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Let the GAMES Begin: Papier Mache at its FINEST!

Posted by on January 30, 2016

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

~Scott Adams

Yummy! What? It's NOT mashed potatoes? Oh ... it's a mixture of boiled flour and water for our papier mache today!

Yummy! What? It’s NOT mashed potatoes? Oh … it’s a mixture of boiled flour and water for our papier mache today! Looks like we’re in for a MESSY adventure!

This week we’ve been working to build even MORE strength into our paper structures … and … working HARD to build these structures up so that they look even MORE human! We have learned SO much through this building process. Some of our highlights are discovering the power of team work … especially in the midst of a “sticky” situation!

What follows are our insights as we’ve moved through stage TWO with our marionettes. We hope you enjoy reading our thoughts and sure hope you leave a comment  … it’s through your comments that we discover the power of a global audience. It lets us feel excitement and a desire to push ourselves even further with our writing skills when we know that we are writing for REAL readers! We KNOW we’ve “reeled you in” when you feel the need to leave us a comment!

DIVING in ... learning to MILK the paper so that we have just the RIGHT amount of glue!

DIVING in … learning to MILK the paper so that we have just the RIGHT amount of glue!

“We are papier maching out marionettes because if we didn’t papier mache them they would look bad! The easiest part was the eyes because you could just put the eyes right in the hole that Mrs. Renton poked in. The most hardest part was making the nose because I kept messing up. What I learned about papier mache is you HAVE to milk it because if you don’t mild it, the papier mache can grow mold!!! What I’m looking forward to next time is doing the hair!” ~Ryan

“Paper … water … flour … and … finally, salt! Dun, dun, DUUUUUNNN! Oh, and a lot of stirring!!! I really didn’t like the part where it was so, so, so, so GOOEY! It made me SICK … eh! Oh, and my marionette is from Ukraine and her name is Malery. She is adorable and so cute. My highlight is when we went to the bathroom to wash our hands because I don’t like gooey stuff!” ~Mila

Starting with the ARM links ... it's GOOD practice because the FACES are going to take a LOT of patience!

Starting with the ARM links … it’s GOOD practice because the FACES are going to take a LOT of patience!

“On Monday we started papier maching our marionettes! The mache that we were using had flour, boiling water and finally … my most favourite … I mean, Mrs. Renton’s most favourite, apparently … stirring! But, if you want me to say it the fancy way, whisking! There you go … the fancy way. On Monday, we worked on the first layer on the tube which acted like the body and we did the head of the marionettes. On Tuesday we did another layer on the head. On Wednesday we worked on the lips on our marionettes and another layer. And finally yesterday, which is Tuesday, we put on the eyes and the eye holes and of course did another layer. And today, which is Friday, we are finishing up and doing our reflections for our marionettes. The easiest part of the papier maching progress is putting in the eyes because all you had to do was put some plastic eyes in the eye holes. The most challenging part was making the lips because you have to shape them a certain way and curve them to glue them on. What I learned about papier mache was that it is VERY gooey and kind of gross to work with. My highlights were: putting on the eyes and putting on the eye lids because it makes the marionette look like a person inside a juice jug, is bald and has not clothes but it will look AMAZING when it’s done. I have no low lights!!! I love the making of our marionettes so far and I am SO excited to put the clothes on, make the hair and put it on and make iMovies and they’re the stars! If you make a marionette when you do the papier maching you should milk the pieces of paper towel and DON’T use white paper towel or your marionette will look like a ghost! And I don’t think anyone wants their MARIONETTE to look like a ghost. (At least I don’t want my marionette to look like a ghost!) I can’t wait to see what ALL the marionettes look like when they’re done!” ~Sarah

Wrapping the paper over the ends and tucking it in carefully is SO important because we want the string for our arm links to slide through with EASE!

Wrapping the paper over the ends and tucking it in carefully is SO important because we want the string for our arm links to slide through with EASE!

“Today my class did papier mache and first it wasn’t that much fun because the glue was yucky. But, when we did the head it was more fun because it was better. Well, the easiest part was doing the head because the papier mache was so fun and easy. The hardest part was doing the eye lids because it was so hard but someone helped me. This is what I’ve learned about papier mache: if you don’t mild the papier mache it gets so wet that it will not dry at all or never. These are my highlights: that the papier mache was so fun. Well, I have no low lights at all. This is what I’m looking forward to: finishing. If I give someone some tips I will say milk the papier mache very well and do your best!” ~Aboudi

“My marionette is from Tunisia. We had a choice to do Tunisia, Ukraine, India and Peru. We also papier mached them. The glue was made with flour, boiling water and salt. We brought money in. The amount was $2.75 to buy beads and plastic eyes. We milked the papier mache. Milking can be frustrating. The papier mache is messy and gooey. We use things to strengthen our marionettes. We use masking tape and glue. If you were to do a marionette you must mild it or you might get a moldy marionette or it will take a long time to day. I loved getting my hands messy. I can’t wait to finish.” ~Daniel B

Having fun in amongst making a mess!

