It’s not often that we test out a whole new material, but thanks to a tip from Parents magazine, I purchased a roll of plaster cloth (available on Amazon), which lets you make the easiest at-home papier-mache crafts ever, no newspaper strips or messy flour mixtures required!
Our first project was very simple so even a toddler could help: a bowl. To set up, I inflated a balloon, cut strips of the plaster cloth, and filled a tray with a little water.
The method is simple, although be prepared for a little mess! Veronika first tried to dip the balloon right in the water, which made it pop! I quickly inflated a second, and this time she realized she needed to dip in the plaster cloth strips instead. I let her have a few to swirl and play with in the water.
For the strips that you’ll actually adhere to the balloon, you only want to dip in the water for about 3 seconds and then scrape off any excess liquid. Press onto the balloon and cover halfway until you’ve made a bowl shape. Expect fingers to turn white and messy, making this the best kind of hands-on sensory art.
I set the balloon aside in the sink, which seemed the safest place for it; the plaster cloth only takes about 30 minutes to dry. Next, I popped the balloon, leaving the bowl behind.
Time to decorate! First Veronika wanted to add stickers, but these wouldn’t adhere to the slightly damp plaster.
We used markers instead, which took on a faded watercolor effect on the plaster. The result was really quite beautiful! Since the bowl is fragile, this particular craft is better suited for display and not storage.
There’s plenty of plaster cloth left over on our roll, so we’ll have to think of another project soon!