How To Make a Papier Mâché Adventure Hat

Finished Papier Mâché on The Pinecone Grove

My son and I work on a weekly DIY for homeschool. Sometimes the projects stretch out over two weeks when they need time dry or some such other step. This project was one of them. As much as my son LOVES rockets, remote control vehicles, math, and inventing things, the projects he has been really drawn to are the challenges in the Paper Crafting and Bookbinding skills on DIY.org. Two weeks ago he officially finished a Papier Mâché Adventure Hat (I made one too) and earned his Paper Crafting skill patch. Here is how we made them.


First off, I just want to say I have been spelling papier mâché incorrectly all my life. (I always thought it was paper mache.) Love learning something new everyday. Another bonus to the homeschooling lifestyle. On that note, I’ll get to the fun stuff.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of work in progress photos this time around. Probably because it was so messy. Before we made the hats though we mixed flour, water, and food coloring to make paint. Then we mixed a separate batch of flour and water as glue.Papier Mâché Paint for DIY project on The Pinecone Grove

Completed Papier Mâché Paint for DIY project on The Pinecone Grove

We measured our heads and cut a hole in cereal boxes to fit. Then we blew up balloons (left over form my sister’s twin gender reveal party) inside of the cereal templates to the size of the hats we wanted.

Next came the actual papier mâché part. In the past I have always used newspaper, however we no longer have newspapers at home so we repurposed tissue paper. I do NOT recommend this alternative because it took more than 6 layers to make each hat. Still they turned out very durable and much more like a construction hard hat than I expected.

papier mâché hat balloon mold on The Pinecone Grove

Finally, we painted them. Emmett had fun using all the colors he made. I used the deeper blue jean color for mine. This project probably took us longer than any of our other DIY project because of the time it took to dry between layers. However, we both had a lot of fun making a mess, and crafting something so fun together. I’ve ordered his patch which we will be sewing onto an adventure bag as soon as it arrives. I’ll be sure to share more about that soon.

Finished Papier Mâché on The Pinecone Grove


What papier mâché projects have you and your little explorers tried?

30 Days of Blog 2017: Day 6

Sewing Expedition Ups & Downs

The Pinecone Grove Sewing Expediton

Sewing Expedition

Hand Sewing to Sewing Machine

When I was a young girl, I loved to sew by hand with my grandmother. She taught me how to add buttons, fix holes, make aprons, and get creative with thread. The sewing machine however… I gave it a few tries before it wound up in the shed. Recently, my dad pulled it out for me and I set it up in my closet office. It had a few technical difficulties. The part that holds the needle fell out in several pieces. (I didn’t even know it could do that.) Thankfully my dad fixed that the next day. Then, when I practiced sewing an old fleece blanket the machine started to eat my fabric. At that point I tossed out the idea of making all our clothes and launching a handmade clothing collection for the shop.

Renewed Motivation

Until I came across Peek-A-Boo (PAB) Pattern Shop. I subscribed. Then I joined the Facebook group. After seeing everyone’s PAB creations and reading about how easy it is to understand the patterns, I decided to finally go for it!

The Pinecone Grove Sewing Expediton

Yesterday, I bought the Tide Pool Tank PAB pattern and took my son to the fabric store. He chose 4 awesome fabrics, some thread, and wonder clips. When we got home I cut everything out and clipped them together. Then I began sewing at 7am.

The Pinecone Grove Sewing Expedition part 2

Problems & Solutions

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. My sewing machine still likes to eat the edge of my fabric. I came up with the brilliant idea of putting a small piece of paper underneath the starting edge. Then just tore it off when I was done. This worked marvelously. No more fabric eating!

I also ran into trouble with fitting the neck band to the scoop neck. Turns out it just takes a bit of practice because I figured it out on the second shirt.

When my son tried the shirt on I discovered another problem. For some reason it was too big underneath his arms. Maybe I didn’t cut or sew a completely straight line or I stretched the fabric when I was sewing it. Either way, this was an easy enough bit to hem and now they fit him perfectly.

Beach Ready

I LOVE how the shirts turned out and my son does too. They are ideal for our next beach camping trip. I can’t wait to tryout more fabrics and patterns.

This is just the beginning. I don’t know if I will get to the point of sewing all our clothes and making an earth-friendly clothing collection for kids, but I am definitely going to keep trying.

The Pinecone Grove Sewing Project finished

Stop by Instagram and tell me what projects you are working on.

30 Days of Blog 2017: Day 1