- Old newspaper
- A balloon,
- Glass of water
- White flour,
- Pinch of salt
- A bowl to mix the past in
- A spoon
- Cooking oil and brush
- A cereal or soup bowl
- Paints and brush.
- A small stick and ribbon or string
- First blow up the balloon and leave to one side. Cut the paper into strips as shown in the picture.
To make the glue,
- Mix half a glass of water to half a glass of white flour or a full glass of each, depending on your need, in a bowl.
- Put in a pinch of salt and mix until it is a smooth paste, not too thick, rather like thin pancake mix. The salt helps stop mould growing in the mix.
- I also mix in a tablespoon of glue.
- Place the balloon on the cereal bowl to steady it.
- Brush the balloon with cooking oil. This ensures that when the balloon is burst at the end, the outer shell of Papier Mache won’t implode.
- Dip a strip of paper in the glue-mix and lift out running it between two fingers to remove excess glue.
- Wrap this strip of paper around the balloon. When wrapping, hold the balloon by the neck.
- Continue wrapping glue strips around the balloon until it is completely covered except for a tiny space at the neck.
- Leave the balloon on the cereal bowl turning it occasionally as the glue paper dries.
- The drying process will take at least 24hours depending on the temperature of the room.
- Cover the bowl of paste with cling-film until you are ready to put on the second layer of glue paper.
- Cover the balloon like this with three or four layers of glue paper allowing each layer to fully or partially dry each time before placing on the next layer.
- Allow to dry completely. The shell around the balloon should be hard and firm to touch.
- With a pin push it through the shell to burst the balloon.
- With a sharp scissors pierce a hole in the front of the shell and cut out an oval shape.
- Remove the burst balloon.
- The basket can then be painted inside and out and left to dry.
- Tie ribbon or string to the centre of your small stick. Push the stick through the small hole at the top of the shell and allow it to catch horizontally under the roof of the shell.
This Christmas basket is made up as follows:
- Some pieces of evergreen
- Chestnuts painted red
- Garden wire,
- Fir cones with a little white paint on them
- A robin
- Grey Oasis
- Pliers or garden secateurs
- A stone or some pebbles
Grey oasis is for dried flowers and green is for flowers needing moisture. I’m using green here because I haven’t got grey handy. Since your basket is made of paper it will not hold wet oasis.
- Paint the chestnuts red and allow to dry.
- Cut a short piece of strong garden wire and push one end into the chestnut.
- Paint the tips of the fir cones white and allow it to dry.
- With longer pieces of wire bend each end of the wire and hook on either side of the cone, twist the remaining wire down its length.
- Place some pebbles in the base of the basket towards the back to give it balance when you hang it up.
- Place the oasis towards the front of the base.
- Choose small pieces of greenery and push into the oasis.
- Add the fir cones and the chestnuts and finally add the robin.
Other Ideas for the Basket
For Christmas you can put some straw in the base of the basket and place crib figures inside;
- Instead of a large oval opening you might cut several small holes in the shell and place a blue or red battery light inside. Because the basket is made of paper you cannot put a candle into it.
- For Easter the basket can have a base of straw on which you place small yellow chickens and Easter eggs using a yellow ribbon to hang up the basket.
- You also have ideas of your own.