This is a fantastic project to recycle and upcycle old paper egg trays, cartons or boxes.
Papier mache is a terrific project for all ages, especially young kids as they can get their hands involved – perfect for sensory development! And a great lesson on how to recycle paper egg boxes! Although a project on its own, this is the primary step-by-step for a follow up project, which you could vary. You can use this papier mache heart for a painting project, a mosaic project...etc.
By reducing what we use, reusing what we do need, upcycling, and recycling something once we have no more use for it, we can all make a small difference to the health of our planet Earth. Follow our easy step by step instructions and see how easy it is to make your own recycled papier mache heart!
Read through all the instructions first before starting this recycling papier mache craft.
The first thing you need to do is tear up your egg trays and boxes, place them in the bucket and then pour water over the egg boxes (enough to cover everything). Allow to soak overnight.
Of the two methods of papier mache, you can already see that we will be doing the pulp version of paper mache in this recycling project.
Having allowed the recycled egg tray cardboard to soak overnight, it should be much softer and easier to work with. You want to use your hands to pulp the cardboard. Squeeze the pulp between your fingers, breaking the cardboard down into finer parts. Drain the excess water.
You can see how this would be great for young kids, the squishy lumpy wet paper pulp is great fun for them!
Mix in the wallpaper paste as per the packet instructions with your hands, again squeezing the pulp through your fingers repeatedly to ensure that the glue/paste is well mixed into the papier mache.
Lay your cardboard sheet onto your working surface and begin to lump the paper mache out onto the card, in the shape of a heart. This will be your low relief.
Once you have a thick layer of paper mache on your cardboard sheet, in the shape of a heart, you can start building the shape up.
Add lumps of recycled paper, papier mache to the shape, building the centre of the heart up the most and tapering down towards the sides. This would be your high relief.
Constantly using your fingers to work the papier mache and retain the heart shape.
Once the basic shape is complete and in high relief, use your fingers to smooth the papier mache surface as much as you like.
With the final shape complete, you want to leave it on the cardboard sheet and allow the paper mache to dry. Depending on how wet your mixture is, it may take quite some time to dry. Leave in the sun or a warm well ventilated room, to dry for a few days.
TIP: Do not leave the papier mache in a cool or airtight room – as it may start to mould!
Once your paper mache heart is completely dry, it is now ready to be decorated for your next craft project, such as painting or mosaic.