Made by hand with a lightweight paper mache, the hollow globe is perfect for crafting into a Harvest moon, complete with miniscule sculpted facial features. A perfect ornament for any holiday tree, all its sculptor needs is a basic understanding of paper mache and molding soft clays
Inspired by Victorian-era German ornaments, this design forms a unique sphere that can be filled with candy and sealed, left hollow for year-to-year display, or used for other craft projects.
• tissue paper or newspaper
• craft glue (optional)
• one small party balloon
• petroleum jelly
• hard candy
• one stylus (optional)
• one piece of Christmas ribbon OR
• an ornament hook
• craft paints
• one paint brush
Paper Mache Tips and Techniques
Almost any paper mache can be used to form hollow globes or candy boxes; but lightweight pulp made with tissue paper and water is the best for crafting a smooth, ceramic-like finish for ornaments. Several recipes are available online for making professional-grade paper mache pulp, but a basic recipe consists of small pieces of paper soaked with water and glue (or flour), blended or mixed together to form a pulp.
Pulp paper mache is also used to sculpt the ornament’s features. For heavier paper mache combination, consider tearing small pieces of paper and pulping them for molding the features, along with a layer of paper mache paste or craft glue.
Crafting the Moon Candy Box
1. Inflate a round party balloon until it approximately the diameter desired for the finished ornament.
2. Smear the surface with petroleum jelly, then layer with paper mache pulp or traditional layers.
3. The shell should be thick, but not too thick (if the ornament is a candy box, it will need to be broken open later). The goal is symmetry, so the paper mache should be as smooth as possible on the outside.
4. Leave a small opening at the top of the ornament.
Sculpting the Moon’s Features
Once the outer shell has been formed, the moon’s facial features can be sculpted from leftover pulp or paper mache materials. Sculpting small features can be hard; use a stylus or a similar fine-tipped tool to help nudge or shape small features, like the curve of the mouth, or form nostrils on either side of the nose’s tip.
Create the basic outline of facial features or create carefully-sculpted detailed features. The results will vary, depending upon the artistic talents, time, and materials involved.
Drying and Displaying the Ornament
Once the ornament is dry, untie the balloon’s knot and remove the deflated mold from inside the shell. Place an ornament hook or a knotted ribbon loop just inside the shell and cover with an even layer of paper mache; fill the globe with candy first, if it is intended as a gift box.
Keep the topmost layer thin for a candy box version, so the ribbon can be yanked out to create an opening in the container. Once the top is completely dry, the ornament can be painted with yellow or white paint; to crackle the ornament, add a thin layer of craft glue first and let dry for five minutes before painting. The features should be painted last, with whatever colors are chosen.
Add a gift tag with the recipient’s name before hanging the ornament from the tree’s branches. Add a small set of instructions about pulling the ribbon, to help preserve part of the container’s form when it is opened.