In one way or another, kids’ arts and crafts typically come at a high risk of mess — whether it be rogue paint stains, marker-covered hands, or a ruined T-shirt. What if there was a way to elevate craft time while avoiding the chaos? It sounds too good to be true, but TOMY’s Mache Magic is making it happen.
With the Mache Magic kit, kids can create their own paper-mache trinkets in a way that is engaging and simple. Designed for kids ages 6 and up, the kit includes a twist-and-press Mache Magic machine, two molds (one oval-shaped, one heart-shaped), two corresponding drainage trays for the molds, a water tray, a measuring spoon, and a variety of decorative tools. The only required item not included in the kit is toilet paper — yes, toilet paper — and a little bit of patience.
Kids will begin the process by filling the desired mold with small pieces of toilet paper. As noted in the instructions, thinner paper works best, but the pieces don’t need to be super small since they will shrink in the water. Once the mold is filled, artists will pour half a measuring spoon full of water into the mold, then press the pieces so they begin sticking together. Kids should repeat this step two or three times while making sure the mold is only filled about halfway with paper.
When the paper becomes compact, it’s ready to enter the magic machine. Kids can place the drainage tray on top of the mold, flip it upside-down, and place the two pieces onto the water tray. The water tray slides easily into the machine, and kids can twist the knob on the machine to remove any excess water from the paper creation.
Now, here is where some patience comes into play. I found that the machine drained the paper of water well, but it takes more than an hour for the sculpture to completely dry. When it finally hardens, kids can use the included glitter pens and stickers to customize their new composite. In the meantime, kids can continue using the mache machine to make more molds!
The tools in the Mache Magic kit function with little to no hassle, but kids may need a parent’s assistance in understanding the directions for the first go-around. In no time, they’ll become self-reliant mache magicians, designing shapes to display on shelves or give as gifts! With Mache Magic, the possibilities are endless, and kids can continue to explore their inner artist without the threat of stains!