Fall hit finally in South Texas. We had rains and the night air is actually cooled down and mornings are foggy with heavy dews. I think that is cause for celebration!
It is hard to ignore all the fun times that come along with the changing seasons and coming holidays when you are surrounded by adorable and I must say, easy-to-impress children. So I decided to surprise the little ones with a small, hollow, papier mache pumpkin filled with candy for Halloween. And it is so simple to make.
I started with a 6 inch balloon blown up. I wrapped twine tightly around it to form the divisions in the pumpkin. I mixed up flour, salt and water to make a paste like a thin pancake batter. Using my fingers I wet the balloon with the flour paste then applied strips of dry newspaper over the paste, wetting over the top of the paper with more flour paste until the newspaper was wet and would lay flat. Continue adding layers. The more layers the harder the finished product will be when it dries. I usually try to get between 10 or 12 layers of newspaper but less would work fine. I squeezed a little of the long strips up to make a stem and then wrapped the paper around it when I got several pieces gathered together to make a fair size stem end.
At this point patience is a necessity! DO NOT PUT THIS IN THE OVEN TO DRY! If you do the heat will expand the balloon inside and the pumpkin will pop like popcorn! Don't ask me how I know this! Let's just say....I know. It may dry overnight or it might take a little longer but be patient, it will dry. I try to put cleaner paper on for the last paper so I do not have lots of black paper showing through but I am not a stickler about it. It will just add more texture to the surface of the pumpkin if you have a little bit of text on the paper. I finished my pumpkin using one full sheet of orange tissue paper, tearing it into strips and applying it so it overlapped and kept adding layers to build up color. Pictured is my pumpkin with orange tissue paper but it has not had a finish put on it and my stem is still just newsprint. You can finish the pumpkin by spraying with a polyurethane, coat with an acrylic medium or even a thinned down white glue.
Well, the fun did not end with papier mache. We had fun making Homemade Candy Corn. The kids loved making the candy and everyone loved how they tasted. The recipe is posted on our family blog Thyme Together.