Having fun in amongst making a mess!

“My favourite part was getting messy with the papier mache because I love getting messy. The hardest part was the mouth because to get the shape of the mouth with paper was hard. My goal for next time is make my hands smoother. My highlight is I’m finished my papier mache. My low light is nothing because everything I did was fun. I’m looking forward to the clothing because I love knitting. My advice for you if you are doing marionettes is never wear your favourite clothes because your clothes will get messy!” ~Madison

“OMG! This feels so goopy, I told my table group. It was the first day of papier maching and I was the first one to dip my papier towel into the papier mache. This is really easy, I said in my head. Well … actually … all I had done was milk five pieces and place them down on the arm links. This is so easy, I said in my head the next day, when I was papier maching the head. The nose was harder than the rest of the head. I guess I just found the arm links and the head easy because they were flat. The next day I thought I was doing good … but then Mrs. Lips moved in and WOW … it took her a while to move in. Then came Mr. Eyelids. Mr. Eyelids was easier to move in but still not as easy as the head! My highlights: getting messy, feeling the goop, milking. This list would go on for the next two pates if I were to write all the things I liked! My low lights: emptiness! I have NO low lights! If you ever do papier mache then here are some tips: try to get it as smooth as possible, don’t get too much glue; don’t forget to milk the paper towel AND your fingers. You have to try papier maching … you’ll enjoy it!” ~Aimee

Well ... they are DEFINITELY beginning to look like people ! Phew! What a relief!

Well … they are DEFINITELY beginning to look like people ! Phew! What a relief!

“Yay! We got to do papier mache. We papier mached our marionettes. This is our last day, but I’m done papier maching it. The easiest part was the eyelids because you just have to fold paper and put it under the eye and over top. I’m looking forward to the hair and clothes and iMovies because I want to learn how to do the iMovies. The most challenging part was the lip because you had to make a bend. That was really hard. What I have learned with papier mache is you need to mild it because if you don’t milk it when you put it on it might mold or it will also not dry quickly and there will be a big wet spot. The biggest highlight was finishing the hands because the hands were really hard. My low light was that my hands didn’t work out the way I planned because there were some lumps I had to take off. If I had to give someone tips, my tips would be to get a big piece of paper towel for the hands because if you have a big piece of paper towel it’s easier to get into the fingers. Grade Three rocks. Can I do it again?” ~Matt

“We are up to eyes because we did all the other stuff. The easiest part was to put the eyes on. The most challenging part was the mouth because it was standing up. I learned that the papier mache makes it stronger. My highlight was working on marionettes. My low light was getting mucky. I’m looking forward to dressing it up. My tips are: work slow on some places.” ~Alvin

I don't think SOME of us EVER got used to the ooey gooey feeling of the papier mache paste!

I don’t think SOME of us EVER got used to the ooey gooey feeling of the papier mache paste! Thank GOODNESS we had TONS of support from our friends for some of the TRICKY bits!

“We’re papier maching our marionettes. It’s so fun because I love art so much. The easiest part was the eyes because all you had to do was plop them in! I love papier mache because it can make paper stronger. Oops! Here’s some papier mache in my journal! I’m looking forward to dressing my marionette because it will be so fun. One tip I would give you is to make sure you always put the nose in the middle of the face because otherwise your eyes will be way too high!” ~Cooper

“Wha … no … it can’t be! Did the marionettes just come to life suddenly? Wow! The papier maching really made the marionette come to life! We are up to putting the hair on our marionettes because we worked our buns off! The easiest part of the papier maching process was getting the eyes in our marionettes because all you ad to do is pop the eyes in. The most challenging parts of the papier mache process was trying not to let the paper fold when you dipped the paper in the glue. I learned that papier mache makes the marionette a lot stronger because when you keep putting layers and layers of paper on something it makes it a lot stronger. My highlights of this process is getting messy because I like to get all dirty. My low light was when people would flick. I am looking forward to putting the final thing on my marionette structure. If I could give tips to someone who was building a marionette I would tell them: do not lose your patience and don’t give up. I would say that to them because there have been some spots where I have got me a bit mad but other than that I have had a lot of fun!” ~Jamie

IMG_1413

We definitely MADE this look easy … but … WHAT a challenge those hands were! We know it’s worth it, though, because the glue will make the cardboard stronger!

