This scary papier-mâché Halloween Jack O’Lantern is a lot of fun to make, but messy. You can either put the jack o’lantern on a table, or hang it from the ceiling from fishing line to make a scary Halloween decoration.
Do NOT put a candle in this jack o’lantern – papier-mâché is very flammable!
- A round balloon
- Flour and water
- A pan and a stirrer
- Either orange tempera paint or orange tissue paper
- Paint brush
- A black marker
Papier-Mâché Glue: Make a simple, thin glue from flour and water. Mix 1/2 cup of flour into 1/2 cup of water until the mixture is thin and runny. Stir into 2 cups of boiling water (the heating gives the glue a nice consistency, but is not necessary). Simmer for about 3 minutes, then cool.
Tear a lot of newspaper into strips. Strips should be about 1 inch wide; the length doesn’t really matter.
Blow up and tie a long balloon for each student. Place the long balloon in a container (like a bowl) so that it’s stable.
Work on scraps of newspaper. Dip a strip of paper in the flour glue, wipe off the excess, and wrap the strip around the balloon. Cover the entire top of the balloon.
Have at least three layers surrounding the balloon. Let it dry (at least overnight) after each layer.
Let the papier-mâché balloon dry completely (it may take a few days). Pop the balloon and separate it from the outer papier-mâché skin. Throw the torn balloon away.
To make the Jack O’Lantern sit flat on a surface, place a slightly damp cloth or sponge on the part that will be the bottom until it softens slightly (this takes a few hours). When it is a little soft, push the bottom in, making an indentation. This will allow your Jack O’Lantern to sit flat on a table.
If you like, cut a hole in the top of the Jack O’Lantern (this lets you put candy in it).
Either paint the Jack O’Lantern orange or apply another layer of papier-mâché, using orange tissue paper scraps. Let it dry.
Either draw eyes, nose, and mouth using black paint/marker, or cut them out with a craft knife.
Your Jack O’Lantern will make a great Halloween decoration!