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Papier-Mache Today coverPapier-Mache Today

Submitter: I don’t know which project in this book is creepier, the creature with several cigarettes hanging out of his mouth or the little papier-mache children.  Probably the children.  This book is going to give me nightmares tonight.

Holly: Wow, these are some elaborate papier-mache creations! The bird is pretty cool (below), but I have to give it to cigarette creature for the win. This isn’t the worst crap crafts book I’ve ever seen, but there’s only so many decades you can claim “Today” in a title.

papier-mache bird with eggs

Papier-Mache Today back cover

papier-mache doll clothing

papier-mache monster

Papier-mache doll

papier-mache monster


  1. The cigarette creature is creepy, but the bird with speckled egg-boobs is my nightmare. Jeepers. The technique may be fine, but the end results are a fright.

    1. I actually used this book in the early 90s to make several of those cat sculptures as flower pots. They were painted like cats that I had at the time. Brings back memories!

  2. Cigarette Monster would be the perfect gift for that person you’re trying to get to quit smoking.

    Imagine taking the basis for the paper-mache child and getting more creative to turn it into a little demonic thing for Halloween. Heck, I bet you could build enough off that one alone to make your own haunted house!

  3. Nope, I can’t see anything wrong with this book at all. The projects are interesting and creative, the techniques look fine and the pictures are in colour. Is it the rules that you have to slate every craft book you see?

  4. After seeing this post today, I checked my stacks and discovered the book in my library collection. My first reaction was to be embarrassed that I had a book in my library collection featured on this blog. I my second reaction was to chuckle as I remember making a couple items from another copy of this book back in the early 90s, including the cat on the cover.

    In reviewing our copy of the book, I found it to be quite good, with still relevant instructions accompanied by lots of high quality photos, and nice page layouts that are easy to follow and still quite visually appealing. Some of the sculptures are admittedly unusual, though. Heck, I remember thinking some of the sculptures were odd back in the 90s!

    My library is in a junior high school, and having limited shelf space along with a fair idea of the tastes of my young and picky patrons, this one will be weeded from the collection. Another library that serves a different community may find this book to be keeper, especially if they have patrons with strong artistic vision, or those that may be more easily able to see past the then-popular colours and styles some of the sculptures are finished with, and appreciate the instructional value of the book.

    As for the title, I’m in full agreement that that including the word “today” was not the best choice by the author or publisher as it does contribute to a dated appearance. A different cover may have helped as well. The photo does a good job contrasting the level of artistic sophistication one can achieve with papier-mache (a simple cat vs. a complex mermaid), but my junior high patrons have a hard time seeing the book as appealing enough to open, though the animals, monsters, etc. inside may be very much what they’d be interested in creating.

  5. We received a catalog from Firefly Books today and guess what? This book is back in print, with the exact same cover and title. It has been out of print since 2007, according to the blurb.

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