Paper Mache- Pre-made and Making Your Own
mache is material consisting of paper/pulp combined with a
glue/paste. There are several different recipes for the paste
and pulp used in paper mache. Paper mache paste can be purchased, or made
with starch, flour & water, or a mixture of wood glue and water.
How to Paper Mache
- Find a base -- you can use masking tape and
cardboard to create almost any shape. You can also use chicken
wire, or anything already the shape you want such as a
basket, bowl, or box. Balloons are popular if you want a hollow
item. Just pop it when the paper mache is dry. You can
also purchase paper mache sets.
- Make your Paste -- Buy a pre-made paste and follow
the instructions, or mix 1 part water with your glue or
- Tear newspaper into strips; strips should be 1"-2" wide, and
the length will depend on the size of your project. Torn
strips will lay smoother than cut strips.
- Dip one strip at a time into the paste. Strips should be
completely covered. Be generous!
- Stick the strip over the form that you are working with,
smoothing it with your fingers.
- Completely cover your form/base, and let it dry (this can take
up to 24 hours). If you use Activa Fast Mache, you will
significantly reduce the drying time.
- Add a second layer of strips for strength.
- Repeat until you get the effect you are looking for, usually
three or more layers.
- Paint and decorate!
Pre-made Paper Mache Items
Pedlars makes a wide variety of paper mached objects, which can
be painted, decoupaged, or embellished.
- They come in a cardboard brown color, and are easier to paint
over than the traditional newspaper used in paper mache.
- Paper Mache boxes can be purchased
and decorated for storage of dry items like jewelry
Brands with Paper Mache Products
Project Ideas and Inspiration
- Ornaments -- wrap around a styrofoam ball, or purchase a
- Boxes -- buy a pre-made one, or paper mache over a cardboard
- Letters -- build the letter using cardboard and masking tape,
or buy one and decorate!
- Piñatas -- use a balloon for the part that holds the candy and
pop it when the paper mache is dry. You can also use an empty
- Jewelry -- buy a pre-made shape and decorate. You can also make
- Bowls -- you can use a bowl you already have, and remove it
after it's dry.
- Masks -- buy a cheap plastic one, paper mache over it, and make
your own painted design.
- Jewelry boxes -- you can get them pre-made or decorate your
- Volcanoes -- build it around chicken wire, and fill with baking
soda and vinegar for a fun science lesson.
For more project ideas, visit ThinkCrafts.com!
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