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Make your own Papier Mache Octopus

papier mache octopus

I loved the papier mache newsprint octopus ornament found at Anthropologie this past holiday season.  Coco had an after Christmas holiday party with some of her school friends and we made these octopuses as one of our projects. It doesn’t quite look like the Anthropologie version, but pretty cute, I think, for six year olds and fairly easy to do (with a tiny bit of grown up help). Our octopus is about twice as big as the 7 inch wide Anthropologie version so little fingers can work on it.

Basic Papier Mache Paste Recipe

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup flour
  • a dash of salt

Mix it all together to get the lumps out. It will be fairly runny, more like glue than paste.

Papier Mache Octopus

You will need:

  • papier mache paste
  • newspaper cut into strips (I cut mine about 1/2 ” wide)
  • 3″ styrofoam ball
  • 8 pipe cleaners per octopus (any color cut down to 8-9″ long)
  • paper clip trimmed, optional
  • eyes (I used black floral pins)
  • modge podge or thinned elmers glue

the anthropologie version

All you do is stick the pipe cleaner legs in the styrofoam ball, then dip a newpaper strip in the paste and start covering the octopus. We started by wrapping each leg from the thigh to the ankle, and then did the body. If you have the time or patience, wrap the thighs a little thicker. When you are all done, curl up the legs how you want them and let dry overnight. I snipped the end off a paper clip, dipped the tips in glue and stuck it in the top so we could hang ours. Let it dry over night. The next day modge podge it to give it a clear shellacked look and stick the eyes in. Oilla! Your very own octopus.

Also, next Halloween, you could turn the legs down and low and behold you have a spider.  Oh,the possibilities are endless with papier mache, styrofoam and pipe cleaners!

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