Papier Mache: Simple, Strong and Versatile
Papier Mache or Paper Mache is literally mashed or chewed paper. Paper Mache is a simple mix of glue and old newspapers or any unwanted absorbent papers. Some paper mache mixes will have glue, starch and even cloth.
Pronounced ‘Papay Machay’ or “Paper Mashay”, it is an innovative way to make the best use of that growing stack of old newspapers. The art of Papier Mache dates back to 200 BC in China, where a mix of glue and cloth was used to create helmets for warriors and snuff boxes for the financially well-off.
Papier mache is now a favourite choice for art and craft classes in schools. It is easy, harmless and best of all-very cheap to make. It is a brilliant example of “art from waste”.
Uncover More About : Unleashing Your Creativity With Papier Mache
Preparing Your Own Papier Mache
The procedure to make a papier mache is for those who are not afraid of getting their hands sticky and messy. A good papier mache requires only a handful of materials that are easy to procure. So what are the required basic materials?
- Old newspaper
- PVA glue
- A large bowl
- A spoon to mix
Now that you have the materials, what is the procedure? This is no rocket science. Anyone can do it.
- Mix water and PVA glue in the bowl in a 50:50 ratio.
- Use the spoon to mix thoroughly so that you are left with a sticky mixture of even consistency.
- Tear the newspaper into long strips and keep them ready to commence your artwork.
- Do not bother to use scissors to cut the strips. Rough-edged paper strips hold better and give the art object a proper structure.
Make Your Own Balloon Bowl!
There are umpteen number of things that can be created with papier mache. When it comes to using your imagination, the sky’s the limit! The more innovative you are, the more attractive and unique your piece of art will be. Papier mache allows you to get creative with crafts using paper cups, bowls, masks, sculptures, etc.
Here’s how you can make a balloon bowl with papier mache:
- Blow a sturdy balloon to the size of the bowl you want and tie up the free end firmly.
- Apply a light coating of oil on the surface of the balloon. This will ensure that the balloon slips off easily when the bowl is done.
- Now, it’s time to get your hands messy! Dip the newspaper strips into the glue mix and place them one after the other over the balloon.
- Repeat the process in a neat and tidy manner. Remember that your bowl needs a smooth finish!
- Crease out any bumps and cover the entire balloon in a thick wrapping of paper strips.
- Leave to dry completely. Once it is dry, the bowl will be firm to touch.
- Paint your bowl and allow it to dry again.
- Remove the balloon only when the bowl is super-dry.
Ta-da! Your balloon bowl is ready!
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Your Art of Papier Mache
- Getting the mix right
It is essential to get the ratio of the glue and water right. If the mixture is too thin, it will not hold the shape of the object. Stronger glue should be used to make bigger projects with papier mache.
The strongest mixture comes from using wallpaper powder and water. This method will last for many years, if not a lifetime!!
- Be creative and resourceful
Try making use of unwanted kitchen towels and magazine papers too. Apply a coat of varnish paint to make your papier mache water-resistant. You can papier mache photo frames, teacups, teapots, bowls, plates, etc.
Try your hand at this great art which is also a good stress-buster!