Papier Mache Pot of Gold Craft Project

Top o’ the morning to you! St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching and Irish eyes are definitely shining. What comes to mind when you think of Paddy’s Day? For me, it’s leprechauns, shamrocks and pots of gold. While I don’t have little bars of gold close at hand, I do have some chocolate bars – thanks to this papier mache pot o’ gold!


  • Newspaper
  • Yes! Paste
  • Black construction paper
  • Small balloon
  • Jar
  • Plastic spoon
  • Place mat/play mat
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • Glue
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil


1. Start out by clearing a work space for the project. This activity is definitely more on the messy side, but that’s OK – sometimes, that’s what crafting is all about! Once you have a good place to work, blow up your balloon, but not all the way. You’re making a smaller candy dish. Place the balloon so it rests in the jar opening.

2. Next, cut a stack of newspaper strips 2″ wide by 7″ long. (Whatever you don’t use, make sure to recycle!)

3. Open up your jar of paste. With your spoon, scoop out a small amount. This paste goes along way and is tacky! With your fingers, smooth the paste onto one strip of newspaper.

4. With the paste on the newspaper strip, apply it to the balloon. Prepare another strip and apply across the balloon so that it looks like there’s a plus sign. Keep pasting and applying, changing where you position the strip. You’ll want to build up about three layers. Try to keep the edges at the same level on all sides so that your bowl is one uniform height. (If the bowl has one side that is longer than others, that’s OK. You can trim the pot with scissors once you’re done.)

5. As you’re working with your strips, smooth them onto the balloon with your fingers. It’s OK that this bowl won’t be entirely smooth when it’s done – it should look like an old pot!

6. When all of the layers have been built, let the balloon dry in the jar. The balloon will need to dry for at least six hours.

7. Once the bowl feels dry and hard to the touch, you’ll know it’s safe to remove the balloon. Make a small slit near the balloon knot and let the airy escape. Carefully pull the balloon out of the bowl.

8. Now it’s time to paint! With your foam brush, apply the black paint to the bowl. The newspaper will absorb the paint quickly, so you might want to add a second coat, if you like. Let the bowl dry upside down on a piece of wax paper.

9. After the paint has dried on the bowl, turn it upside-down on the black construction paper. Trace the outside of the bowl on the paper. Remove the bowl and draw another, bigger circle on the outside of the one you just made – this will be the lip of the pot. Cut out the circle; then, cut out the inside of the circle, so that you have a ring to glue to the pot top.

10. You’re all set! Feel free to add any green, leprechaun-approved decorations you like. I added a shamrock badge to mine. What kind of candy will you put in your St. Patrick’s Day pot?

If you make your own pot ‘o gold, send a picture of it to me, We may feature it in a future Make It blog!


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