By: Amanda Formaro
Age: 8 & up
Parental supervision is recommended
This paper-mache globe craft is perfect for the classroom or for a weekend with rainy or cold weather. For extra tips and photos of some of the steps described in our guide, view our papier mache globe slideshow.
What you'll need:
- Heavy medium-sized bowl or large glass measuring cup
- 1 cup flour
- 5 cups of water
- Medium saucepan
- Two 7-inch paper plates
- Scrap cardboard (recommended: cereal box, back of writing pad, etc.)
- 1 cardboard toilet paper tube
- Gesso (optional) (recommended: Liquitex Basics Gesso)
- Acrylic paint: gold, brown, green, white, light blue
How to make it:
- Line your work surface with several newspapers. This is a messy project so you want to make sure you cover everything.
- Blow up the balloon and tie. If you have a more oval shaped balloon, don't blow it up all the way, try to keep it round. Place balloon, knot side down, onto medium bowl or glass measuring cup. This will act as a holder/stand for your project.
- Mix together the flour and one cup of the water until completely combined. (See photo.)
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the flour and water mixture to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. (See photo.)
- When flour glue mixture is cool, move the saucepan to your work surface. Be certain the pot is cooled completely! (See photo.)
- Tear additional newspapers into 1” strips.
- Dip strips into the flour glue and run the strip through your fingers to squeeze off the excess. Place the wet strip of newspaper across the balloon and smooth it down onto the surface until it sticks. Continue adding strips until entire balloon is covered. (See photo.)
- Cover saucepan with plastic wrap; push the wrap down onto the surface of the flour mixture. Allow balloon to dry overnight.
- Reheat the flour mixture so it bubbles and then allow to cool. (See photo.)
- Repeat the process of covering the balloon with newspaper strips until a second layer is achieved. Allow to dry overnight. You can do a third layer, but two layers should be sufficient.
- Turn the balloon over so that the tied end is up. Holding the tied end, use a pin or another sharp object to pop the balloon. The balloon will slowly pull itself away from the sides of the newspaper, leaving the round shell in place. Remove the balloon.
- Paint the globe with a layer of gesso. If you don't have any gesso you can paint the balloon with white paint. This will create a layer of white that will cover the newsprint so the words and pictures printed on the paper do not show through. Allow to dry. (See photo.)
- Paint the entire balloon light blue and let dry. (See photo.)
- Print out a world map to use as a stencil. Cut out the land masses and trace around them onto the balloon. (See photo.)
- Paint the land masses with brown paint. Add some green paint using a dabbing method on top of the brown in random areas.
- Add clouds, using a dabbing method with white paint. This is a great way to cover up any pencil lines that may be showing from your tracings. Allow to dry completely. (See photo.)
- Turn the balloon over so that the hole where you removed the balloon from is on top. Paint the bottom of the globe, about 2” around the hole with gold paint. Allow to dry. (See photo.)
- To create the globe stand, Glue two paper plates together (nested together).
- Cut cardboard into 4” squares. These will provide some weight for your globe stand.
- With paper plates right side up glue one square of cardboard to the middle of the plate. Glue another on top of that, offset. Repeat for a total of 4 or 5 squares. Let dry. (See photo.)
- Cut slits in one end of the toilet tube, about 1” up and 1” apart. Fold those slits outward.
- Turn paper plate over so that the bottom is facing up.
- Cover the slits of the cardboard tube with glue. (See photo.) Press down onto the center of the plate. Press the flaps onto the plate until the glue grabs and let dry. (See photo.)
- Paint the cardboard tube and the plate with gold paint and let dry.
- When dry, line the cardboard tube with glue and insert into the hole at the bottom of the globe. Turn over and adjust so that globe stands straight. Place back onto the glass bowl or measuring cup stand (upside down) until dry. (See photo.) Turn over and display.
- Liquitex Basics Gesso is a craft medium that provides a surface for paint to easily adhere to and is available at your local craft supply store.
- For younger kids, simply paint the globe with blue and green, leaving out the brown and white.
- You can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer or placing the wet balloon near a heat source such as a space heater. If you do this follow all the manufacturer's safety guidelines for using such an appliance.