Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Paper Pulp Turtles

WARNING: Prep intensive project!
My first graders' art show project is a little sea turtle made of paper pulp. Our media aide found this cute book, The Smallest Turtle by Lynley Dodd, about a turtle's journey from hatching to finding the sea.
To prep for this project, I had to make pulp for each table to use. I started by shredding lots of green paper. The thinner the better, for the shredder and the blender. Fill the blender about 3/4 full of water, and add shredded paper. Blend until it's a pulpy mess.

Dump it in a strainer, and squish as much water out as you can.

This is what it looks like when the water is squeezed out. One blender full makes about 3/4 of a large yogurt container.

Add some glue, and mix it all up. It's ready for use. I then wrapped paper bowls in aluminum foil-without the foil, the bowl will loose it's form. I would like to use plastic bowls so I can skip this step, but haven't been able to find any this time of year. Maybe I'll find some cheap next fall, when the summer stuff goes on clearance. The kids just press the pulp into the bowl until they have covered the whole bowl with about a 1/4" of pulp. It takes several days to dry. I then painted florescent green and dark green lines on the shell and added legs, head, and tail. Wiggle eyes were the finishing touch.


pink and green mama MaryLea said...

I was never brave enough to attempt Paper Pulp lessons when I was teaching art (or even now with my kids for that matter) but these are REALLy cool and my brain is swimming with fun ideas -- might have to get over my fears of the mess and prep work and give it a whirl!!

: )
pink and green mama,

Jodi said...

It actually wasn't all that messy once the kids started. Most of the mess was in the prep work. I've learned that although drying time is long, it's better to leave it pretty wet or it will get crumbly. Also, I used paper mache paste (Elmer's Art Paste) instead of glue. It was cheaper and easier to mix-not as sticky.