Paper Clay Haunted House!

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About: I am an American builder and crafter living in Japan.

My homemade paper clay recipe is the best! It's cheap to make, keeps forever and can be used on all kinds of surfaces.

This is the finished house and it's surprisingly easy to make!

Step 1: My Paper Clay!

This is the recipe for one batch of clay.

-6 rolls two-ply unscented toilet paper

-6 cups (1.5kg) wood glue/PVA glue

-1 cup joint compound

I live in humid Japan, so I don't use flour based anything. For me, this is this best most versatile recipe.

1. Soak one roll of toilet paper at a time in the smaller bucket using warm water. The toilet paper tube will easily come out and the toilet paper will turn to pulp. Break up the pulp with your fingers and then dump it in a plastic strainer. Push as much water out as you can and then put the pulp in the big bucket. Do this for each roll of toilet paper.

2. Add the wood glue and joint compound.

3. Mix carefully at first, so the joint compound doesn't fly up in the air. Mix it thoroughly until it becomes paper clay.

*It's better to buy buckets and tools that will only be used for this.

*If the paper clay is too wet, add more paper pulp. If you have the option of buying pure dry pulp, it is definitely better and easier!

This clay keeps forever in a bucket with a lid. I'm using clay I made last year right now.

Step 2: Armature

This is what you'll need to make the armature. An armature is the skeleton of the project. It will hold the paper mache and paper clay.

Building supplies! You'll need:

-boxes

-scissors/box cutter

-hot glue/hot glue gun

-painters tape/duct tape

-paper mache glue/newspaper for paper mache

-paint brush to apply the glue to the newspaper

-yellow clear file for the windows

-wood and trim for the base

-wax for the base

-hammer/nails for the base trim

-screws to screw your haunted house to the base

*Not pictured is a tube

**I know it's 'Papier-mâché'

Step 3: The Details

Detailing supplies!

You'll need:

-artificial grass

-rocks

-wooden pegs for the fence

-craft wire for the tree limbs and fences

-bamboo skewers for the roof and making brick lines

-scissors/box cutter

-hot glue/hot glue gun

-paint

-paint brushes

Step 4: Build Your Armature

Build the armature!

All you need to do is cut and glue boxes together into a shape that looks similar to what you want to make. It does not need to look nice or neat. Just look at my armature! Yikes!

I started with an empty box and put a tube in to support the house. You can also use printer paper tightly rolled into a tube and taped together.

The tree is just pieces of a box and skewers.

Reinforce the windows with duct tape and cover any big gaps with painters tape.

If you plan on putting in lights, do all of your wiring before you paper clay. If you plan on putting in a battery light, you'll need to build in a slot for it. This clay is incredibly difficult to cut once it has dried.

Step 5: Paper Mache

Once the armature is ready, you can paper mache.

I used wallpaper paste as my paper mache glue. You can also use wood glue mixed with a little water or just glue.

Again, I don't use flour or anything that has a chance of growing mold.

Cut and fold over the roof to glue in your windows. I used a yellow clear file for my windows. Check the transparency of the file, because you might need to stack a couple window cutouts together.

Step 6: Paper Clay

You'll want to paper clay everything!

I didn't paper clay the roof and instead, cutout roof tiles and hot glued them to the house.

Remember to do the lights before you paper clay. Do all of the wiring or leave a hole or an opening in the back to fit a light in.

For sculpting tools, I used a skewer to help me with the stairs and make brick lines on the house.

You don't need any other sculpting tools for the textures. Just use your fingers and push and pinch the clay into designs/accents.

I twisted craft wire around the tree for branches. The end result looks awesome!

I used a hot glue gun I received as a gift from GearBest. This glue gun is awesome! It heats up quickly and pushes glue out faster than my other guns. It's a deal at this price.

https://www.gearbest.com/other-tools/pp_393564.htm...

Step 7: Paint, Rocks and Moss.

There are so many different ways to finish your project. It's best to do a base coat first and a can of black spray paint will take care of that for you.

I tried a bunch of different things while painting this.

Detailing tips:

-hot glue real rocks down and paint them

-glue down small patches of artificial grass for a realistic look

-Base paint the entire project matte black first. Spray paint is OK.

-Dilute your colors with water for a dingy/spooky look.

-Dry brush white on the very top parts of your project to accent them.

Step 8: The Finished Haunted House!

This is the finished house.

Remember, If you make a painting mistake, you can always paint over it.

-Use a hairdryer to speed up the paint drying time.

-Don't rush your project.

-Happy Halloween!

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    26 Discussions

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    FranciscoF57

    6 weeks ago

    this looks fantastic. I’ll have to try this. Might not come out half as good as yours but I’m still going to give it a whirl

    3 replies
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    FranciscoF57bryans workshop

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    I’ll certainly send a pic of the finished goods, I built the house armature too big ( I think)

    image.jpg
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    clothier_bruce

    Question 5 weeks ago

    Very nice job: however, I'm in the UK and dont know what you mean by 'joint compound'.

    1 more answer
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    bryans workshopclothier_bruce

    Answer 5 weeks ago

    Thank you! I believe it's called joint filler in the UK. It's also called sheetrock, wallboard, plasterboard and mud. It's the stuff you use to fill in the cracks between drywall.

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    7 weeks ago

    This haunted house looks fantastic and you have such amazing photos of it :)

    1 reply
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    mrdovie

    7 weeks ago on Introduction

    You may want to experiment with this. If you staple cloth on a wood frame Then coat it with joint compound that is thinned, I've added titanium white pigment also, it will dry tight and flat and you can use watercolor paint on it like an artist's canvas. I've added sparkle pigments also that look great. Thanks for this project!

    1 reply
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    Tura Street

    8 weeks ago

    This was very cool. Thanks for sharing. The wiring the house was pretty cool.

    1 reply
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    PCaron4

    2 months ago on Step 8

    What a beautiful display!!!!! I love all the fine details!!! Great pictures too!!!

    1 reply