“My country is Tunisia because I like the cap on their head and they change the cap to cool them down: red, blue, white. I like my marionette. It looks like it’s real with the eyes and the hair. We did all the body and papier mached. It was so hard to do the mouth.” ~Kagan

“Yes! Papier mache marionettes! The easiest part was papier maching the body because it is round. The hardest part was the eyebrows because you had to get them perfectly on the eyes. My favourite part is everything because I can’t decide what I liked the most. My least favourite part is the hands because they are hard and frustrating. If someone was doing a papier mache marionette I would say remember to smooth it and milk it because if you son’t smooth it then you will have all of these floppy pieces of paper on your marionette and if you don’t milk it, it will be all soggy and it will go moldy. I am looking forward to dressing the marionette.” ~Elise

“Yay! Papier mache! I love to get messy! We did three layers of papier mache. I found the lips the hardest because when you put them on they move in a direction you don’t want them to! The easiest part was papier mache, because all you do is take a paper towel, put it in the mache, milk it and put it on the marionette. I can’t wait until we get messy again!!!” ~Carson

I can't BELIEVE how much more realistic these structures are becoming!

I can’t BELIEVE how much more realistic these structures are becoming! Just LOOK at that FINE formation of a TOP lip!

“We are making marionettes at school! We are doing papier mache to make our marionette structure stronger! The easiest part for my marionette was putting the eyes in because all you need to do is push! The most challenging part was to make sure the lips were just right! I am glad that the lips were just right otherwise my marionette would look weird! Papier mache seems like it makes your marionette all floppy and weak and wet but after a while it turns out to make your structure even stronger! Can you believe it? The best thing about my marionette is that my marionette did not get all moldy! Yay! My low light was that I had to get all mucky. I am looking forward to seeing how easy it is to dress the marionette! If I had to give someone tips I would say: if you are papier maching remember to milk very well otherwise it gets all moldy and yucky.” ~Riddhima

“Messy, messy, messy! We are doing papier mache. Papier mache is made of salt, flour and boiling water. Then you have to stir a lot. Plus you need a material such as paper, paper towel, etc. I really liked doing the eyes because it is fun to poke the eyes in. There were many challenging parts but I would say the hard part is papier maching the nose.” ~Tanek

Add a BOTTOM lip and ... VOILA ... it looks like a REAL mouth! Say CHEESE!

Add a BOTTOM lip and … VOILA … it looks like a REAL mouth! Say CHEESE!

“Guess what we are up to? We are papier maching our marionettes. The easiest part was putting on the plastic eyes because you just put them in. My most challenging part is getting my fingers all goopy and messy too. What I learned about papier mache is you have to milk your fingers or the paper towel will get moldy. My highlight is that we work with recyclable material. My low light is putting three layers on. I am looking forward to getting hair and the clothing on my marionette. To make the disgusting glue you get some boiling water, some flour and salt. I wonder how I am going to get my Ukrainian dress for my marionette.” ~Alexia

“My marionette is done with the papier mache! The easiest part was the eyelids because it was easy to get the shape. The most challenging part was the hands because it was hard to put the papier mache on the fingers. I learned, with papier mache, that you have to milk our fingers because if we don’t our marionette will get moldy! My highlight was that I was with my friends at my table. I have no lowlights.” ~Evan

“This is really sticky! Oh! Hi there! We just finished our papier mache. I want to tell you everything that we did but we only have a little time to talk! The papier mache liquide is gooey. It is made out of salt, flour and boiling water. The most easiest part was papier maching the body. My favourite part was doing team work with friends altogether. The hardest part was the lips. I discovered that if you do not milk it, it does not dry. The part I am looking forward to next is making the clothing with my Gramma. It is time to go, so … bye!”

WHAT?!? Are you SERIOUS? We need MORE paper! Thank GOODNESS we have some EXPERT paper tearers in here!

WHAT?!? Are you SERIOUS? We need MORE paper! Thank GOODNESS we have some EXPERT paper tearers in here!

