One time use tea set and tea party! Meant to be held in the great outdoors as your teapot & teacups will likely dissolve into a lovely mush by tea party's end. This is a wonderful way to wow your friend's with your resourcefulness and lack of attachment to material objects. The paper mache construction method can also be used to create just about any temporary prop (or more permanent if you don't let it dissolve when exposed to water!). Inexpensive and fun way to spend an afternoon.
Step 1: Gather Cardboard and Paper!
Gather your materials needed for paper mache construction! Old cardboard boxes and brown paper bags are perfect. Rip or cut them down to easy to work with size (~ 2 x 4 inches). It's also a good idea to have some masking tape or painter's tape handy for holding things together before you make it into a solid object with your paper mache glue. For the cornstarch paper mache you'll just need cornstarch and water!
Step 2: Make Your Paper Mache Glue
There are many recipes out there for making paper mache but my favorite uses just two things, water and cornstarch. A wheat-based paper mache will also work well if that's what you're used to but here's my recipe:
Mix 1 part cold water to 1.5 to 2 parts cornstarch (for this project I'll use about 1/2 cup water to 1 cup cornstarch) to make cornstarch slime, also known in some circles as ooblek. Once You've got your slime mix, slowly add 1-2 cups boiling water and whisk together mixture as water is added. The color and texture should change to be an opaque smooth goo about the thickness of yogurt. Let your mixture cool before working with it, but it's as simple as that!
Step 3: Make Cardboard Teapot and Teacups
Using cardboard and masking tape, put together the basic forms for your tea set by bending cardboard pieces and taping them together. They don't have to look pretty, the paper mache pieces will make everything come together. This is only to create your very basic general forms for building upon. TIP: Try massaging/bending cardboard in hands before forming shapes..this will make it more pliable and easy to work with.
Step 4: Paper Mache the Tea Set!
Dip paper strips into your paper mache mixture and slowly layer pieces to build upon cardboard forms and create teapot and teacups! TIP: you don't need the paper to be dripping in paper mache, just sticky and wet enough to stick to the cardboard. Build up your tea set to your liking!
Step 5: Let Tea Set Dry
Drink some tea from a ceramic mug, sit in the sun, wait for tea set to dry.
Step 6: Decorate Your Tea Set
Using paints, markers, glitter, anything really, add some personal flair to you tea set!
Step 7: Invite Friends Over for Tea Party!
Gather your guests, pour some tea, watch your beautiful set turn to mush and dazzle your audience!
Step 8: Clean Up Your Mush
Clean up your paper mush mess when the party's over and all guests have left. It might even be able to be reconstituted into a new piece of cardboard paper mache art!