DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Paper Maché Tiger Book Ends
Make two identical tigers or two different animals for these cute
bookends. Makes a great gift from the kids.
Materials and directions are for ONE book end.
- milk carton
- something heavy (rocks work perfectly and are fun to collect
outside, but you can also use dried beans, dried rice or sand)
- scrap cardboard (the corrugated kind is best) If you only have
thin cardboard, then you can just layer it together.
- ONE OF: white glue, mod podge OR paper
mache paste (1 part flour to 4 parts water... boil about 3 minutes stirring
constantly, add 2 ice cubes and let cool)
- masking tape
- poster or tempra paint -- orange
- black marker or paint
- OPTIONAL: exacto knife
- OPTIONAL: spray varnish
- Prepare your paper mache paste right away so it has time to cool (if
using the boil method). I like boiled paste as it's smoother and
takes a lot less flour (the REDUCE part of the three R's!).
- Print out the template -- the templates are B&W (or you can choose
to do this free hand).
- Cut out the template pieces and lay them on a piece of corrugated
- Trace the pieces onto the cardboard
Cut them out with scissors or an exacto knife. I recommend an
adult help with this as the cardboard is difficult to cut.
Especially the mane (TIP: have the adult cut out a smooth circle
for the mane first and then let the child snip in little triangles to make the jagged edge. This is a lot easier than trying to cut
the jagged edge from the cardboard as you go.).
Cut the top off the milk carton. This may require adult
- Measure the bottom of the carton (it should be about 5
- Measure up the same height on the milk carton and make a mark.
- Cut down from the top until you reach the mark you made.
- Fold over the edges so you have a perfect box (it doesn't have
to be a complete cube, but it helps the kids practice measuring.)
- Fill the box with something heavy (we used rocks and had lots of fun
- Refold the edges and tape TIGHTLY.
(you may notice we are always using this odd green masking tape in our
crafts... er, you don't have to use green -- you can use the regular
Tear strips of newspaper about 1 " wide and as long as you
- Dip in the paper mache paste, but then remove excess paste (I run it
through my fingers to do this).
- Cover the milk carton cube, in no more than 4 layers of paper
mache (I always tell the kids no more than 2 as they always put on too
much *grin*). If you put on more than 4 it will likely mold
before it dries.
- Cover each of the cut out pieces with paper mache (all the way
around). Again, no more than 4 layers.
- While it's still wet, arrange the head pieces together on the front
of the cube.
- Let dry COMPLETELY. It goes faster in a warm breezy place. If
it's a nice day, just stick it outside (just don't forget it if it starts to
rain). It takes a day or so to dry.
- OPTIONAL: apply a second layer of mache. The more layers you
add, the sturdier it will be. We applied a second layer, but we only
did one layer, not 4 this time. That just made sure all the parts
stayed firmly in place.
OPTIONAL: we always use scrap white computer paper or toilet
paper (don't laugh) for the final layer of all of our paper mache
- it takes less paint to cover.
- I find newspaper needs two coats of paint, whereas the white
paper only needs one.
- Toilet paper gives a rough texture which is nice for some
- We used computer paper for our tiger.
- Paint the whole thing orange (we didn't paint the bottom).
- Use a black marker or black paint to add facial features.
- Let dry.
OPTIONAL: cover in a coat of clear varnish. This will
make it last longer (especially since poster paints aren't water
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).
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