Art, Culture and Religion

Papier-Mâché Christmas Star

While we’re at Christmas and decorations of all kind, why don’t you take a bit more time and suggest making an ambitious project together with your child? This will be a papier-mâché star.

It’s a simple, yet time-consuming technique. It’s been used for centuries: the ancient Egyptians already knew it. It was also known in Persia and China and from there it spread to Europe. In the eighteenth century, papier-mâché was a cheaper alternative to plaster and wood used for decorative elements in architecture.


  • aluminium foil
  • newspaper
  • PVA glue (white glue commonly used in schools)
  • paper towel
  • paints
  • glue brushes
  • paint brushes
  • wire (optional)

Step 1

Form a star or a star-like shape (if a younger child is involved in the project) from the aluminium foil.

Step 2

Mix two parts PVA glue to one part water. Cut or tear the newspaper into small pieces, then put them into the glue and water mixture and leave them there for a few minutes to soak.

Next, lay the bits of paper on the foil star piece by piece. Cover the star with several layers, the more the better. Then, I suggest you put several layers of paper towels. Here, we don’t longer leave paper towels to soak up, because they are very delicate and disintegrate quickly. Use a brush to cover each layer with glue. The white paper will make the surface smooth and easier to paint.

Leave the star overnight to dry.

Step 3

If on the next day our star is dry enough, we can move on to painting it. Of course, everyone can paint their star the way they like it and see fit.

In the photos you can see several painting patterns (and shapes) that I with my daughter have proposed. The thing that doesn’t look like a star is a shell with a pearl inside…

And if you don’t feel like making a star, you can use this technique to make any other object.


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