Posted by Brian Lindsay on Dec 2nd 2016
With the popularity of DIY party decorating on the rise, it’s handy to know how to make paper mache like a boss. When we speak of paper mache and parties, the project that comes to mind is the ever-popular pinata. While a candy filled orb floating in the sky is exciting enough, the uses of paper mache reach much further.
You might be tempted to think that this economical craft is just a trendy way to create a death star pinata for your son’s birthday party. As useful as it is to us modern folk, mache has a lot more history than one might think.
Paper mache is French for “chewed paper”. I suppose this is what my bored Labrador was up to when he found several hundred dollar bills in my pants pocket while I slept in one Saturday morning.
In antiquity, mache was used to make Egyptian coffins, death masks and even a modern canoe, which was used to paddle from New York to Florida in 1874.
This paper and glue concoction has even seen combat in WW2. The British would employ paper mache figures made to look like soldiers to draw sniper fire. The bullet holes in these unwilling decoys were analyzed to zero in on the position of enemy snipers.
On the lighter side of things, most of us know that mache finds its way into our celebrations in the form of carnival floats and pinatas.
Let’s dive right into the fine art of making paper mache by first dividing it into two broad categories: The paper strip method and paper pulp method. Everything else is a variation of the two.
It is safe to say that using paper strips is often better for children who are making mache. Using paper strips is pretty simple:
For a little more effort and time invested, the paper pulp method brings your mache creations to a whole new level:
Of course, paper mache without the gooey paste that binds it together is not paper mache at all; That’s just called confetti or spit-wads. There are quite a few different methods for making this paste. Let’s look at a few different handy recipes.
If the idea of being standard or typical does not sit well with you, then good for you. Roll up your sleeves and mix up this mache paste that is perfect for the impatient at heart.
Mix these ingredients and then get to crafting. You won’t have much time to wait before this mache paste hardens.
This recipe comes from the paper mache guru at ultimatepapermache.com. This stuff is for making masterpieces at a whole new level.
This will make one quart of paper mache clay. You will find this recipe suitable for serious craft work. Get down with your bad self!
Since no awards are given for the heaviest craft creations, you will need to find a structure that is roughly the shape of your desired craft and add layers of paper mache on top of this base material. With a little creativity, nearly anything can be used as a base material:
Get creative with these base shapes before moving to the mache application phase. Plastic soda bottles can be cut and taped into a number of different shapes that will already resemble your craft. Crumple aluminum foil and apply it to the pop bottles to perfect the shape of your base. A little effort here will significantly reduce the amount of paper mache that you will need to use.
Once you have a firm grasp on the recipe and method that you would like to make your mache with, dive into these tips to save you time, money and frustration:
Now that you have been schooled in the ancient art of paper mache. Create something that is original, daring and fun! Express yourself in paper and goo and see if your audience agrees with your creative side!
Who doesn’t like balloons? Balloons can be silly, festive or classy. It all depends on how you use them. With a bit of effort, DIY party decorators can inexpensively create decorations that range from silly fun you extremely elegant. Read on to take your balloon handling chops to the next level.It’s what’s on the inside [...]
It’s like the most elaborate tea party ever. That’s what a Paris damask birthday party should look like. Intricate decorations in the popular colors of black, pink and white adorn the setting while your princes and princesses enjoy the royal treatment. Read on for some of the best ideas on creating the perfect Paris damask [...]
Who doesn’t love The Octonauts? Created for the BBC by Silvergate Media, this underwater adventure cartoon not only entertains children the world over, but educates them about sea life as well. It’s no wonder that kids are requesting an Octonaut themed birthday party these days. The Octonauts have a recognizable style that is fun to [...]
This is the part where I begin by informing you that there is this game that has skyrocketed to the top of the app store. I cite some facts about the number of players all across the world, how much money the game has grossed since its release and how this big, really big. But [...]
Ten Of The Best Disney "Frozen" Birthday Party IdeasIf you have a youngster, chances are you have heard the theme song to the Disney movie "Frozen" ten times too many. Whether your head is about to explode or you have mastered the art of selective hearing, this does tell us quite a bit about what [...]
Your youngster wants a theme party based on his favorite video game this year. In this day and age, this could be a scary proposition if your kid’s favorite game is “Grand Theft Auto”. What in the world would you do for activities at a birthday party based around stealing cars and vandalism? Breathe a sigh [...]
Show them how special they are Your child’s birthday is the perfect time to show him or her how special they are. A “you” centered day is the perfect time to make an impression that your child is likely to remember for years to come. For most of us who don’t have a mattress stuffed with [...]
All prices are in USD.