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Old 10-09-2004, 07:59 PM
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Apple Pencil Holder

Whether you make it for your teacher or to hold pencils in your study room, this paper mache apple pencil holder is sure to bring a smile to your face every time you see it!

This is also a good "Welcome to School" gift for an older sibling to give to a younger child!

paper mache paste**recipe follows
strips of newspaper
strips of white paper (3 sheets or so of old computer paper works well)
red tempra/poster paint (or red tissue paper or red napkins)
green felt or green construction paper


Prepare your paper mache paste (directions below)

Blow up the balloon ALL THE WAY and then let all the air out now blow up the balloon a little bit (until it has about a 5 inch diameter) and tie it
blowing it up all the way and letting the air out first, will make the apple more round.

Cover with 2 to 4 layers of newspaper paper mache and let it dry. About 24 hours to dry unless you leave it somewhere sunny and warm
don't cover the tied part (this will be the hole for the pencils.

Cover with 2 to 4 layers of white computer paper (it's much easier to paint over than newspaper!) and let dry

Reach through the hole with a sharp pin and pop the balloon. If you can, pull out the balloon bits

IF NECESSARY: Take a fairly damp cloth and widen the hole (for the pencils) to the desired size (you can see from the photo how large we made our hole). The damp cloth will soften the mache so you can work with it. Be patient and let it soften!

Crush the bottom of the apple so that it stands without help. You won't be able to crush it when it's all dry, so use a damp cloth (or set the apple on a damp paper towel for about 15 minutes) to soften the mache. Then push gently to make a flat surface on the bottom.

Paint the apple red. If you covered with white computer paper, this should only take one coat. If you're using tissue paper or napkins, tear into small pieces and paper mache them onto the apple in a final layer to turn it red.
Let dry

OPTIONAL: Give the apple a coat or two of spray varnish

Cut two simple leaf shapes from green felt or construction paper and glue to the top of the apple.

Add a couple of sharp new pencils and present to your teacher (or to a child who is just starting school).

Paper Mache Instructions

How to Paper Mache

tear newspaper into strips

HINT: always make the last layer of mache with white computer paper or paper towel so that painting is easier. It takes FAR less paint. If you don't do this, consider priming the project with white acrylic paint before you let the kids at it with the poster paint

Make paper mache paste (there are many different options):

OPTION 1: 3/4 white glue to 1/4 water (or if using a good, thick glue, like elmers you can do 1/2 and 1/2)

OPTION 2: COOK METHOD: 1 part flour to 5 parts water... boil about 3 minutes and let cool (my favorite! it's the cheapest method and is nice and smooth)

OPTION 3: 1 part flour to 1 part water. Stir together.

Another suggestion from a mom:

Rather than make our own paste for paper mache, we use liquid starch that is relatively inexpensive. I bought a large jug at the supermarket that we have been using for years. Sounds like it gives the same result as the cooked method. It dries smooth and clear - fantastic for use with gift wrap scraps. We use it with brown grocery bags when we want to create pottery or leather looking crafts.

NOTE: Humidity really does play a factor! If you live somewhere very humid, add less water (up to 1/4 less). I live in a very dry area.

NOTE: if you add a couple tablespoons of salt to your paper mache it will not mold. (Thanks to Marg for this tip!)

Cover your project with no more than 4 layers of paper mache. I always tell the kids 2 layers as they ALWAYS overlap more than they should *laugh*


Once again cover with no more than 4 layers.

continue this process until it's as solid as you want it.
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