How to Make Paper-Mache
Gather up the kids and spend some quality family time engaged in the timeless craft of paper- mache art. The possibilities for creating paper-mache masterpieces are endless, so whether it's a school assignment or just for fun, use these guidelines to get started.
Things You'll Need
- Form for the paper mache sculpture
- Masking tape
- Shallow basin or bowl
- Decorative elements such as feathers, buttons etc.
Tear lots of strips of newspaper. These are the "clay" of your sculpture, to be applied to the form you choose for your project. Tear rather than cut your paper. This helps you to feather the edges of the paper, giving you a smoother finished project.
Design a form. Use balloons, cardboard, chicken wire, a group of boxes, toilet paper or paper towel tubes--or anything else you like. Arrange the various objects into the desired shape then secure them with masking tape.
Make your paper-mache paste using a mixture of flour and water. The easiest paste recipe calls for one part flour to two parts water. Stir out all the lumps and add a couple of tablespoons of salt to prevent mold. Mix your paste in a shallow bowl or basin.
Dip one strip of newspaper at a time into your paste. Run the strip through your fingers to remove any excess.
Place the newspaper strip onto your form and press it to lie smoothly.
Continue placing your strips of newspaper onto your form, overlapping each as you go, until you have completely covered it. Continually smooth the paper as you apply it. Let it dry for about twenty-four hours.
Repeat steps 4-6 to create more layers on your form. Add at least three layers--this is the time when you will be doing the "sculpting." As before, let the newspaper dry for twenty-four hours between layer applications.
Paint your masterpiece and decorate it with ribbons, beads or any other decorative touch you can dream up.
- Allow each layer of newspaper to dry before adding another.
- Always end with a white or solid layer of paper mache. This prevents the newsprint from bleeding through the paint.