How to paper mache with Plenty kitchen roll

Here's how to make a crafty croc – without getting swamped in paper mache

How To Make Paper Mache

Don’t let the mess caused by glue, water and paint deter you from paper mache making – this activity is just too fun to miss out on.

It looks like it should be complicated, but if you’re asking yourself, ‘what can I use for paper mache?’ the answer is: a few simple items! All that’s needed to make homemade paper mache are a couple of objects you’re likely to have lying around the house already, including some glue, water and strips of kitchen paper. We recommend using Plenty MAX as it is 3x stronger when wet, which will come in handy once covered in glue. Finally, add in a kitchen paper tube and an empty tissue box and you’ve got the basis for your very own paper mache animals. 

Let your kid’s imagination run wild and make whatever creatures they like with kitchen roll paper mache. From unicorns and ponies to dragons and dinosaurs, there are so many options. Looking for a little inspiration? We’ll show you how to make paper mache animals step by step, using a crafty crocodile as our example.



We recommend that a responsible adult does the cutting when making paper mache crocodiles. This way the kids can take care of the art direction, painting and gluing (the most fun parts)!

What glue do you need for paper mache

A few different types will work, but we suggest using either wood glue, also known as pva glue, or white Glue-All. Flour is also an alternative to glue, however the latter tends to dry much quicker. On the other end, flour is cheaper, so it comes in handy if you’re on a budget or are out of glue and don’t want to make the trip to the supermarket. Whichever you go for the instructions on how to make paper mache will remain similar so keep reading to find out more.

What you'll need for paper mache making

·       Plenty kitchen paper tube

·       Plenty MAX kitchen paper

·       Empty tissue box

·       Scrap cardboard

·       Pencil

·       Ruler

·       Scissors

·       Sticky tape

·       PVA glue

·       Water

·       Bowl

·       Green paint

·       Paint brush

·       White pen

·       Black pen

How to make a paper mache crocodile

Make our wild-yet-friendly paper mache crocodile using strong Plenty kitchen paper – simply use an empty tube as a base and build up layers of ‘skin’ with paper and glue. Give him some spikes and feet with a few strips of Plenty paper glued together, then paint green and add some wiggle eyes. If you’re wondering how long it takes for paper mache to dry, then bear in mind that it will take roughly 24 hours. So why not check out some easy kids’ recipes to keep them entertained while you wait for the paper mache to dry?! They’re yummy and safe to make.

Here’s how to make a paper mache crocodile in a few simple steps:

  1. paper mache animals crocodile 01 Take the empty kitchen paper tube. At one end, use scissors to carefully make about eight cuts around the tube measuring 7 cm long – this will form the head of the crocodile. Then make 10 cm long cuts at the other end of the tube, which will be its scaly croc-tail.
  2. paper mache animals crocodile 02 Twist to form pointed ends, and then wrap some sticky tape around to hold each one in place.
  3. paper mache animals crocodile 03 Now it’s time to learn how to paper mache. Tear up some kitchen paper into strips. Pour some PVA glue into a bowl, add a few drops of water and mix. Homemade paper mache is as easy as that! Paint some of the sticky mixture onto the tube and apply the paper strips, covering the entire surface and any cracks. Add more layers, building up a textured, scaly skin – try to make the tail longer if possible (bonus points if you can get it to go from one wall to another). And then leave the croc to dry somewhere warm overnight.
  4. paper mache animals crocodile 04 The next day, scrunch up some paper into balls for the eyes and nostrils and stick them to the croc’s head.
  5. paper mache animals crocodile 05 Cut some thin strips from the scrap cardboard and bend into a zigzag for the croc’s spiky back and tail. Next, draw and cut out four spiky feet.
  6. paper mache animals crocodile 06 Glue the spikes to the crocodile’s back, and the feet under its body.
  7. paper mache animals crocodile 07 Put the kids in charge of painting the crocodile green. Later, they can wipe up any paint spillages with some moistened kitchen paper while you wait for it to dry. For some inspiration on how to make cleaning fun for your kids, check out this handy guide.
  8. paper mache animals crocodile 08 Finally, draw some eyeballs and zigzag teeth on the croc’s head with black and white pens.
  9. Name them! Every new pet in the house needs a name and your paper mache croc is no different. How about Doc the Croc? Or Niall? Whatever you choose, make it something snappy. 

When learning how to make paper mache animals step-by-step, there’s always going to be a bit of mess. But as long as you haven’t suddenly got a new, paper mache floor, you’ve done a great job! If you do, however, find some glue stuck to your floor – fear not – you can learn how to remove it from wood and hard surfaces here. We hope to have given you some inspiration on easy paper mache ideas - for more arts and crafts activities, learn how to make paper toys without making too much of a mess.

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