This is a fantastic autumn project for your little ones from the very talented Natasha, from Nevie-pie Cakes. A paper mache pumpkin which can also be used as a treat holder. Natasha's own little darlings are 3 and 5 and really threw themselves into making these!
It is really easy to make but does require some drying time. It took them about two weeks from start to finish (but that wasn't every day as Natasha wanted to hold their interest.)
1. Blow up a balloon, don't blow it up all the way as you want more of a round shape. Then squish it a bit in your hands to make it even more round. Tape down the knot.
2. Make up your paste by mixing 1 part flour to 2 parts water. You want a nice consistancy not too runny and well mixed so there are no lumps.
3. Then start stripping.....the newspaper! Put the strips in the mixture and as you bring them out run your fingers down them so you get rid of any excess paste.
It's helpful if you stand the balloons up on old yogurt pots so they didn't wibble wobble everywhere.
You need at least three layers and let each layer dry completely before applying the next one. Natasha says, "We actually needed four layers and I was impressed that I only had to apply the last layer, normally I end up at the table doing craft projects while the kidlets run around screeching!".
4. Scrunch up a few strips of newspaper and roll them in your hands until they come together in a sausage shape, then put on the top of the pumpkin to make the stalk. Take another few strips and place them around the stalk to anchor it to the main body.
5. With a pen make a mark about one third down frm the top of the pumpkin and another mark about 2cm below that. Do the same on the other side.
6. Then with a craft knife cut around the top of the pumpkin, about two thirds up, inbetween the upper and lower marks.
8. Paint your pumpkin. Natasha used acrylic paint, mixing burnt orange with gold to give a slight pearlescent sheen. They painted the inside too. Natasha also mixed a bit of the gold with the green for the stalk. You will need a couple of coats of paint to cover the newspaper, and "as excitement was mounting and patience running out, I used a hairdryer to speed up the drying time. Then like everything else in our house it was given a liberal sprinkling of glitter!", exclaimed Natasha.