Sep 05

Craft Project: Building a Volcano

volcanoWell, since I did a cheat sheet on volcanoes and I have talked about them a few times, I thought I would give you a how-to on building a volcano. This is actually a pretty fun activity and many kids can take advantage of this when they need a science project in school. It is fairly easy to make a volcano and just takes a little patience and no fear of messes.

I would give you start to finish photographs but when I made my volcano I didn’t think to do that, since it was a few years ago but I will sign off with a few pictures of the volcano erupting.

What you need:

  • a box lid or box cut in half. (this is for your base)
  • large piece of card stock or thin cardboard
  • scissors
  • paper mache paste (see Paper Mache Paste Recipe)
  • strips of newspaper
  • small plastic container (a margarine container works)
  • paint
  • masking tape


  1. Cut out a circle from the card stock and slice one side of it to the middle.
  2. Make a cone from the card stock. Tape it to represent the height of the volcano that you want.
  3. Cut off the tip of the cone so the margarine container can fit in it loosely (don’t go too snug or else the container won’t fit after you do the paper mache. I like to use a margarine container since you don’t have to use as much vinegar and baking soda for the eruption and you can just lift the container out to empty it.)
    mount the cone to the base with tape.
  4. Crumple up newspaper and tape it to the cone to create cliffs and ridges on the volcano.
  5. Mix up the paper mache.
  6. Cut or rip 1 inch strips from the newspaper and cover the volcano, make sure you leave the opening at the top.
  7. Allow to dry completely once the entire volcano is covered. (This can take a few days depending on how wet the volcano was. Make sure to check the inside too)
  8. Repeat paper mache and allow to dry completely each time. (You may have to do this 2 or 3 times)
    When it is dry, paint it to look like a volcano. You can add some scenery, such as Pompeii like we did, although the paper buildings disintegrated after the 20th or so eruptions.
  9. Erupt the volcano once the paint is dry.
  10. To erupt the volcano, go to the post on Fun with Science: Baking Soda and Vinegar.

And now for the eruptions (in these pictures the “lava” is white but usually I color it with food coloring).

-Sirena Van Schaik

Copyright © Uteki

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