My husband and I just returned from an incredible Hawaiian vacation.  As I am typing this my boys are running wild all over the house and I wish I could jump right into the picture below and find myself on this quiet beach.  Sigh.

So I guess the vacation was relaxing enough that I came home ready to tackle a crazy messy art project with my kids.... one that I have been working up the guts to try for a  long time.....  Paper Mache Planets.  Things are pretty low key around our house this summer, lots of lazy days and park trips.... but we are trying to make time to learn about some fun topics and do some art projects.  Last week we learned about space and visited our local Planetarium.  We also made rootbeer float rocket popsicles and began making our paper mache planets.

Mix root beer and ice cream and freeze... yummy

The boys are "walking on the moon" at the Planetarium.

First we blew up 8 balloons.  We blew them up according to their size (small, medium, large):
Mercury: small
Venus: small
Earth: small
Mars: small
Jupiter: large
Saturn: large
Uranus: medium
Neptune: medium

Then we cut up the newspaper in strips, but they seemed to be harder to dip into the paste so we cut up rectangles about 4 in. x 3 in. instead.

I found all sorts of different recipes for paper mache online and most of them either called for a mixture of glue and water or flour and water.  So I decided to mix in glue and flour and water.  I did equal parts glue and flour and then added enough water to make it about the consistency of syrup.

We dipped the newspaper in the paste and then wiped off the excess back into the bowl and then applied the newspaper to the balloons.  It got VERY MESSY, this project takes lots of patience!  I tried not to worry about perfection and just let my kids figure it out.  The planets definitely ended up a little lumpy but I think that just adds to their character.  Planets are not perfectly round anyway right??  My kids tried to overlap the pieces a little bit so that they did not leave any open spots, but they did miss a few spots that I made sure to cover.

The newspaper seemed so soft on the balloons that I worried they would never harden enough to keep their shape.  However they did harden right up.  They took about 24 hours to dry and be ready for painting.  

 We just painted them today and we are now waiting for them to dry so we can hang them in the boy's  bedroom.  The boys are quite proud of themselves.  I will post pictures on the last half of the project later this week.


  1. Very cool! My boys would love that but I don't know that I have the patience :)

    Congrats on an amazing vacation!

  2. Glad to see you back, your vacation looked amazing! Paper mache scares me too! :)

  3. Glad you had a relaxing vacation. I remember making paper mache things when I was young. I'm glad the boys had fun making the planets to hang in their room. Kudos to Mom for her patience and determination to make paper mache planets. The know the boys will remember this project. :)