Sep 24, 2009

DIY Project – Papier Mache Planets

By: Amy Atlas, in DIY and Templates

In my last post about my son’s space birthday party, I mentioned that Linda Facci of Facci Designs would be joining us here to share DIY tips on how to make papier mache. Linda created the papier mache planets for Zach’s party. Linda is an incredibly gifted artist. She was the design director for InStyle magazine for many years, and now owns her own graphic design boutique in NYC. She also happens to be a master crafter and is skilled in a variety of techniques, including papier mache. So when I was looking for papier mache planets for Zach’s party, I knew that Linda was the person to turn to.

Here are Linda’s DIY tips for creating the papier mache planets…Keep in mind that this is quite a labor-intensive DIY project!

Linda gathered an assortment of round balloons

She then created her papier mache mixture by mixing flour and water

Linda dipped strips of newspaper into the flour mixture

Linda applied three layers of strips to each balloon, allowing each layer to dry in between

On a damp day, this helped speed up the drying process

A closeup of the wet papier mache

Once dry, Linda painted each planet with a coat of white primer before applying the color. Then they dry again.. I love how Linda rested the planets on flower pots!

Linda used acrylic paints. The colors are easy to mix and they clean up easily with water.

The first layer of color. Then more drying time. Linda also added hooks to each planet so I could hang them.

A closeup of Neptune and Venus. With two coats of base color, a second darker or lighter color is sponged on to bring out the texture. A gloss coat is then sprayed on to give the planets some shine and protection.

The eight planets!

To view Linda’s portfolio, visit her site or her blog.

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  • Removalist Melbourne

    It’s very impressive. This project is very resourceful and creative. I love the looking at the finish result. It’s beautiful.

  • it jobs

    I used to make science project for my son, I haven’t thought of doing it this way. It’s a brilliant idea. very cheap and beautiful.

  • Jessica

    Wow! Love the paint colors! Great job! 🙂

  • Sabine, La Marquise des anges

    wonderful project !! thnaks for sharing !!

  • Bridget

    I love them! I can't wait to do this with my son, thanks for sharing.

  • WHOA! These are gorgeous! Stunning paint job. What a fun activity to do with kids. Thanks so much for the inspiration, I'll be linking to this.

  • Kristi

    You can buy brown kraft paper paper mache balls at most craft stores. It would eliminate a big part of this fairly inexpensively.

    It's her wonderful painting though that makes the planets really come to life!

  • Anonymous

    where can one buy round balloons? i love them (as balloons, but they look nice as planets too!), but i thought they were rather hard to come by.


  • Anonymous

    I'm about to take this on with my homeschooling 6-yr-old, so am very happy to have such a great post for reference. THANKS!

    Round balloons are not available where I live, but I found styrofoam balls. I'll still paper mache for a paintable texture, but not so many layers, I think. (another option).

    Up, up, and away!

  • Emerson Skye

    I saw these wonderful planets in Pottery Barn Kids and wanted them, but they are way too expensive. This would be a great substitute project. Thanks!

  • Ben Cousins

    Wow! Phenomenal job. Some of those planets look good enough to live on!

  • I love these! They turned out so well. I’ll have to try this. I hope I can get them to turn out as round as yours.

  • cindy

    Great job I can’t wait to start on my project yyaaaaaayyyy! Wonderful staff thanks 4 da idea