10 Fun and Easy Papier Mâché Projects

Faux Taxidermy

 Lia Griffith

No longer just a kids’ craft media, papier mache is incredibly versatile, easy to work with, and can be made into chic, tasteful, grown-up projects. Papier mâché also makes great use of your recycle bin and is, therefore, a relatively inexpensive art supply. Once you master building basic forms from balloons, wire, and plastic bottles, the papier mâché possibilities become endless. Start with mini pinatas for a party, but don’t hesitate to graduate to subtle sculptures of succulents to accent your home. Whichever project you choose to create, be sure to stock up on newspaper and school glue for endless papier mâché fun.

  • 01 of 10

    Still Life in Papier Mâché

    Still Life in Papier Mache

    Babyccino 

    Capture the homey vibe of a full fruit bowl, without risking any spoiled food, with this clever use of papier mâché. Create assorted fruits and veg by utilizing balloons, cardboard, and empty containers to build bases, then decorate with colorful tissue paper and paint. Embrace the season and design your papier mâché produce around the time of year (think: pumpkins and squash for fall or berries and melon in summer). 

    Still Life in Papier Mâché from Babyccino

  • 02 of 10

    Papier Mâché Cactus Vase

    Cactus Vase

    The Apple of My DIY

    Double down on the floral decor by turning papier mache cacti into simple flower vases. While this project takes a little bit of practiced papier mâché skill and painting technique, it utilizes recyclable materials (cardboard toilet paper rolls and empty plastic bottles) as the base form, so it’s a great option when you're looking for a low-cost craft. 

    Papier Mâché Cactus Vase from The Apple of My DIY

  • 03 of 10

    Personal Pineapple Pinata

    Pineapple Pinata

     Twine and Table

    Amp up any party with a personal pinata party favor for each guest. Balloons create the perfect pineapple shape, and tissue paper accents look great for a festive luau or tiki night. Fill your personal pineapples with candy, mints, or small toys for a fun celebratory surprise. 

    Personal Pineapple Pinata from Twine and Table

  • 04 of 10

    Gold Leaf Bowls

    Gold Leaf Bowls

    Kelli Murray

    Papier mâché goes chic with this cool, practical project, and a gold leaf finish really takes these decorative bowls from homemade to haute couture. Experiment with different patterns--try strips of masking tape to create stripes--for a cohesive (but not matchy) set of metallic bowls. Perfect to collect your keys in the foyer or as a catch-all for jewelry on your dresser, you’ll have these pretty bowls in constant use. 

    Gold Leaf Bowls from Kelli Murray

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  • 05 of 10

    Giant Papier Mâché Cactus

    Giant Cactus

     Pillar Box Blue

    If you have a large space to decorate, this giant cactus sculpture might be an amazing focal point. It can add interest to a cement patio or sparse front yard, or would be a stunning addition to a sunny entryway. 

    Pro tip: Bring your giant cactus inside during any wet weather; papier mache won’t survive the rain. 

    Giant Papier Mâché Cactus from Pillar Box Blue

  • 06 of 10

    Papier Mâché Cake Boxes

    Cake Box

    Damask Love

    Cake Boxes get miniaturized for maximum cuteness a la Damask Love with this quick project. This craft is a great option for beginners, as you can start with pre-made papier mâché containers. Just decorate to your tastes and use as alternative gift boxes, recipe card holders, or as a place for all your fancy sprinkles. 

    Papier Mâché Cake Boxes from Damask Love

  • 07 of 10

    Faux Taxidermy in Papier Mâché

    Faux Taxidermy

     Lia Griffith

    With papier mâché, you can capture the kitsch of taxidermy without having to source (and display) a dead animal. While this craft definitely takes a more experienced papier mache sculptor, the results are absolutely worth the effort. 

    Faux Taxidermy in Papier Mâché from Lia Griffith

  • 08 of 10

    Papier Mâché Rainbow Vase

    Rainbow Vase

    The House that Lars Built 

    Add a pop of color to your kitchen table with this joyful rainbow vase. Keep your hues pastel for a modern take on the rainbow, or go bold with primary colors and use the vase as a paintbrush holder instead. No matter where you set this papier mâché rainbow, it’ll make a lovely addition to your decor. 

    Papier Mâché Rainbow Vase from The House that Lars Built

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Fruit Bowls

    Fruit Bowls

     Wellnesting

    While you could rely on your trusty ceramic to show-off your citrus, why not go literal and create bowls that look like your favorite fruits? Try painting the cross-section of an apple, or kiwi, or even a pomegranate for the ultimate set of fruit bowls. Be sure to coat your project in a food-safe spray if you plan on storing fresh produce in them.

    Fruit Bowls from Wellnesting

  • 10 of 10

    Papier Mâché Succulents

    Succulents

     Lia Griffith

    Grab a stack of styrofoam and shape into various succulents for a set of trendy papier mache sculptures. The more texture, the better when it comes to these little cactus statues, so don’t spend too much time smoothing the papier mâché over. This is an especially fun project for kids, who will love bringing these cacti to life with a cute paint job. 

    Papier Mâché Succulents from Lia Griffith