A papier mache Pig

I’m back from Santa Fe, after a joyous visit with my four-year-old grandson Weston.
Our main project while I was there? A papier mache pig.
Weston always has a list of projects for us to do when I arrive, and the Pig Project was the one on top. We started with a pink balloon, fully inflated, and attached toilet paper roll ears, snout and legs.

Sometimes the simplest of materials, those basic things of life can be the beginning of something wonderful, be it a new story idea for a book, or a papier mache pig. It’s a good thing for us to remember as writers!

Weston and I proceeded to make a very sloppy paste, and to tear hundreds of strips of paper. These we had to slather on, layer by layer, over our pink balloon pig. What a messy process! Reminds me of that middle stage of writing a book, all those pieces that have to somehow be layered in and on our story.

Then we had to let it sit for awhile and dry. Yep, just like our book, when we get that first draft done.

After that we attached a Baker’s clay tail, such a lovely curly tail.

But oh my, wouldn’t you know it, when we tried to poke in the Tail End the whole inside of the pig exploded (that pink balloon) and there was a gaping hole in our beautiful pig.

Repairs needed. Some major, some minor. We made more paste. Tore up more newspaper. Slathered on more layers. Attached the ears more firmly. Let it dry again.

Ah, lovely! This pig version was much better. Those ears looked so cute at that new angle, and our pig was firm, fat and fully dry.

Weston and I painted him a lovely crimson, and Weston put on the finishing touches–his eyes and nostrils. Such a wonderful pig.

Such a wonderful story.

May you all have a joyful week, enjoying your stories and life, even if the process is sometimes messy. Even if your story, or your day explodes.

Just keep at it, slather on a little more paper and paste, and let it dry. Sooner or later, you’ll wind up with a new creation, more lovely than before.


  • Peggy,
    I love your pig and you're exactly right--building it is exactly like creating a story or an article. Lots of patching and rebuilding and rewriting to get it right.
  • What a wonderful pig! I love how you tied it to the messy, fun, and sometimes frustrating process of building a book...so right! xo
  • What a cute picture of you and Weston and wee pink pig! Loved the analogy.

  • You're the best Grandma ever! And is it ever like writing ... even the explosion!

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