Homemade maracas

Homemade maracasMy siblings and I all had the same second grade teacher — Mrs. Johnson, whom, along with her crazy earrings and funky jewelery, was famous for her arts & crafts projects!

Each of us came home from our second grade classroom with one of these homemade maracas, and during my last trip home to Seattle I discovered a couple of them stashed away with the rest of some old toys… reminding me of second grade and the day we made them. Such a fun art project! Of course I had to give it a go with my own kids.

Here are the steps for making your own maracas:

What you’ll need:

Modge Podge and maracas-Used lightbulbs (the old-fashioned kind, not the eco-friendly ones!)
-Old newspaper, torn in small pieces
-Tissue paper (in different colors), torn in small pieces
-Mod Podge or similar clear lacquer for top coat
-Paint brush

Create your own glue-like substance for paper maché by mixing one part flour with two parts water with a tablespoon of salt.  (Substance should be smooth and resemble elmer’s glue.)  Dip the torn newsprint into the glue so each piece is wet, and plaster on top of the light bulb.  Cover the entire light bulb with the newsprint, even doubling up layers to make sure it’s thoroughly plastered.  Set light bulbs aside and let them dry (if you set them in a warm spot, they’ll dry more quickly).  The drying process may take up to one full day. (You can refrigerate the paper maché mixture to keep for the next layer.)

When the paper maché newsprint is almost dry, bang the light bulbs against a hard surface to break the glass inside (creating the rattle sound effect).  Create another layer of paper machéd newspaper to make sure there are no soft spots (and absolutely no glass could poke through).  Let the second layer of paper maché dry completely.

Paint the colorful tissue paper onto the paper machéd light bulb using the Mod Podge or clear lacquer.  Make sure the tissue paper is thick enough that you can’t see the newsprint below.  Let dry.

Shake and play with your maraca, and enjoy!



Comments (10)

April 9, 2009

joli blog que j’ai découvert dans le magazine MILK. Félicitations!!

April 9, 2009

this is a nice project, I admit I have never done papier mache’ for my children…

April 10, 2009

what a great project, I’ll try with my son during Easter break!

April 11, 2009

I was already quite impressed, but now that I’ve seen the maracas in real I’m REALLY impressed!!

April 15, 2009

Oh what a fantastic project, I love it! I’ll be linking to this if you don’t mind.

April 16, 2009

Nice idea but I think the rice in a plastic cup version would be far safer

April 21, 2009

Cute but, this doesn’t seem safe to me, if it breaks.

August 8, 2009

I made several of these in my early school grades – played with them extensively, and my son and his friends played with mine and loved them and they have never broken – and mine are 45 YEARS OLD ! Seems pretty safe to me – granted if you don’t make them ‘per the instructions’ to be solid, or if your kids would take a hammer to one, then rice or beans would be better for ‘this generation.’

October 15, 2009

i`m keeping this great idea in mind, i`m going to be an art teacher! but i would maybe think about a small balloon with a wooden stick glued in it, and rice and beans in it (before you put the stick in) it would be safer for small kids (and parents wouldnt be too worried haha)

May 30, 2011

I tried this but when I smashed the bulb, it all stuck to the paper mache and the rattle was a very small sound. I’m going to try again another day and put something on the light bulb to prevent the newspaper from adhering to it. Suggestions?

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