Introduction: Paper Mache Butterflies
I created these to honor the memory of Sophie Sparks, I extend my gratitude to the GREAT community of La Vernia Texas for inspiring this project.
step 1: Prepare Your Foundation
*** Supplies needed: - pen - paperboard (avoid waxy coatings)
- cardboard - tape
- scissors - nail file
- x-acto knife
* I found a book in the library that catalogs nearly every butterfly known!!! It was hard to pick "the one" so I picked many.
* After using a copy machine; I trimmed and taped my copy to a piece of thick cardboard then used the x-acto blade to cut it out.
Note: It can be scary to use an x-acto blade ## VERY SHARP ## so please ask mommy and daddy for permission first!
***** This is your template for making more of each type of butterfly.
* On a large piece of paperboard (old boxes of laundry detergent, food packaging, used mailers, et. al.) trace the pattern to your hearts content...I wanted 40 but ended with 24 b/c of time constraints.
* Trim and cut to let the fine details shine.
* Use the nail file to smooth any rough edges.
step 2: Make Mache
*** Supplies needed: - Plastic Resin Glue - Water
- Pot w/heat source - Whisk
- Bottles or Jars
* Put 4 cups of water to medium-heat
* Add 1 cup of resin glue powder, a by-product from the paper manufacturing industry
* Increase heat (this mixture does not need to boil like the directions on about dot com say and if you do it will create a huge mess!)
* Whisk and stir constantly until mixture thickens.
* You can add a few drops of essential oil or food-grade oils (like peppermint, eucalyptus, orange) if the smell of wet newspaper is gross to you.
* Spoon paste (if you can pour it it's too thin, why not simmer it a bit longer) into wide mouth jars and cool before use
step 3: Form Shape and Paint
*** Supplies needed: - Tray - Gloves
- Egg carton - Latex or Acrylic Paint
- Brushes - Lots of newspapers torn to shreds (about 1/2" x 4" or 1cm x 10cm)
* Prepare your work surface for messy and sticky work, I put down a sheet because I like to be eco-friendly but you can use just about anything. If you want you can wear some type of gloves (Platex, nitrile, etc.) to keep the glue off but it isn't necessary.
* Remove some of your glue resin with your fingers and work it into a strip of newspaper until wet.
* Lay the strip of newspaper over your paperboard and wrap it around edges, paying carefull attention to maintain small creases and other details of your base design. I used a plastic ruler at first to push my wet paper into creases but ended up simply using my fingers after a while.
* Repeat this step until your base desing is covered with about 1 layer of solid paper-mache, place in egg carton (or other styrofoam-waxpaper container) to dry, overnight if possible.
* Use sandpaper-nail file on entire surface to smooth out wrinkles and soften edges
* Repeat until desired thickness. I used three layers for most of my butterflies b/c it maintained a delicate look.
* Paint as desired.
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