Christmas paper mache is a lot of fun and we have some easy projects to get you started. Holidays lend themselves to getting creative and there’s no end to the things you can do for the holiday season.
You can create your own tree and table decorations, discover creative new ways to wrap presents and even make your own gifts. We’ve made some great little projects and you’ll find the step by step guide to making them here.
Several of these Christmas paper mache projects are based on those little pro-biotic yoghurt drink containers but, if you don't have those you can get creative and use something else. I think, with a bit of adapting, you could use something like toilet roll middles.
What you need:
Getting Started on your Christmas paper mache projects
My mom and I worked on some of these Christmas paper mache projects together. We lit a Christmas scented candle, poured ourselves a small glass of sherry, and surrounded ourselves with all kinds of colourful paints and papers.
It was a lovely festive atmosphere and it made working on these projects a real pleasure.
Because several of the projects use the same base, we started with those. We used Muller Vitality yoghurt containers.
They were given a couple of layers of strip paper mache just to cover the logos and to create a nice surface to paint.
Once the strips were dry a coat of white acrylic paint was used as a primer and they were set aside to dry.
Christmas Paper Mache Snowman and Santa Place Markers
The snowmen's heads were made using small round balloons. I inflated them to the right size and gave them 3 layers of strip paper mache.
Be sure to tear the newspaper quite small as it can be a bit of a fiddly job and it's difficult to get the surface smooth. I was going to sand mine but then I decided that the bit of texture made it look more like snow anyway.
Once the PM was dry the heads were given a couple of coats of white acrylic and the balloons were removed. The eyes and mouth were painted with black acrylic and the nose was made from a small triangle of card, painted orange.
The snowmen were given an extra coat of white on top of the primer and had black acrylic 'pieces of coal' dabbed on to
The Santa's were painted with a nice Christmassy red acrylic paint and then they were given black belts with gold buckles,
I cut the triangle with a tab on the wide end then cut the tab in half (along the dotted line in the illustration). Then I cut a small slit in the snowman's face with a craft knife and inserted the tab.
I then put a little glue on my finger and pushed it into the head, covered the tabs with it and then folded one to the left and one to the right inside the head just to stop the nose pulling out again.
The Santa's heads were cut from a cardboard tube that once held cling film (Saran wrap).
This tube was a perfect fit over the neck of my little bottle.
You may need to test a few tubes to get a good fit depending on the type of bottle you plan to use for your body.
His head was painted in a flesh tone acrylic, his hair and beard were added and then his face painted on.
I did the hanging Santa's hair and beard just by glueing dry cotton wool on.
For the place marker Santa I soaked the cotton wool in a solution of diluted PVA (1 part glue to 2 parts water). Then I ruffled it up a bit with a cocktail stick and stuck it on.
Choose the method you prefer for your Santas. I can't decide whether I like the fluffy look or the flatter look best.
I used a saucer to mark out a circle on a piece of paper.
Cut it out and fold it in half to find the centre and then cut the circle in half.
Make a cone from each half and glue it together then fold the top over.
The hats were then painted the same red as the body and they were trimmed with cotton wool round the edge and a ball off cotton wool glued to the tip.
Attaching the heads
The heads are made to just lift off so that you can easily get to the treats inside. I found that the round snowman head fitted better if the rim was cut off the yoghurt bottle. I removed it with a sharp craft knife.
Santa's head fits nicely over the rim so I left it on his body. I glued Santa's hat in place and his head just slots neatly onto his body. The snowman's head rests on the cut off neck and I enlisted my mom's help to make a little crocheted scarf for him.
If you're using them as place markers, make your name cards and just hang them round their necks, otherwise you can just use them as table decorations. Fill them with sweets or candy and pop their heads back on and they're ready to adorn your festive table.
Christmas Paper Mache Tree Ornaments
The tree ornaments were made the same way as the place markers but they had the hanging strings added.
Attaching the string
There are two ways you can do this depending on whether or not you want
If you just want to make a tree decoration all you need to do is make two holes in the top of the head and thread your cord or ribbon through using a needle with a big eye.
You can then knot the string inside the head, glue the head in place and you have your tree decoration.
I plan to fill mine with little treats for my 3 year old niece, Amy, to take off the tree on Christmas morning so I needed to thread it so that the head can be removed.
To do this I threaded the cord through the head (and the hat, in the case of the Santa) but instead of tying it off inside the head I made holes in the neck of the body to attach it. Once the string is threaded through you can glue Santa's hat in place but don't glue the heads to the body.
The heads will now slide off the body and up the cord in order to get to the treats inside. I used elasticated cord which makes it a it easier to do but if you have normal cord or ribbon just be sure you make it long enough to gain access to the top of the bottle.
Santa's head covers the knots in his shoulders and the snowman's scarf covers his.
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