the end of it we had paper mache delirium, so who knows exactly how many layers went on each…).
On the first evening, I looked back at the original post when I was unconvinced that our soggy-papery-balloons (1) would ever dry hard enough to hold their shape once the balloon was popped. Only then did I see the small (but critical) detail that MudPieFridays used plaster bandages (AKA plaster of Paris). This gave not only a pristine finish, but would harden to rock.
As we’d started, I thought we might as well finish (and the boys wanted to do the balloon-popping bit). They were very excited when all the layers had been put on and our interest in soggy paper had well and truly waned (it’s pretty unpleasant to have salty gloop on your hands if you happen to have any cuts). By this point, it was just me and my eldest soldiering away. My youngest had wandered off to play Lego, telling me “I’ll come back in 10 minutes to see how you are getting on” (…OK, boss-man).
Once the paper mache had completely dried (2), we popped the balloons and I used a Stanley knife to cut a larger circle to put their heads through and another for them to look out of. Then it was time to paint (3) and they went with various wacky designs (my eldest drew around an egg cup for the circles, which he painted red). The horns on the black and red one were from the inside of an egg box.
After that we (or I should say ‘I’…) finished the edges and lined the inside with tin foil (4).
Then, the guys ran outside with them on the rampage. We’ll see how long they last 😉
Other Space-inspired crafts: