Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Leeds Museums and Galleries:  Lotherton

This resource explores the humble papier mache, looking at its history and use internationally through to the variety of beautiful artworks and useful items that can be made with it.

Curriculum Links

  • KS1 Art & Design: Use a range of materials creatively to design and make products. Develop a wide range of art and design techniques using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. Learn about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers.
  • KS2 Art & Design: learn about the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day
  • KS1 Science:  Performing simple tests and recording observations. Properties of materials.
  • KS2  Science: Use of everyday materials.
  • Arts Award:  Discover and Explore

Discussion and Activity Ideas

Art and Design:

  • What do you think we should do with all the old British banknotes which have just been replaced? If you could use this old to make papier mâché objects, what would you make?
  • Experiment with papier mâché as a technique. Can you mould paper pulp and paste into a sculpture using only your hands and modelling tools? Can you use papier mâché to create a textured/sculpted pattern on another surface i.e. a piece of wood or cardboard? What is the difference between these techniques?
  • Using clay, make a mould. Once the mould has dried, hand press papier mâche pulp into it and leave to dry.



  • One group make a solid sheet of papier mâché material using pulped paper and glue. Another group make a sheet of the same thickness using layers of paper pasted together on top of each other. Which sheet creates the strongest material?
  • Experiment using different types of glue or paste. Papier mâché furniture makers often added things like flour, plaster or sawdust to their adhesive to strengthen their product.