Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

A Craft of Many Layers

Recovery Curriculum Resources from Leeds Museum and Galleries

This resource is designed to support a recovery curriculum and can be used in any education setting. It complements the ‘Supporting the Return to School for All Pupils’ guidance in Leeds and the PACE approach of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy.


Get messy with papier mâché and mould different 3D creations. Pick any theme for your class to create their own designs.


It’s ok for your final creations to look different from what you originally planned. The fun should be in the making and enjoying each step regardless of what the finished object looks like.

Inlaid detailed design of leaf motifs and swirls in yellow, blue and pink
Detail From a Papier Mâché Furniture

Mindful Making

Making with papier mâché takes time and patience. Each layer of paper and glue adds depth and shape to the object. New layers might change the design. There is also a waiting time before it is dry enough to decorate. A bit like ourselves we are made of layers that make us who we are and we all need time to be ready for the next step.


Papier mâché can also be a great chance to collaborate for team work. From drawing designs to planning, organising to making, decorating to display. There are roles to suit everyone or a chance to have a go at the different jobs.


Experiment with different papers and different glues or paste. For example magazine paper or newspaper, flour glue or PVA glue.

This bedroom furniture at Lotherton has been made using a wooden base underneath and inlaid with mother-of-pearl shell. It has been given a shiny black finish to give it the look of black lacquer.

A bed made entirely from Papier Mâché
A Bed Made From Papier Mâché


In creating their papier mâché objects of art, don’t forget the finishing touches. Think about paint colours or adding extra decorations to make them extra special. Try gluing on fresh leaves and flowers for a natural theme, or adding sparkle with foil paper and sequins. 

Close up showing painted flowers on a black papier mache background
Detail of Papier Mâché Furniture