“My class is making our marionettes. My easiest part f doing this was: dipping the paper in because all you needed to do was drop it in. My hardest part was: putting it on my marionette because it was hard to see if the clours were the same. I learned that papier mache can make your hands very gooey. My highlight was: that I learned an easier way to papier mache. My low light was that there were too many people chatting. I’m looking forward to dressing the marionettes because I drew a good copy of Ukrainian clothing. I gave Aimee a tip which was cleaning her fingers with one of the papers to papier mache. I gave a tip to Aboudi too, which was smoothing the papier mache down.” ~Ella

We're pretty ADORABLE, aren't we? Just wait ... the NEXT step is HAIR and TRADITIONAL CLOTHING from one of our four countries: Tunisia, Peru, India or Ukraine!

We’re pretty ADORABLE, aren’t we? Just wait … the NEXT step is HAIR and TRADITIONAL CLOTHING from one of our four countries: Tunisia, Peru, India or Ukraine!

“Have you ever papier mached? What me and my class have been up to these last few days: we have been papier maching. The easiest part was papier maching the eyebrows on because you just had to put a paper over it. The most challenging part was papier maching the hands because the paper would be bumpy and I had to smooth it down. What I learned about papier mache is that if you don’t milk it it can get moldy. My favourite part was getting messy and working with my hands! I don’t have a single low light because I loved all of it!!! What I am looking forward to next is seeing it when it’s all done because they look so cool. Tips that I would give someone if they were doing a marionette is that they will get gooey and they will have fun!” ~Simos

First day with papier mache:

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Be prepared to be AMAZED! Day two, three AND four:

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Cross your FINGERS for us … now we need all the SNOW to melt so that we can “borrow” some of the gravel from the PLAY park. Shh! It helps our structures to be even MORE stable when we add the hair and the clothing!

If you have enjoyed reading this post, and it has inspired you in ANY way, we’d LOVE to hear from you! Please consider leaving us a comment!

All art requires courage.

~Anne Tucker

24 Responses to Let the GAMES Begin: Papier Mache at its FINEST!

  1. Debbie

    Isn’t it amazing that these messes will become beautiful works of art! Academics, teamwork, and patience are all needed for success. No student will ever forget this experience. I can’t wait to see the final projects and read the students’ reflections. Thank you for another exciting post!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Debbie!

      Thanks for the generous comment. It is amazing that these messes are becoming beautiful marionettes! We all LOVE a good mess. We agree that academics, teamwork and patience are all needed to be successful. We don’t think we’ll EVER forget this messy experience! We also want to see everyone’s finished marionettes! You’re welcome for another post and we’re glad that you thought it was exciting!

      Have a good day! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  2. Caroline

    Your marionettes are just amazing!!!! I can’t wait to see the finished product!!! And isn’t it fascinating to see that each one is so different from the others. This certainly brings back memories of when we made Papier Mache Santa Claus ornaments many years ago. I wonder if Mrs. Renton remembers them?

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Caroline.

      Thanks for the amazing comment. We’re excited to see the finished product too. In fact, we already have some marionettes back in. We also think it is fascinating that each of our marionettes is different even though some of them come from the same countries. Mrs. Renton didn’t remember making papier mache Santa Claus ornaments but we all think it would have been fun!

      Keep checking back. Have a nice day.

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  3. Grandma & Grandpa D.

    Your marionettes look like real characters already. We can’t wait to see them with hair and costumes. Looks like lots of hard work but team work at the same time. I had forgotten about how you have to milk the paper when doing Papier Mache. Your project is certainly bringing back memories. Keep up the good work!!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Grandma and Grandpa D!

      Thanks for the amazing comment! We think our marionettes do really look like real characters! We can’t wait, just like you can’t wait, to see our marionettes with their hair and traditional clothing! Milking the paper for papier mache is very important because it stops our marionette from getting moldy with too much paste. We are glad that our project is bringing back memories for you!

      Keep checking back! Have a good day!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  4. Erica

    Wow, your marionettes are really coming to life! Glad you are done with the messy part. I bet Mrs. Renton is tired of cleaning up. It will be interesting to see your different hair choices this week. Have fun!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Erica.

      Thanks for the awesome comment!!! We’re glad that the messy part is over too!!! We’re also exited to see the different hair styles too!!! We weren’t too happy to clean up because we could papier mache until the koalas come home!!! Mrs. Renton didn’t mind the mess because she liked the mess as much as we do!!! We will have fun.

      Have a nice day! Keep checking back!

      Jamie (on behalf of The Grade Three Bloggers) 🙂

  5. Big Daniel

    Looks like a lot of work, but I am sure it is a lot of fun! I cannot wait to see the finish marionettes.

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Big Daniel!

