Friday, September 2, 2011

Paper Mache Koinobori

As I had mentioned in my previous posts of Koinobori Rainbow fish flag and Picture frame Glass painting, We also made a Paper Mache Koinobori for the Contest.

Paper Mache carp streamer

I didn't take pictures along the way of the steps of doing this koinobori. It's really pretty simple if you know how to do balloon paper mache.

Materials Used:

Paper Mache fish Body

Paper towels(Kitchen tissue)
Elmer glue
Empty Yogurt container/bowl
Child safe scissors
Acrylic paints

Fish Tail

Styrofoam Disposable cup
Paper streamer/crepe paper
Needle and thread/Glue
Gift wrap paper/Acrylic paint

Balloon string for hanging/holding

Steps Overview:

Paper Mache Fish body:

Make paper mache paste: Mix glue and water in 1:1 ratio(ie for ex: 1 cup of glue + 1 cup of water)

Tear Newspaper strips

Blow up a balloon to the fish body size.

Mark a circle around the knot of the balloon, this will be the Koinobori(carp streamer) opening.

Dip the new paper strips in the paper mache paste and start covering the balloon from the base where the knot of the balloon is, don't cover the circle around the knot. Once you have done with the bottom, flip the balloon over, place it in a yogurt container or a bowl for a stand and work on the other end.

Cover the entire balloon with a layer of newspaper strips. Let it stand for 10 mins or so that the top layer is okay to work with. Continue to cover the balloon with 3 more layers of newspaper strips.

Tear Paper towel paper strips and use it as the last layer of the Mache. This makes it easy to paint and gives a scaly finish for the fish.

Leave the Balloon to dry for a day or more.

Once you are sure it is dry, pop the balloon with a needle and remove it from the paper mache shell. You will now have a hollow balloon-shaped object with an circular opening at the top (where the balloon's knot used to be)

Paint the fish body as you wish with Acrylic paints.

Fish Tail:

Take a Styrofoam disposable cup and Flatten it at the opening edge as shown in the picture.

Place paper streamers in between the opening edges and hot glue/stitch the ends together.

You can either paint the Styrofoam cup tail with acrylic paints or decorate with gift wrap paper

Hot glue the Tail to the fish body. I used Elmer glue, so I just added masking tapes to hold them together until dry.

At the top, where you have the round opening, poke two holes facing each other. Fasten a Balloon string to the holes and secure it just like a hand bag strap.

CJ thinks that the koinobori paper mache is her secret grotto. There she is damping/checking all her items:-)

Our Koinobori paper mache proudly displayed in our bedroom!


  1. I dont have the patience for paper mache but your work is lovely and looks good hanging in the room


  2. This is super awesome.. haven't tried paper mache.. :-)

  3. wow ths project is it

  4. Absolutely beautiful, Esther! Thank you for sharing your creativity at Rook No. 17!


  5. Thank you Jenn and Thanks for the linky!