Decorating Your Home for Halloween

Paper Mache’ is an Awesome Craft

Decorating your home for Halloween is a fun and memory making family event. As the trees turn a painters pallet full of fall colors and the air is crisp and clear, it seems like the memories of Halloweens past seem to float to every ones minds.

Making Halloween decorations is a great way to make memories and to make your home festive for the new season of fall. There are many ways to decorate your home, booth inside ad out but this article is going to talk about making paper mache decorations to put around the house. To hold special bits of candy, a silk flower fall arrangement, acorns and just about thing else you can think of.

Finding a Form to Use as the Shape Your Paper Mache’ Halloween Item:

OK, to get started, look around your home and find objects that you think would be fun to clone into a paper mache objet d’art. Some things to consider are:

  1. That beautiful ceramic bowl you use to hold fruit
  2. The Carey or Morton salt cylinder in your cabinet.
  3. That wonderful plate charger you have stored in your curio cabinet.
  4. A tray that is a size and shape you like.

It doesn’t matter what it is you decide to use as the form for your paper mache, as long as it won’t hurt it if it happens to get a bit wet.


Object you are using as a form for your paper mache

Old newspapers torn into strips of various sizes

White glue appropriate for paper

A couple of tablespoons of salt

Aluminum Foil

White computer paper or white paper towels

Tissue Paper in the color you want for your object de’ art

Pictures from paper napkins or wrapping paper that you want to glue onto your objet d’art prior to varnishing such as: ghosts, pumpkins, leaves, fall flowers etc.

Spray varnish or lacquer


  1. Cover the outside of the form you are going to put paper mache over with aluminum foil. Be sure to smooth out as many wrinkles in the foil as possible and the cover the edges completely to ensure that the paper mache does not touch any part of the object you are using as your form.
  2. Pour some of the white glue into a mixing bowl and add water to thin it down for dipping the newspaper. The proportion of glue to water will depend on the size of the object you are covering however, typically you use 3/4 white glue to 1/4 water. Add a couple of tablespoons of salt to your paper mache so it won’t mold.
  3. Start dipping the newspaper strips in the glue and water mixture and laying them on the foil wrapped object. Be sure to smooth the paper strips as much as possible when arranging them. Crisscross the strips in layers for strength. The number of layers you add depends on what you are going to be using the object for – the more layers, the more durable.
  4. Use the white computer paper or paper towel for the last layer. This helps cover the newsprint and makes putting on your finish easier.
  5. When you have all of the layers on your object, put it in a warm dry place. Paper mache can dry in the house but it will dry faster if put in the sun outside. You can also dry it in a warm oven. Do not set the temperature over warm and watch the object often to be sure it is not getting too warm. Also, do not use the oven if the form you used is not oven safe.
  6. When you object is dry, remove it carefully from the form and be sure the part of the paper mache that was against the foil is dry. If, not let it sit and dry be fore finishing.
  7. When your object is completely dry, use any left over glue mixture to start adding the torn pieces of tissue paper. When you have covered the object with the tissue (front and back if you desire) let it dry.
  8. When the tissue is dry, you are ready to decorate with the paper objects you have selected. These can be glued on just as you would glue anything (don’t need to watered down glue for this part of the process).
  9. When your decorations are dry, you are ready to shellac your object or use a lacquer.

So, now have a wonderful piece of art and you have made a wonderful memory with your family. Just think, if you had five family members creating objet d’art for Halloween, you now have a house full of ghosts and goblins making your home feel festive and spooky.

The great thing about paper mache is that the objects you make are durable ad can be saved and pulled out from year to year. What a fun time it is when you bring out the decorations form Halloweens gone by ad everyone remembers that special Halloween season -kind of like bringing out the precious Christmas tree decorations every year.



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