Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Papier-Mache "Funky Fish" by 3rd grade

Here I am with my first ever blog post, so please bear with me as I learn to edit and move stuff around. It's going to take some time for me to figure it all out. I've been reading a bunch of other art teacher blogs and have been getting really great ideas (which I "borrow" frequently!), so I thought I'd like to share some too. In typical elementary art teacher fashion, I am jumping in before I really know how to do this.
Anyhow - these pics are of really cool papier-mache fish made by my 3rd graders that we just completed. We started with plastic bottles, such as those from liquid dish detergent, mustard, shampoo, etc. Then we used cardboard (from cereal boxes) and masking tape to add fins and tails, and bottlecaps of various sizes for bulging eyes. Some kids used the neck of the bottle as the mouth end, and some used them for the tail end of their fish.
Once features were added, we covered with papier-mache. I do a lot of papier-mache with my students, so when I get the hang of posting images (I'm a real beginner here) I'll give more specific instructions, since I know my approach is quite successful but a bit different from what others do. Lots of fun but not too hard to clean up! The kiddos are quite proud, and look forward to their art classes using "dog drool" (our nickname for the papier-mache paste). Each fish is totally different.
After the papier-mache had dried, we coated the entire fish with a coat of gesso, and then painted as desired with school-grade acrylics. Finally, we added wiggle eyes, glued on some more fins/flippers/etc that were cut from colored foam, and also used colored metallic glues that we rubbed all over to give the fish a sheen. Some kids chose to embellish with sequins and glitter glue as well. I have a student teacher in my room, so we were able to station one of us at a glue gun to quickly zap on the eyes and foam fins. Tacky glue was used for sequins. They are hanging from fishing line in front of a watery painted bulletin board, and a sheet of clear plastic hangs over the front to complete the watery look.


  1. Wow!

    What an interesting site. I love it! And we will be watching for your next postings.



  2. Really LOVE those paper mache fish! They are so cute. Your blog is off to a great start. Can't wait to see what is to come.

  3. Thanks to Neil and Holly who posted my first ever blog comments! For some reason I'm having problems getting your comments to show up on my post - hopefully that will be fixed soon.. Keep checking :-)

  4. This is Mr. E from Art With Mr. E. Love these fish!!!! Just a little tip...when you are writing your post and adding the pictures..make sure that you haven't added empty space. You can always scroll to the bottom where you are typing....and then backspace till you come to your text. This will get rid of the empty space! :) Happy blogging!! Look forward to more ideas!

  5. Thank you Mr. E! Problem solved! You guys are the best :)

  6. These are phenomenal! Keep up the good work!