Paper Mache

Ref: C3741258

In this course you will make sculptures from paper mache and paper pulp. With my guidance you will create objects, such as colourful animals, decorative bowls, and expressive heads. Priming, painting and decorating are the final stages in this process.

Course aim

In this course students will gain skills for making sculptures out of paper mache. They will explore different techniques to construct 3D objects and then paint and decorate them.

Who is the course for?

No experience is needed for this course. The student should be able to independently build layers of paper strips using paste/glue.

What topics will this course cover

1. Health and Safety. 2. The working materials will be introduced 3. The preparation of the materials will be explained (e.g. the properties of different types of paper and paste/glue. 4. A provisional base for the sculpture is either chosen (e.g. a glass bowl or a balloon) or is constructed by using wire mesh, card board and tape 5. Paper application techniques and layering are demonstrated 6. Different possibilities for surface structures are presented (textured/smooth). 7. The object is left to dry and once dry, it will be shown how it can be primed, painted and decorated.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. Build a basic 3D structure with newsprint, cardboard, tape and wire mesh 2. Demonstrate how to create a solid surface from paper strips and paste 3. Use a primer, acrylic paint and other materials for surface decoration

How will I know I'm making progress?

I will be continually observing individual work and offering feedback and making suggestions for improvement. I will complete a mid-way review with each student using the ILP form and respond to the comments.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Students may bring newspapers, cardboard and other useful material for making sculptures. Material fee of £12.00 is payable by fee payers only.

Reading and information sources

If students are interested they can study the media listed below. Books: Papier Mache by Miranda Innes Papier Mache by Juliet Bawden Paper into Pots and Other Fun Objects by Gerry Copp E-book: Papier Mache Art & Design by Jackie Hall Websites:

What could the course lead to?

Students may want to continue with another paper mache course and explore the possibilities of paper pulp as a working material.

Download full course outline

Paper Mache Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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