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DIY Paper Mache Pencil Toppers

Paper mache pencils project • Tiny Rotten Peanuts

paper mache pencils project • Tiny Rotten Peanuts

I thought up this paper mache project and started giggling when I envisioned the finished product. It took a lot of trial and error, and *possibly* a whole lotta swearing, but if you follow my directions, it’s a really fun project. And look at the finished product, Who doesn’t want to write with crazy, top-heavy pencils?

The key here is patience, which is a really tough one for me, so if I can do it, you can, too. You must let the paper mache dry completely between layers!

pencils topped with spiral-painted paper mache balls

At first I tried to make these with newsprint and glue-based paper mache (watered down Elmer’s). This sucked. The newsprint didn’t lay well on the mini balloons or pencils, the paper mache was too slippery, and I hadn’t yet devised my ingenious drying rack.

So I moved onto the tried and true flour and water paper mache recipe. perfect.

paper mache •

Materials: (linked materials will take you right to Amazon)


  • Use a small plastic balloon blower-upper thing to blow up the water balloons. Please don’t attempt to use your face for this, or your jaws will never forgive you.
  • Attach balloons to eraser end of pencils using masking tape.
  • Rip up little pieces of paper towels.
  • Mix up paper mache and cover the balloons with one layer of it on the paper towel pieces.
  • After they are completely dry, paper mache the pencil part and the balloon for another layer.
  • After these are completely dry, gesso them, let dry, and paint them. We used a small flat (#4) brush, started at the top of each balloon and spiraled down with the paint colors.

So. After we attached balloons to pencils…..

…..we stuck the pencils, point down, into wax paper – on a cookie rack – on top of a plastic cereal container. Remember to put wax paper under the whole thing to catch drips. This made ALL the difference in the world when paper mache-ing, and made it actually fun instead of frustrating!

How to Make Paper Mache

Put a cup of flour into a bowl. Add small amounts of water until it is thin enough to coat the paper pieces, but thick enough so it isn’t runny- a little thinner than yogurt.

Tear the paper towel pieces fairly small. (I just realized that my below photo includes newsprint instead of the paper towels. O00000ops!)

After your first layer is completely dry, you can remove the pencils from their drying rack and paper mache down the pencil as far as you desire. While you’re at it, slap another layer over the balloon area. We just let these dry lying down on wax paper this time.

paper mache pencil project •

Once these are dry, gesso them to prime them for the paint and cover the ugly yellowy paper mache color.

Paint them! (I wish we had made even more of these to play around with different paint designs.)


What do you think?

Written by Joanne Gonzales

Joanne Gonzales has a passion for getting creative. Whether she is making personalized DIY gifts or taking part in larger arts and crafts projects, she puts her all into making new and beautiful things.

She lives with a group of close friends and believes in the natural way of life. Joanne has built an outdoor arts and crafts gallery that overlooks the countryside in her hometown, which is where all of her creations come to life.

Art started off as a hobby, but over time Joanne has mastered her skills and sold some of her favorite pieces. She works full time as a florist and has done for many years. It helps keep her creative juices flowing and she hopes to one day open her own florist shop with a twist.


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