Learn how to make a paper mache globe! One of the best things that you can get out of crafting with your children is if it can also become an opportunity for them to learn something new. A paper mache globe project will do just that for you. You can easily make a paper mache globe and teach your kids about the continents and oceans of our world as they paint or stick them on.
How to Make a Paper Mache Globe
Now, sometimes kids just aren't in the mood to learn but this craft is just so much fun that you can be sure they'll come away from it with a good understanding of the world they live in. And, if nothing else, you get to have fun doing paper mache and making a globe that can be used as room décor or party décor as well. Win-win in my books!
Paper Mache Paste for a Globe
The first step in any paper mache project is to make the paste that you will dip your strips of paper in. There are a few ways you can make this paper mache recipe but all of them do the same thing and when working with children, it is always smarter to make the simpler paste.
Supplies - Paste
- Warm Water
- Non-toxic Wood Glue
SAFETY - Ensure you choose a non-toxic brand of wood glue that is suitable for use with kids. If you can't find a kid-friendly glue then skip this ingredient and just mix flour and water. You will still get great results for your paper mache globe but it may just not last as long and will be a little more prone to rotting in the longer term.
Method - Paste
- MIX - Mix equal parts of warm water and flour in a bowl until it forms a paste that has a thin consistency.
- ADD GLUE - Add a few drops of glue to it just to give it a little structure.
- STORE - Use it instantly or store it in an airtight container for 1-2 days. A pinch of salt in your mixture can make it last slightly longer.
Paper Mache Globe
Once you have your paper mache paste ready, you can start to build the base of your paper mache globe. I’ll walk you through the process of making the globe shape first since it always bodes well to leave it to rest for a few days before adding any décor.
More Paper Mache Projects
Supplies – Globe
- Round Punch Balloon
- Newspaper Strips
- Mason Jar
- Paper Mache Paste
Method – Globe
- BALLOON - Blow up your balloon to the size you want your globe to be and set it up on a mason jar with the tied side down. A mason jar works perfectly here because you don't want to cover a lot of the bottom surface area of the balloon.
- COVER - Start dipping your newspaper strips into the paper mache paste and lay them as flat as possible on the balloon. Cover the whole surface area in a thin layer and let dry.
- LAYER - Once the first layer has dried, add another layer making sure it is as flat as possible, and let dry again. You may need to do a couple of more layers before your base structure has the sturdiness you are looking for.
- DRYING - Once you are satisfied with the layering, you need to let the covered balloon dry out for a few hours or even a full day. This helps really seal in all the work you have done and gives the paper mache globe a lot more sturdiness.
Decorating Your Paper Mache Globe
Now that we have the structure done, we can move on to decorating and for that, we have a few options, ranging from minimal paper mache globes to globes that you can use for décor as well. At the end of the day, this is a creative project and you can decorate your globe however you want to but having some inspiration is always a good idea.
The simplest way to decorate a paper mache globe is to paint it with some acrylic paints. This décor method works well if you're crafting with smaller children and you don't have much time. It also allows for a greater creative room with what tools and colors you can use.
- Acrylic Paints - Blue, Green, Brown
- Paint Brushes
- Clear Top Coat
- Sketching Pencil
- BLUE - Get your dry base structure and start by painting it blue all over. You may need a few coats of blue paint to get the right opacity.
- GREEN - Once the blue layer has dried, start sketching out the outline of the continents with a pencil. Then you can fill them in with the green acrylic paint and let that dry.
- BROWN - Add some details around the continents with the brown paint before letting the globe completely dry.
- OPTIONS - If you don't want to go the traditional decor route, you can always use any colors you want and let your kids paint as they please. A good idea is to do hand painting to create a paper mache globe that will be a sweet keepsake for you and your family.
- TOPCOAT - Lastly, add a clear topcoat to seal all your hard work.
- DRYING - Once dry, your globe is ready to be used!
Acrylic Paints and Printable Continents
If you want more accuracy on your paper mache globe, you can decorate it with printed continents and acrylic paints. You can find so many of these printables online ranging from simple bold shapes to more detailed shapes. This is an easy way to ensure your globe is accurate and saves you the time you may have spent drawing the continents by hand.
- Acrylic Paints
- Printed Continent Shapes
- Modge Podge
- Foam Brush
- Paint Brush
- BLUE - Just like the first decorating option, you want to get your base structure and start by painting it with blue acrylic paint. You may need a few coats to get the desired opacity.
- PRINTING - Once the paint has dried, you can then start sticking on your printed continent shapes. For each shape take some modge podge and apply it to the surface of the balloon and the bottom area of the printable. Stick it on and let it dry. Do this for all the shapes you have.
- TOPCOAT - Once you feel like the shapes have dried out, cover the whole globe in a thin layer of modge podge. This last layer will help keep the printed continents flush with the globe and protect all your hard work in the process.
Light-Up Paper Mache Globe
Now, this decorating method seems more advanced but in reality, it is very easy and yields a result that looks stunning. A light-up paper mache globe can be used as a night light for a kid's room, it can be used as party décor or you can just simply use the lights to teach kids where the population centers are.
- Battery operated tea light candles (CAUTION - don't use ones with a real flame as they may catch your globe alight! Also make sure the battieries inside are secure if you have young children as they can be a serious hazard. Not suitable for really young children. )
- Skewer or any sharp-pointed object
- Acrylic paints
- A needle
- Masking tape
- Modge Podge/ Clear topcoat
- DEFLATE - Get your finished base structure and carefully pop the balloon with a needle. Because of the Mason jar, there should be a bit of space that is left uncovered and that is from where you can pop the balloon easily. Once the balloon has deflated, you can take it out carefully and patiently.
- PAINT - Start painting your globe with a few layers of blue acrylic paint, drying completely between each coat until the desired opacity is reached. Then paint on the green continents and add any details you want with brown or yellow acrylic colors.
- MASK - Once the paint has fully dried, take your masking tape and gently place it on all the places that you intend on punching holes in. The masking tape will help you get an accurate hole and not damage any other parts of the globe.
- PUNCH - Take your skewer and start poking in holes wherever you want or follow a pattern with the continents and their population centers.
- TOPCOAT - An additional step that can seal in all your hard work is to cover the globe in a light layer of modge podge or clear top coat and let that dry.
- LIGHT UP - Now comes the fun part! Turn your battery operated tea light candle on and place it on the flat surface. On top of the tea light place your globe and voila! Your light-up paper mache globe is done and it looks great!
- ENJOY - You can use this anywhere in your home.
Paper Mache Globe – In Conclusion
A paper mache globe is not very hard to make but can provide hours of fun and learning for you and your kids. You need a few simple supplies and you’re on your way to making a piece that can be used as home décor, party décor, or just something to keep in your memory box. You can decorate the globe however you want as well, you can paint it, glue stuff on it, or have it light up. The creative room you have with this paper mache project is immense and it really is the perfect way to let your creativity flow. Whether you make this paper mache globe by yourself, or you make it with your kids, this handy post will help you create beautiful memories all the while creating stunning paper mache globes.