Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Paper Mache!

I love paper mache. It's like working with clay, but simpler. Also, I'm so excited to decoupage some Luxe in Bloom fabric onto my paper mache makings. Here's a little how to on paper mache, incase you've never done it. I'm sure you all have though.
 Okay, first step, gather your paper. You can use literally almost any piece of paper. I've used old school notebooks, newspaper, moving paper (that's what I have here), magazines, napkins. Just a bit of advice, the thinner the paper, the more easily it will start to crumble in your hands while working with it. So maybe save the tissue paper for a more experienced project. Also, on that note, thicker paper, like glossy magazines, you may need to soak a minute or two in your goo, to make it more pliable.

When you have your paper, tear it into strips. Paper has a grain, so you'll find one direction extremely easy to tear, while the opposite will be harder. You can use any size paper, but I find long and thin rectangles to be the easiest to work with.
 Next, get your molds. You can use anything here. I used bowls and a plate, but you can use jars, milk jugs are good for masks, pretty much anything that has the shape that you want, is solid, and you can get the end product off of. I cover all of my molds with plastic bags, this makes it much easier to take the finished product off the mold.
 MMMM the goo! I use equal parts water and flour. Sometimes I add a little extra water if I know my paper needs a little extra soaking. Whisk these ingredients together and you're good to go!

 So! Applying! Dunk a strip of fabric in the goo, and wipe off any excess goo (easiest way is to run it between your pointer and middle fingers), and lay er down! On flat surfaces, like this plate, I like to go in a herringbone pattern. For bowls I try to lay down strips in alternate directions, although sometimes it just ends up a mess.
And that's pretty much it! It usually takes me a few layers, and I usually do one or two layers and let the piece dry, but feel free to experiment!

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