Papier Mache Trick-or-Treat Basket

Every year, I grab shopping bags or pillowcases to use for last-minute trick or treating bags. Well this year, my son decided to up it a notch by making his own papier mache trick-or-treat basket.

This eco-friendly alternative to plastic buckets is fun to make, especially since kids get to be a part of the entire creation process.

  1. Ages: 3 - 8

  2. 2+ hours

  3. A little messy


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    This project has quite a few supplies, but I love how they are all basic things we have around the house. So the cost for the project is actually very low.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    To start, my son tore newspaper into small pieces. (He loves this step!) He washed his hands afterwards because ink would have gotten everywhere otherwise.
    While he worked on this task, I blew up a balloon and hung it upside down off the chandelier (to make the papier mache process easier).

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    He squeezed half a bottle of glue into a bowl and thinned it out with 1/4 cup of water.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    He dropped small squares of newspaper into the glue and gently placed the paper on the balloon. He slightly overlapped the paper. (This will give the paper a stronger bond, once the paper dries.)
    My son didn't cover the top of the balloon (because that's where the candy will go!) -- but if you have very young kids, you may want to enclose most of the balloon and just leave a little hole for the candy. This will save you some spills throughout the night.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    He added on about three or four layers of newspaper on the balloon, making sure each layer dried in-between coats. (We used a blow dryer to speed up the process.)

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    Once the newspaper completely dried, my son popped the balloon. (He loved this part, too.) He then trimmed the opening so that it had a smooth, clean edge.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Step 7

    He painted his treat-or-treat bag orange, like a pumpkin -- but of course the creative possibilities are endless. (Does your princess want a pink purse? Does your honeybee want a honey pot?)

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

  • Final result!

    Once the paint dried, he tied a string to both sides of the basket. And then my little pirate was all set for trick-or-treating!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 8

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