Tutorial: Paper Mâché “Helping Hands”

In response to the “Day of Service” that celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. back in January, we talked in art class about constructive ways in which we use our hands. We talked about how we can help by using our “helping hands”! Here are some of the ideas we came up with in art class:

With my hands, I can…

  • draw
  • sweep up dirt
  • clean
  • wear my gloves when it’s cold outside
  • give hugs
  • put trash in the dumpster
  • wash
  • wave to friends
  • clap to music
  • chop vegetables
  • fold laundry
  • help cook

Everyone has such unique ways of helping our around the village, so we decided to make our “helping hands” a unique reflection of our personalities! Therefore, when it’s time we’ll paint our hands in our own unique ways, and reflect upon what it’s like to be a helpful citizen to our community.

Below are pictures of the process:

This is going to be a short and sweet tutorial, since there are so many ways to go about it and ours is just one of them!

  1. We put on latex gloves and wound masking tape around our hands and fingers. We were careful not to do it too tight so we could remove them after our whole hands were covered!
  2. We ripped up about 2 newspaper into strips, and then realized that it would be easier if we had small squares instead. We dunked the small squares of newspaper into watered-down elmer’s glue (about 2:1 ratio water to glue) and stuck the pieces to our masking-tape hands
  3. Through trial and error we found it was easier to stick our gloves on an overturned cup to a) open up the base of the glove so it didn’t collapse under the weight of the newspaper and glue and b) so we didn’t have to touch the hand too much while we were doing the paper mâché (some of us are very sensitive to texture!).
  4. We continued to paper mâché over the course of a few sessions to make sure the surface of the glove was covered as much as possible so that no masking tape was peeking out. Once the glue and newspaper dried our surface became very hard and it was time for painting!
  5. The glove shown above is Sian’s, and she chose to first paint her hand white to get a nice, neutral surface and then she picked out some favorite colors – blue, purple and red, with which to paint her hand.
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