|Pumpkins made by students in various stages of completion.|
Papier Mache has been around since about the 2nd century AD. The advantages of products made using papier mache are in its strength from multiple layers yet it is lightweight. Even today it remains a popular craft due to its versatility and affordability.
|Plastic bag stuffed with shredded paper.|
- Plastic Bag
- Shredded Paper
- Old Newspaper
- Tissue Paper
- Optional: Water Based Polyurenthane
- Optional: Wire (Coat hanger or Rebar)
- Add shredded paper to a plastic grocery bag until firm. (Fill really well so that when tied it is full and as firm as possible.)
- Tie off the plastic bag handle tightly.
- Cut several pieces of twine about 24” to 36” depending on size of bag. (Pumpkin shown uses three pieces of twine about 36” long.)
- Tie all three lengths together mid way.
- Place the knot on the twine in the center bottom. Stretch twine to the center top and tie tightly.
|3 lengths of twine tied tightly around bag.|
- Separate the twine individually into sections of the pumpkin.
- Apply paste on the plastic bag. Lay a strip of paper over the wet area just pasted. With your hands apply paste over the dry paper and repeat adding paper then paste with your hands covering the entire plastic bag.
- At the start of applying paper over the bag the paper will want to slide but keep adding paper. Additional paper layers should overlap covering the plastic. Once the plastic is covered keep adding additional layers building up several layers for strength and stability.
- Allow papier mache to dry overnight.
- Check for hardness. Apply more layers in areas that still seem too soft. If you can press an indention in the dry pumpkin additional layers are needed.
- Last layer should be a clean thin paper without text or photos such as commercial grade brown paper towels.
- Using a paintbrush apply a layer of papier mache paste, acrylic medium or thin glue. Lay small pieces of tissue paper and apply paste over the tissue paper with the brush. (Do not use hands to apply paste over tissue paper. Tissue paper is very fragile and will easy tear. Cut tissue paper into squares or random cuts then use the tip of a wet paint brush to pick up pieces as you work. Tissue paper will easily stick to the tip of a wet paint brush so your hands never have to touch it.)
|Separate twine to make divisions.|
|Apply strips of paper over plastic overlapping edges of paper.|