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DIY: Halloween Bats and Cats Part 1 – Papier Mache

Following my blog post last week about our Paper Mache and Decoupage Cats and Bats – here is the promised DIY Part 1 – the paper mache / modelling bit.

You will need:

  • Old newspaper or recycling paper
  • Masking Tape
  • Kitchen Roll
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Pan

The Papier Mache stage involves creating a stabling, contoured model with a smooth layer to decoupage or paint in the final step.  This is my ‘quick and clean (ish)’ paper mache technique which does not involve as much paper, the mess of newspaper ink or the need for wire.  I usually put a piece of oil cloth on our kitchen table to work on – as it is easy to wipe clean afterwards (even when the glue sets).


  1. For the bat – screw up 2 balls – 1x10cm diameter and the other a longer version about 15cm.
  2. Using Masking tape stick them together and wrap the masking tape round your structure in pieces until you have a shape you are happy with
  3. Pull up 2 tiny bits of paper as ears and wrap a small amount of masking tape round them until you are happy with the basic pointy ear shape.
  4. The cat uses the same technique but the balls are a bit bigger (15 and 20cm diameter) and I also taped a circular piece of cardboard on the bottom to create a flat surface.  The tail was a twisted piece of paper secured in place with tape too.
  5. Next you have to make your own glue, I have tried and tested a few, and my preferred concoction is a mix of 3 parts water to 1 part flour – mixed in a milk pan and placed on the heat until it resembles thick soup.  Allow to cool and it is ready to use.
  6. I have used both newspaper and kitchen roll to model with and I have found that the kitchen roll is easier to prepare, use and model.  Plus you dont end up with newspaper print fingers!
  7. Prepare your kitchen towel by taking several sheets tearing it along the grain into 2cm width strips.  Get a good pile ready so that you dont have to do this with gloopy fingers!
  8. When ready – dip your strip into the glue, then lay it onto your model, crossing over the strips in different directions as you go – which will create a stronger finish.
  9. Work the head first, then the body.
  10. Make sure the layers are not too thick or it will take forever to dry!
    Leave to dry for 24 hours.
  11. I use a cake rack to make sure it does not stick to the surface, and the flour glue will easily wash off afterwards.

Thats the end of Stage 1 ..  let it dry and Stage 2 is tomorrow

Design copyright – J Pearce and kids! 2012  All rights reserved

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