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papier mache bracelets

I’ve had three projects on the go for the last week, nothing finished!! so when Molly was home sick unexpectedly from school today we decided to do some ‘girlie’ stuff and finish one of the projects – decorate her new papier mache bracelets.

This is a really quick and simple craft to pull out of the bag on rainy days, girlie playdates or craft parties. All you need is a cereal box, some newspaper or left over wrapping paper, pva and some bright and contrasting paint to finish.

please read on to see the step by step photos (and my first ‘attempt’ at making a stop-motion video…. cheesy grin, I’ve been crushing over this animation style for absolute ages :)-

Step One
Bangles – Cut narrow strips of card from the cereal box, curve it around in your fingers and by slipping it on and off over your child’s knuckles decide on the diameter of the bracelet. Staple or cellotape the ends together to this diameter. Remember the bracelet shape will bulk up with the papier mache layer to allow for some give. Fold some newspaper on it’s length to create a thicker band to run over the cardboard and cellotape to the cardboard at intervals all around the curve.

The slimmer bangle is made by twisting a length of paper and securing the ends with tape.

Step Two
Tear newspaper or kitchen paper into strips about twice the width of the bangles.
Prepare your paste – just a small amount will do. I always use wallpaper paste with some pva added for papier mache projects but pva with a little water added will do just fine. Smooth on the papier mache layers on the bangles, wrapping the strips around from inside and outside and don’t be afraid to get messy and smooth on the paper with your fingers. Using your fingers you can get the paper to sit solidly on the surface, no air bubbles, and is so much faster than using a brush – I never use a brush.
Step Three
Leave the finished bangles overnight to dry (what works for me is leaving papier mache projects on a wire cooling tray you would use for baking, so they are lifted up off any surface and the air can circulate around the base too)

Step Four
Squeeze out a selection of paint colours onto a paper plate with a separate brush for each colour and let them off – stripes, polka dots, swirls, anything goes…. and the wider bangles would look great with mini paintings curving around the surface (Molly didn’t bite at that suggestion!! I wasn’t to interfere :)

AND NOW for the stop-motion video of Molly painting one of the bracelets….. I can’t tell you how much fun I had trying this for the first time, glee. I want to play with this some more……. I think my next stop-motion will be a simple papier-maché tutorial to :)



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