Papier-Mâché Globe

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Papier-Mâché Globe
Total Time weekend projects

This paper-mache globe craft is perfect for the classroom or for a weekend with rainy or cold weather.

What you'll need

  • Balloon
  • Heavy medium-sized bowl or large glass measuring cup
  • Newspapers
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 cups of water
  • Medium saucepan
  • Two 7-inch paper plates
  • Scrap cardboard (recommended: cereal box, back of writing pad, etc.)
  • 1 cardboard toilet paper tube
  • Scissors
  • Gesso (optional)
  • Acrylic paint: gold, brown, green, white, light blue
  • Paintbrushes
Helpful Tip:

For younger kids, simply paint the globe with blue and green, leaving out the brown and white.

You can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer or placing the wet balloon near a heat source such as a space heater. If you do this follow all the manufacturer's safety guidelines for using such an appliance.


Gesso is a craft medium that provides a surface for paint to easily adhere to and is available at your local craft supply store.

How to make it

  1. Line your work surface with several newspapers. This is a messy project so you want to make sure you cover everything.

  2. Blow up the balloon and tie. If you have a more oval shaped balloon, don't blow it up all the way, try to keep it round. Place balloon, knot side down, onto medium bowl or glass measuring cup. This will act as a holder/stand for your project.

  3. Paper Mache Globe Step 3

    Mix together the flour and one cup of the water until completely combined.

  4. Paper Mache Globe Step 4

    Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the flour and water mixture to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.

  5. Paper Mache Globe Step 4

    When flour glue mixture is cool, move the saucepan to your work surface. Be certain the pot is cooled completely!

  6. Tear additional newspapers into 1” strips.

  7. Paper Mache Globe Step 4

    Dip strips into the flour glue and run the strip through your fingers to squeeze off the excess. Place the wet strip of newspaper across the balloon and smooth it down onto the surface until it sticks. Continue adding strips until entire balloon is covered.

  8. Cover saucepan with plastic wrap; push the wrap down onto the surface of the flour mixture. Allow balloon to dry overnight.

  9. Reheat the flour mixture so it bubbles and then allow to cool.

  10. Repeat the process of covering the balloon with newspaper strips until a second layer is achieved. Allow to dry overnight. You can do a third layer, but two layers should be sufficient.

  11. Turn the balloon over so that the tied end is up. Holding the tied end, use a pin or another sharp object to pop the balloon. The balloon will slowly pull itself away from the sides of the newspaper, leaving the round shell in place. Remove the balloon.

  12. Paper Mache Globe Step 12

    Paint the globe with a layer of gesso. If you don't have any gesso you can paint the balloon with white paint. This will create a layer of white that will cover the newsprint so the words and pictures printed on the paper do not show through. Allow to dry.

  13. Paper Mache Globe Step 13

    Paint the entire balloon light blue and let dry.

  14. Paper Mache Globe Step 14

    Print out a world map to use as a stencil. Cut out the land masses and trace around them onto the balloon.

  15. Paint the land masses with brown paint. Add some green paint using a dabbing method on top of the brown in random areas.

  16. Paper Mache Globe Step 16

    Add clouds, using a dabbing method with white paint. This is a great way to cover up any pencil lines that may be showing from your tracings. Allow to dry completely.

  17. Paper Mache Globe Step 17

    Turn the balloon over so that the hole where you removed the balloon from is on top. Paint the bottom of the globe, about 2” around the hole with gold paint. Allow to dry.

  18. To create the globe stand, Glue two paper plates together (nested together).

  19. Cut cardboard into 4” squares. These will provide some weight for your globe stand.

  20. Paper Mache Globe Step 20

    With paper plates right side up, glue one square of cardboard to the middle of the plate. Glue another on top of that, offset. Repeat for a total of 4 or 5 squares. Let dry.

  21. Cut slits in one end of the toilet tube, about 1” up and 1” apart. Fold those slits outward.

  22. Turn paper plate over so that the bottom is facing up.

  23. Paper Mache Globe Step 23

    Cover the slits of the cardboard tube with glue. Press down onto the center of the plate. Press the flaps onto the plate until the glue grabs and let dry.

  24. Paint the cardboard tube and the plate with gold paint and let dry.

  25. Paper Mache Globe Step 25

    When dry, line the cardboard tube with glue and insert into the hole at the bottom of the globe. Turn over and adjust so that globe stands straight. Place back onto the glass bowl or measuring cup stand (upside down) until dry.

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