Picture of Paper mache
Captured 2006-6-3 sun face 00000.jpg
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Paper mache (or papier mache) is fun to do. It is also a very cheap way to be creative. You can make all sorts of interesting items using this process,  The pumpkin is for halloween and I formed a ball shape over plastic grocery bags.   The sun faces were moulded over an old salad bowl, and then painted.  The snake is a wire coat hanger coiled round and covered and painted.

Step 1: Mixing the mix

Picture of Mixing the mix
Here are the ingredients for the mixture.

Old newspaper
Flour, salt and luke warm water from your kitchen.
and a mixing bowl

(basic paste recipe - ratio of 1/2 cup of flour, large spoonful of salt to 1 cup of warm water)

Put the flour and salt into the bowl and gradually add luke warm water and mix with your hands until you have a smooth paste that is neither lumpy or watery. It should be like a thick, creamy soup. If you line your bowl with an empty plastic grocery bag you will be able to contain the mess and throw the bag away when you are finished.

By the way, the salt helps your finished creation from going mouldy inside.
MIK3 H1 year ago
Nice job. I really want to do this but as for the mold, do u take the "form" out of the finished product? Please answer
fmalover2 years ago
I really don't get how you put the newspaper and paste over the mold. Do you think you could make a video?
so lovely.
OrIsIt4 years ago
Does this rot at some point, will it get ruined in heat? and more properties i should no about?
caitlinsdad6 years ago
Hail stinkymum! Queen of paper mache and crafts...

just some of our paper mache fun...
awesome stuff
stinkymum (author)  caitlinsdad6 years ago
Wow! Now I have ideas for more projects. You are the King!
kumiko6 years ago
How did you make the form for the giant pepper? Are there any special supports on the inside?
stinkymum (author)  kumiko5 years ago
The giant pepper has a wire coat hanger inside and then plastic grocery bags put over it.    I then bound it round with masking tape to get the right shape.   Otherwise it was just moulding it into shape by hand.
The cactus man made me giggle. Really lovely job! The loons look good. Might want to add, if anyone hates the smell of the paste used for papier mache, you can add cinnamon oil (just a little) and it makes it smell really nice.
sgsidekick6 years ago
Nice instructable! For a play I directed for community theater we needed a big bowl. Not wanting to risk my big ceramic bowl, I covered it in Saran Wrap and paper mached it! And to help it dry, I set it in my oven, lowest setting, and left the oven door open a crack. As it was still winter, this helped heat the house for the hour or two that it was drying.
stinkymum (author)  sgsidekick6 years ago
that's an idea.....
eveh6 years ago
you did a fabulous job on that duck. The kids seem to really like that big pepper. LOL Now, I am inspired to try this. Beleive it or not, I make and sell handbuilt pottery and ceramics but I think this will be fun to try. You actually have more lee way with paper mache than with clay. For one thing, you can go big, big and nothing breaks during firing as it can when making handbuilt things in the kiln. Thanks.
notmyfault6 years ago
Great Instructable. One time when I needed some large plaster chess pieces, I used 2 liter plastic bottles. I covered the bottles first with paper mache, then followed that up with a thin layer of wall patching plaster. I was able to sand the wall plaster really smooth. Then I followed that up with gold and silver paint. It made a chess piece that was a lot lighter than one that was solid plaster. I did not have to use as much plaster either. NMF
Desert Moon6 years ago
This is great. Thanks much. Really liked it. Will be doing this with the grandkids.
FELECIAROX6 years ago
thank-you soo much...this was very helpful! I did some paper mache in my art class and I really liked it, its a fun thing to do when your bored or just feel like doing something with newspapers and plastic bags that just keep piling up. Its also a good way to save money on decorations for holidays, I made some for Christmas and Halloween and put them on my window sill. Thanks again!
Earthy Eric6 years ago
Nice instructable, cool ideas. I'm still working on mine, hopefully I'll get it posted by the end of the week..
mg0930mg6 years ago
=P You take all my ideas for contests, I was going to do this...
Nice though. I'm still making mine...
stinkymum (author)  mg0930mg6 years ago
I'm glad you are still making yours, as we can learn from each other.
You do it a bit different than me. I may try this next time...
fwjs286 years ago
lol, at firsti thought it said paper machte....that would be very interesting :P 5/5
ChrysN6 years ago
Great instructable! Those loons look really nice.