      Thanks for the awesome comment! It was a lot of work but you are right it was a lot of fun! We can not wait to see the finished marionettes either. In fact, we already have some marionettes back in the classroom already!

      Have a lovely afternoon! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  6. Karen

    Wow!!! Sounds and looks like lots of fun. Thanks for the great updates!!!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Karen.

      Thanks for the comment! It was a lot of fun to do papier mache. We are glad that you love the great updates.

      Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  7. Terrylee Klinge

    First of all, kudos to Mrs. Renton. Haven’t met you, but feel as though I have! Or maybe just wishful thinking? This connection is wonderful for distant grandparents and your teaching talents are outstanding. Students: your marionettes are going to be the most intriguing and individual creations! And it will serve you SO well in your future. Thanks for sharing your learning process!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Terrylee!

      Thanks for the fabulous comment. Mrs. Renton is blushing. Thank you for the thoughtful compliment! She feels lucky to get to work with these AMAZING students each and every day! Thanks for saying that our marionettes are intriguing … we are having fun with them. Already some of them have come back to the classroom dressed in their traditional clothing. We’re not done yet … we still have a lot of work to do. We’re going to write scripts and make iMovies too! We can’t wait to make iMovies!

      Keep checking back! Have a nice day!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  8. Rolé

    Wow, I’m very impressed with all your efforts. Your hard work is paying off. Can’t wait to see the finished marionettes.

  9. Deepanwita( Riddhima's Aunt)

    Hi Guys…well this Papier Mache activity looks absolutely delightful with so much effort put in by the team , thanks to Mrs. Renton. I remember myself doing a similar Papier Mache craft when I was in school 20 years back !!!……keep up the good work and keep smiling. ..:) Best wishes !!..

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Deepanwita!

      Thanks for the fabulous comment! We think that papier mache delightful AND messy AND fun too! We all worked VERY hard making our great big mess AND cleaning it up … and … making our awesome marionettes!

      Have a good day! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  10. Heather Elder

    Hi grade threes and Mrs. Renton. I am a grade three teacher in Swift Current SK and my grade threes would love to make marionettes like yours. They are amazing! Do you have directions? We are learning about communities around the world.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Heather.

      Thank you for leaving a comment on our blog. We think it’s cool that you are a grade three teacher in Saskatchewan. If you read through some of our posts, you will see a lot of pictures and writing that tells about how we made the marionettes. The pattern is in Mrs. Renton’s head because she has been making them for several years. We’re glad that you think our marionettes are amazing. We think, if you check our posts, your marionettes will be JUST as good.

      Have a nice day. We hope you keep checking back.

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  11. Eric

    Hello there global grade 3!

    It is crazy to think that these new group of minds was born 4 years after me, that just makes me feel old! It’s amazing to think that we built a library in Peru, you’ve got cameras in hard-to-reach areas, and your building marionettes!That’s incredible! I’ve been checking back every once and awhile and every time I check back, this blog is getting better and better! Keep up the work grade 3’s (just writing that makes me feel old)!

    2011-2012 grade three student from Mrs. Renton’s class!

    yours truly,

    Eric Li

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Eric

      Thanks for the magnificent comment! We think it’s funny that you think you’re old because you’re not THAT old! You’re only like 12 or 13! We also think that it’s amazing that you helped make a library in Peru! We also think it’s incredible that we are making marionettes. It’s really fun and creative. Today we learned how to make iMovies with green screens! We are still going to use backdrops that we draw but we also want some of our backgrounds to be green screened! We wonder which webcam you like the best? Thank you for checking out our blog – we love that you are an OLD blogger who still follows the journey!

      Keep checking back! Have an awesome day!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  12. Emily

    Hi Ms Renton,

    I love leaning about rocks and minerals. I Loved holding the POOP.
    every body is saying that i have the best teacher and I agree!

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Emily!

      I am so glad to hear that you love learning about rocks and minerals! You know what? I loved holding the p … p … coprolite too! Thank you for your really sweet compliment, Emily! I think I am the lucky one! I get to work with YOU guys … and THAT is PRETTY special! Thank you for making my day, kiddo!

      Love,

      Mrs. Renton 🙂

    • The BPS Bloggers

      Hi Emily!

      Thank you for leaving this lovely comment! We agree … our teacher is the best. (She is really, REALLY blushing!!!) Some of the other BPS Bloggers also thought it was kind of disgusting to hold the poop but kind of cool at the same time!

      Have a wonderful day! Keep checking back!

      The OTHER BPS Bloggers 🙂

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