This is the 3rd Valentine’s Day I shared how I made a Valentine for my Sweetheart. We were very poor when we first got married and we decided to create cards for each other rather than spend a lot of money. Each year I try to make something new and unique. This year I dragged out my Brown Bag Molds. The company hasn't created any new molds since 2006, but you can still find molds on line at E-bay and even Amazon. If you happen to have a mold and are tired of making cookies with them, now is the time to try paper casting. Let’s get started with the fun.
Supplies: 1 large sheet of paper (I used the paper that was part of a Brown Bag Mold kit, you can use typing paper, a couple of sheets) 1 tsp. (5ml) kaolin clay (available here: http://www.bulkapothecary.com/raw-ingredients/clays/kaolin-clay-white/) or google it 1 quart water (2 liters) Blender Strainer Sponge Micro fiber dish towel Acrylic paints (also known as craft paints) Paint brushes (or you can use cotton swabs or fine brushes, not shown) Card stock (8.5”x11” or 22cm x 28cm piece, white) Card stock ( 5.5" x 8.5" or 14cm x 22cm, complimentary color to the finished cast) Glue Scissors
This is the type of paper that came in the kit, thick, and about 8 inches square. According to the package one sheet will make 3 to 4 casts. It filled 3 of my molds.
Wet the paper
then tear it into about 1 inch squares and put the squares into the blender.
Add one quart of warm water to the blender and turn it on for one minute.
Add the teaspoon of clay and blend for one more minute.
The purpose of the clay is to make the paper in the mold, smooth and hard. Smooth and hard paper is easier to paint and decorate. Pure one cup of the water paper mixture into the strainer and let it as much water as possible drip out.
Pour your wet paper into the mold. Spread it around with your fingers making sure that paper is over the edge of the mold. This gives you something to grab hold of to remove it when dry. It also gives it nice handmade look. Now is the time to get as much water out of the paper as possible.
Start with a sponge. Press the sponge into a wet area of the mold, remove from the mold and squeeze out the picked up water.
Repeat until you can’t get any more water out that way.
Next use a dish towel to remove more water. Press a dry area of the towel into the mold. This forcing the paper into all the nooks and crevasses of the mold. Move the towel and keep pressing until the towel can’t pick up any more water from paper.
Now is the time to let it totally dry. There are three ways to accomplish this. Just put it on the counter or table and let it dry for 24 hours. If you don’t have that much time, you can preheat your oven to 150°F oven then put the mold in the oven for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and let it cool. Or you can use the microwave. Put the mold in the microwave and cook for 1 minute at 50% power. Check it out and keep cooking 1 minute at a time. Let it cool. I don’t like the microwave method as well as the oven or just having it dry by itself.
Once the paper is dry, lift a corner of the edge of the paper and gently lift up and the paper will pop out.
Next we need to decorate the paper. You can do whatever you wish, I choose to use acrylic paint. So I carefully but a base coat of white paint and let it dry.
Then I carefully added each color that tickled my fancy, letting it completely dry between each color. You will know when you are done.
Once the paint is dry you can turn the cast paper into a card. I folded an 8.5”x 11” piece of white card stock in half to create my card base.
Then I took an 8.5”x 5.5” piece of colored card stock and carefully tore away a small amount from each of the 4 sides. This gave the card more of that uneven feathery look that the cast paper has.
I glued the card stock to the front of the card
and then glued (putting the glue around the edges) the cast paper on top of the card stock.
You can leave it plain or you can use a marker or stickers to create a message, and then write a personal message on the inside of the card. You can buy 8 ¾ x 5 ¾ size envelopes at your stationary store. Done.
As you can see, you can use a wide variety of molds to make wonderful Valentine’s, birthday, anniversary, or other cards. I gave my Sweetheart the one with the "Sun, Moon and Stars". On the inside I completed the saying with"the light of my life." He loved it. FYI: To clean the mold, scrub it with a brush and dish soap, rinse and let dry completely. Have fun and ENJOY!