Free Craft Project

Paper Mache Piggy Bank

Here's a fun project the kids will really enjoy. These paper mache piggy banks are the real deal. Fun to make and even more fun to use!


  • 1 round balloon, inflated
  • approximately 2-3 newspapers
  • 2-5 lb. tub drywall compound
  • scissors, or exacto knife
  • 1 can of spray paint (works best)
  • 4 cardboard toilet paper tubes
  • masking tape
  • sandpaper (optional)



Rip one of the newspapers into long strips approximately 1 inch wide, 6 inches long (whatever length you are comfortable working with).

For glue, combine 1 cup drywall compound with 3/4 cup water. Mix well. Since drywall compound dries out quickly, you might want to use a container with a tight fitting lid. Just prepare one batch of glue at a time, as needed.


Body: Dip strips of newspaper (one at a time) into the glue and remove excess by sliding strip between thumb and index finger. Working from head (the tied end of the balloon) to tail, place and smooth the strips down lengthwise all the way around the balloon, overlapping slightly. (It's not important to paper over the balloon knot.) Now apply a 2nd layer of paper strips from nose to tail, going in the opposite direction. Repeat this entire process five or six more times. Set body aside.

Nose: Using a glass or cup, trace circles onto a newspaper approximately 2" in diameter. Cut out 20 circles. Neatly stack and glue each circle, one on top of the other.

Tail: Cut five 1" x 8" strips of newspaper. Stack and glue them together, one on top of the other. Then gently twist. Some will break, but that's okay. Carefully wrap the "tail" around a pencil. (Leave one end unwrapped slightly so you can easily attach it to the body of the pig.)

Ears: Cut out 20 more circles of newspaper and cut them in half, each half being an ear. Neatly stack and glue 20 halves. Repeat for the other ear.

Legs: Take a toilet paper roll and wrap glue covered strips all the way around (approximately 4 layers), also closing off one end of the tube. Cut several 1/2" deep slits around the open edge of the roll. Fold these "tabs" outward. (These will help secure the legs to the pig's belly. Repeat 3 times.

Allow all parts to dry over night.


First, pop the balloon. If the knot is still visible, snip it off with the scissors. When fastening each of the parts, use masking tape to hold everything in place initially.

Nose: Apply a thin layer of drywall compound to one side of the nose. Now press in place where the balloon knot used to be. Secure with masking tape (optional). Start applying glue soaked strips, criss-crossing over the nose and along the sides of the "face". Do this all the way around the nose. Apply strips however needed to sculpt and shape the proper appearance.

Legs: Using whatever support is necessary to keep the pig from rolling around, place the pig upside down. Position all four of the legs on the belly, securing the tabs with masking tape. (It works best if you keep the legs close together.) Place glue strips over the tabs and up the sides of the legs, then shape the area where the base of the leg meets the belly. Allow the legs to dry somewhat, making sure they're secure enough to support the pig's weight.

Tail: Position the unwrapped end of the tail against the pig's hind end and secure with masking tape. Criss-cross glue strips above, below, and alongside the base of the tail to hold it firmly in place. (This is a bit tricky, so take your time.)

Ears: Positioning one ear at a time, secure in place with masking tape. Now start placing glue strips down both the front and back of the ear and onto the "head". Once it's fairly secure, fold pieces of glue strips over the raw edges of the ear. Using additional small strips, shape and mold where the ear joins the head. Repeat with other ear.

Excluding the tail, carefully begin applying layers of glue strips to the entire pig. Remember to switch directions after every layer. After 5 layers cut a coin slot in the top of the pig. Also, poke a couple of small holes in the belly to assist the drying time. Allow to sit overnight.

The Fun Part

Mix 2 cups drywall compound with about 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well. Now grab a handful and slop it onto the entire pig (about 1/4" thick). You can smooth it all out, do little finger designs, or even create a stucco-like effect. It's entirely up to you. Allow to dry completely.

Final Steps:

Fill in any cracks that might have occurred during the drying process. Once the pig has dried completely, you can use sandpaper to gently "correct" any imperfections.

Now you can paint the pig. If you've chosen to use spray paint, make certain the area you are working in is well ventilated. Place the pig on his back and spray one coat of paint to the underside. Now flip the little guy over and spray the rest of him. Depending on the quality of paint, you'll probably want to apply three or more coats. Allow paint to dry completely.