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Astar's Craft: Paper Mache Piggy

Even though it’s all about the kids today, this is also a great craft medium for adults. I’ve use this as a base for many projects over the years… from bowls to platters to 3D effects for paintings. Fantastic cheap fun!

Things to gather –

News print paper or similar undressed paper ripped into small workable sizes

Tissue paper for finishing top layers

Wall paper paste or glue of your choice or

Flour-water-salt glue – (recipe under method)

For today’s piggy bank, a balloon

Either porcelain paint or chalk board paint + acrylic undercoat + paint brushes

Bowl – marginally smaller than balloon. I use this to place my project and stop it rolling around

Sand paper

Method –

To make flour, water and salt glue –

Into a bowl, add 2 parts water to 1part flour along with 2 tbsp salt. Mix until well blended.

Add more or less flour or water to reach right consistency.
Take balloon and blow up to size desired.

Rip paper into small workable sizes and soak in either the wall paper glue or similar glue.


Apply one or two layers of paper and allow to dry.

When dry, apply another couple of layers and allow to dry.

Once you have several layers down and object is stable, deflate balloon.’

Now you can start to speed up the project. Turn oven to say 120c.

Place project into oven between layers to speed up drying between coats. This will make your work really strong.

The more layers the stronger the project.

When you are almost finished… apply a coat or two of tissue paper.

When this is dry, gently sand surface to create a nice smooth paintable surface. The smoother the surface the better the finished.

Undercoat and allow to dry.

Paint finish completed project as desired.

I really love the chalk board paint which can be used to scribe specially messages/ thoughts.

The porcelain paint – which is oven baked when dry, helps to create as the name implies a beautiful porcelain shine like finish.

Things to be aware of when using this technique….

If you put salt into the glue this will stop work going moldy.

If each layer isn’t completely dry it will take ages and ages to dry and might even turn moldy.

Wall paper glue is great to stop the mold, but it does have a herbicide in it which isn’t good long term for your health.

The best paper to use is plain newsprint as it is more absorbent because it has no dressing or sizing like shiny magazine pages.

As a general aside, I like to do several projects at one time. As one is drying, you can work on the next.

To make legs/nose for your pig, use small cardboard tubes and fix in place with masking tape, before apply longer strips of paper– (like bandages), to hold in place until you get sufficient layers down…