Miniature Apple

Make this inexpensive 1:3 scale, paper mache miniature apple for your American Girl doll.


Yes, this paper mache project can be a bit more challenging because of the 1:3 scale. Sometimes, working in miniature can be harder. The good news is, once you learn how to get the paper to go on smoothly, the project actually goes quite quickly, because it is so small.

If you haven't tried making any of the other paper mache miniature fruit, I would suggest starting with the paper mache orange or even the watermelon, first. 

Age: 8 and up
Difficulty: Medium (only because of the small scale)
Time scale: 2 out of 5


  • Tin foil
  • Paper mâché paste
  • Plastic container
  • 1/4-1/2 inch newspaper strips
  • Green tissue paper
  • Small paint brush
  • Tablespoon
  • Needle tool
  • White glue
  • Small paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Fine grit Sandpaper
  • soft cloth

  • Waterbased wax finish

  • Craft paint:

           Medium brown
           Medium Green
           Dark Yellow

Paper Mache Miniature Apple

Start with crumpled tinfoil as form

Crumple a small piece of tinfoil, into a oblong shaped ball. (approximately 4x6 inches, doubled in thickness) 

Tap with the back of a tablespoon to compress and shape the foil.

poke hole with needle tool

The top should measure almost 3/4's of an inch wide. The bottom, just under 1/2 an inch. You will want this form to be a bit smaller than the finished size, after applying the paper mache.

Use a needle tool to poke a hole in the center of the wide end.

Make lines on bottom

Push a crisscross shape into the narrow end to make 4 bumps on the bottom of the tinfoil. The bumps don't have to be perfectly even. It is better if they aren't.

cover tinfoil with masking tape

Tear off really small pieces of masking tape. Cover the bumps, pushing down into the dips to keep the shape.

Use handle end of tool to make indentation

Cover the entire piece with masking tape, trying not to distort the miniature apple shape.

Re poke the hole in the top, using the needle tool.

Use the handle end of the tool to make an indentation around the hole.

Now is the time to decide if you like the shape. If not, it can be adjusted slightly by tapping with the back of the tablespoon. If this doesn't work, use a hammer and give it a good smack. SQUASH!! Now, since that aggravation is finished with, you can start over.... Sometimes, this is the BEST way to deal with frustration!

Add newspaper strips dipped in paper mache paste

Rip newspaper strips into tiny pieces.

Dip in paper mache glue.

Begin by covering the bottom.

Now, use 1/4 inch wide by 2 inch lengths, covered in goop to cover the rest. Use smaller strips of newspaper, if necessary, over the curved pieces, so they flatten down better.

Do 3 layers.

Smooth as much as possible.

Poke the top hole in the center with the needle tool.

Let dry.

Check to see if the miniature apple will sit, without toppling over. Mine sits a bit crooked, but it doesn't tip over. I decided that is okay, because real apples do that sometimes, too.

sand lightly

Use fine grit sandpaper to sand down any left over bumps.

Cover with another layer of newspaper pieces.

Still lumpy? Oh, oh! Are you using too much paste? Dip you finger in water and rub over the lumps, to smooth. (Not too hard or it will make it worse, instead of better.)

Let dry.

As usual, check to see if this feels firm. If not, add another layer of newspaper pieces.

After drying thoroughly, sand with fine grit sandpaper to smooth any lumps or bumps, that don't belong. (Not the bottom ones, you added those ones on purpose.)

paint bottom of apple

Paint with 2 layers of red paint.

Let dry.

Add a bit of highlights near the stem with yellow paint.

Dab a dot of brown paint on the bottom center of the miniature apple.

Add a bit of medium green paint.

twist tissue paper to make stem

For the stem:

Rip a 1/4 X 1 inch piece of green tissue paper.
Cover with white glue using a small paintbrush.

Roll tightly. Make it slightly wider at the top.

This should be quite small around, a bit thicker than a stick pin. Trim to about 1/2 an inch in length.

Rip a piece of green tissue paper into a 1 inch X 10 inch strip.

Mix 1 tablespoon of white glue with 1/2 a tablespoon of water.

Apply glue, 1 inch up the end of tissue paper, using a paintbrush.

Fold over tissue paper by about 1/2 inch. Apply more glue. Fold over on itself again and again, until you have 10 layers.

Cover top with a layer of more glue.

Let dry.

cut tissue paper into leaf shape

Cut into a tiny leaf shape with a small tail on the end.

Bend down the middle of the leaf.

Glue to the stem.

attach stem and leaf

Add more white glue and poke into the center hole in the miniature apple.

Water down brown paint.

Paint stem.

Add a bit of medium green paint to the leaf.

Let dry.

Apply wax finish.


Polish to a shine with a soft cloth or on your jeans, if you can't find one!

This big, I mean this LITTLE, Doll sized, shiny apple, looks like it is ready to take a bite out of. Yum!

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