1. My afterschool mache class is one hour long, and this project took 4 sessions. During the first session, I had my students (grades K — 3) place long strips (about 10" x 3") covered in mache across the beach ball. Large bowls were placed under the balls to keep them from rolling around. Some students covered the entire beach ball all in one layer, some got about 3/4 done. When drying, I had some issues with the beach balls deflating a bit, making them look lopsided. Not good. But I found that if I placed them in the sun for a few hours, the heat reinflated them and saved my behind.
2. A second class was just like the first, with an emphasis on placing newspaper strips in the opposite direction to add some strength.
3. Class three I would change if I had to do it again. I had students mache paper towel strips for a final layer, but they really absorbed too much mache and got very heavy and soggy. In the future I'm going to find some kind of blank newsprint or something because the paper stays much crisper to the end, I think. The goal is to blank out the newsprint somehow so that only one layer of paint is needed.
4. Final class: I drew some very simple continent shapes on the board, and had the students paint in green the "land" on their globe. When complete, they filled in the rest with blue. My kids were so young I didn't bring up the issue of the north and south poles being white, but older students would probably like to do so. When the paint was dry, I sprayed the globes heavily with a spray varnish to add a little shine. All in all, a lot of fun and parents like them as much as the kids.
Recipe for Paper Mache
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 cups cold water
8 cups boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
Mix the flour and cold water in a bowl. Add it to your saucepan of boiling water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Let cool; it will thicken as it cools. This recipe makes about a gallon of mache.