These paper mache piggy banks (or ‘papier mâché’ piggy banks, in French) are brilliant fun to make and, once painted with bright colours and patterns, look fabulous in kids’ rooms. They’re also a great incentive to save up those pennies if you add a money slot afterwards. Once full, they can be cut open and the contents counted and saved or spent!
What you need to make your own piggy bank
Teaching your child to make a piggy bank is great fun, but it’s also a good way to recycle things like old egg cartons and newspaper. Avoid using glossy magazine paper for this as it doesn’t always take the paint well.
- Several newspapers or packs of tissue paper
- PVA glue
- Poster paints
- Egg cartons
- Pipe cleaners
- Thick art brushes
How to make a piggy bank with paper mache
- Blow up your balloon to the size you want your paper mache piggy bank to be.
- Tear your newspaper or tissue paper into 2cm x 10cm strips and stick them onto the balloon using a mix of glue and water (half and half). You can rest the balloon on a mug while you’re doing this to keep it from rolling away.
- Once you’ve added 3-4 layers, leave the balloon in a warm place until it dries and goes hard. This will make up the body of your pig.
- Add legs and a nose by cutting out the individual egg holders from an egg carton and gluing them onto the body.
- Attach a curled piece of pipe cleaner to make a tail.
- Paint and decorate your papier-mâché animal as you choose. Plain pink is good for traditionalists, but there’s a lot to be said for the maximalist approach with plenty of glitter.
- Once dry, coat with a thick layer of glue and wait until it dries rock hard and looks varnished.
- Using a craft knife, cut a money slot in the top of your finished sculpture. It goes without saying that this step needs an adult.
- Your work of art is now ready to collect your cash!
Once you know how to make a paper mache piggy bank with this basic method, you can customise it, too: add a horn and a mane and you have a unicorn; two horns, ears and black and white spots make a cow; and swapping the nose for long ears and a fluffy white pom-pom tail makes a rabbit.
Whatever magnificent creature you and your little one make, you’re sure to have plenty of fun. And if you’re worried about glue and paint stains, don’t be – check out our guides to removing them here and here.