How to make a Volcano from Paper Mache
For my son’s 7th Birthday we had a Science Theme and he really wanted to make a Volcano he could erupt at the party. I love using Paper Mache so we were on board and besides it was a fun activity we all participated in and fun to create – although we had my son do most of the work.
Some Tips before starting:
- Cover your working area – it gets messy – I use a vinyl Table Cloth
- Have Paper Towels on hand
- Shred your newspaper ahead of time
- Make in advance at least a week to allow for drying
- Have on an old shirt or Smock
First we located a cardboard box to use as our base. Then we took newspaper and crumbled it up into balls and with tape we taped it up until we got what looked like a Volcano shape. We also added in a small glass to the middle of the Volcano towards the top so we can add our mixture for the eruption when it is time. Then we made our Paper Mache Mix and this is the recipe I use: 1 Cup Water to 1 Cup Flour – it is an easy way to do it and it works just fine. You add more or less of either to get it to the consistency you want.
Then the fun begins start dipping your newspaper strips in your Paper Mache one at a time and start covering your base. I would do as many layers as it takes to get the look you want – I would not do any less than 4. We also covered the base a bit to tie it all in. It will take some time, but be sure to get lots of goop on the paper and no need to go crazy getting it all smooth – that is what is fun about creating a Volcano.
Once you have finished covering your Volcano it is time to let it dry. Try to keep it in an area that does not have too much humidity or it will take that much longer to dry. You will know your Volcano is dry when it is hard like a shell and turns a white color. When your Volcano is dry you can now think about painting it. We used Brown for our Volcano, Green for the Base and some White at the top to look like snow.
The kids really liked the painting part too and it did not need to be perfect so even better. We also decided to cut the base in a fun shape once the paint was all dry – it just looked a lot nicer that way. When it was all done we had a great looking Volcano that was ready to be a big part of my son’s Birthday Party. He was so excited that he would be the one in front of his friends to make it erupt.
To make your Paper Mache Volcano Erupt you will need a simple concoction. We added about 1/2 Cup of vinegar with some Red Food Coloring into the cup in the Volcano. My son then had a test tube at the party filled with about 4 Tbsp of Baking Soda. When it was showtime he poured in the Baking Soda and everyone watched as the Red Foam Erupted up and down the sides of the Volcano just like Lava would. It was so worth the time put in and it looked really cool. The smile on my son’s face as he made it erupt was worth all the work.