Paper Mache Heart

Forget the flowers. This paper mache heart will be extra special, because you made it.

Age: 10 and up

Difficulty: medium

Time scale: 3 out of 5 not including drying time



  • 2 plastic water bottles
  • Masking tape or duct tape
  • Newspaper
  • Paper mache paste recipe (cut recipe in half)
  • Tin foil
  • Red tissue paper
  • White glue
  • Paint brush
  • Burnt umber craft paint
  • paper towel
  • Plastic container
  • Spray sealer

This uses very limited craft supplies, that are easy to come by and inexpensive. I happen to be traveling right now, in a small motorhome. It is so small, it is referred to as the picnic basket. My craft supplies are VERY limited and so is the space I have for storing them. That is NOT going to stop me from crafting.

Start with water bottles, for the form. This makes it easy, to get the correct shape. If the water bottles are dried completely, they can be left in. If you are an impatient type and they are damp inside, ( no time for drying) the paper mache heart can be cut open later and they can be removed. Sometimes being impatient can cause more work, which in the end doesn't really save time but may give the illusion that it did. I prefer to play mind games with myself and use bottles that weren't dry inside. Don't leave the bottles inside the paper mache heart, if you do this! I had to remove them, which actually caused myself more work. Imagine that. Now that the philosophical stuff is out of the way, maybe we can get on with the instructions.

How to Make a Paper Mache Heart


So, if you have the time, dry the water bottles out and then put the lids on.

Use masking tape to hold the bottles together, near the bottom.


Crumple a piece of tinfoil into a triangle shape. Tape this at the bottom, so it forms the pointed shape, for the bottom of the heart.

Tear newspaper into strips about 3 inches wide.

Mix up the paper mache paste, in a plastic container. Click link in supplies list above, for recipe.

Dip newspaper strip into the paste and remove excess by running it between your fingers.

Apply newspaper to form.


Apply 3 - 4 layers. It is hard to keep track and be precise with this. Just make sure you haven't done ten layers in one spot and two in another. Set aside to dry. Out in the desert in the hot sun is a good place. If you have no sunshine and three feet of snow at the moment, put it on a heat register. Turn often, so it will dry evenly.

After it has completely dried, apply 3 - 4 more layers.

Dry again and then check for thin spots. If there are squishy spots, add another layer or two of newspaper strips.

After this is completely dry, decoupage red tissue paper on it.

Do this by mixing up 1 part water with 1 part white glue. Rip tissue paper into about 4 inch chunks.


Crumple and then straighten back out. Apply glue mixture to strips of tissue paper, using a paint brush. Put the tissue paper randomly, all over one side of the heart. Wrinkles are good. They add personality...Oh we are back to that theme again.

Do about 4 layers. Let dry. Flip over and do the other side. Dry again.

Add a small amount of water to burnt umber craft paint. Apply to the paper mache heart. Leave on for about 30 seconds or so and then wipe with a damp paper towel.

It looks more interesting now, doesn't it?

When dry, spray with two coats of spray sealer.

This paper mache heart really will be extra special because you took the time to make it AND it's one of a kind.

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