Make a Homemade Paper Mache Planter

You can make so many things with homemade paper mache! My son recently did a paper mache project for school and when I saw how easy it was, I was inspired to make some things of my own! Here are instructions for making a paper mache planter.

To make homemade paper mache, you only need newpapers, flour, and water. My son made a Mardi Gras head, so he used a balloon for shape. For this planter I am going to use an empty quart yogurt container. This is recycling at it's finest!

Before you start, assemble your 'ingredients' on a large work surface. I would recommend covering your table or counter top with extra newspaper or a plastic table cloth. This gets pretty messy! (It does wash out, though.)

  • Several pages of newspaper
  • Scissors
  • An exacto knife, optional
  • A large shallow bowl
  • One cup of flour
  • One cup of water plus a little more in case it is too thick
  • An empty 32-ounce container from yogurt, sour cream, etc.
  • Craft paint
  • decoupage sealer, optional

  • Step 1: Cut the newspaper into strips about 1 to 2-inches wide. They don't have to be neat or even, so don't obsess over it.

  • Step 2: Cut a small hole (1/4-inch in diameter or so) in the bottom of the plastic container for drainage. I used an exacto knife, but you can do it with scissors if you don't have one.

  • Step 3: Mix the flour and water together in the mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Add extra water if it is too thick - it should be about as thick as liquid soap.

  • Step 4: One at a time, dip strips of paper in the flour mixture and pull them between your fingers to remove the excess. Arrange them on the container to cover the outside of it (except the bottom) as smoothly as possible.

  • Step 5: Set it somewhere to dry for 24 hours and wash the bowl so the paper mache doesn't dry in it. If you have some of the mixture left over, put it in an airtight container until you are ready to put the second layer on (at least 24 hours later). It doesn't need to be refrigerated.

  • Step 6: Repeat steps 3 through 5

  • Step 7: After the paper mache is completely dry, paint the planter any way you want.

  • Step 8: To seal the paint and protect the paper mache from moisture, apply a coat of decoupage after the paint has dried completely.

    Notes: I used the container lid, thinking that I could put it under the pot when it was finished, but now I am thinking this was not a good idea. First of all, I don't know if it will be water- proof enough for the pot to drain into, and secondly, it puffed up a little when the paper mache dried since I wrapped it all the way around the lid. I think I will have to use a glass, plastic, or ceramic dish (an old plate or saucer would work) as a draining dish for the plant.

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