Monday, July 9, 2007

Recipe for My Paper Mache.

Let me just say there are a lot of different ways of doing paper mache, that is there is 2 basic ways but lots of differing recipes.
You can do the strip method. Cutting paper into strips and pieces and dipping them in a mixture of diluted white glue and water mix.
Then there is paper mash... Or Paper Mache Clay.
I like that kind.

To Begin, have a Large Pot with lid, a ladle, and a blender ( All these are dedicated to crafting I don't use them on food at this point)
Some Tulle ( used for making veils. ) You can get this at Joanns, or any fabric store, or even some Dept. Stores. I use about 1 yard doubled up.
A colander Doesn't need to be dedicated, it is only there to lay the Tulle in and to catch anything that may pop out of the tulle ( you don't want paper going down the drain).
An Empty Bowl
And a ziploc or 2 ( the Large Gallon Sizes)

Usually I take a newspaper and strip it, tear, cut it put it into a LARGE pot of water. Cover and boil for about 90 mins.
When cooled slightly, I like taking it while still hot, just not boiling, I ladle up some paper and hot water and put it into a blender that is dedicated for this purpose only. ( the newsprint is nasty and sticks to the plastic encasement of the blender..YUCK) I blend the paper in small increments so I don't burn out the motor... The paper is very heavy, TAKE YOUR TIME!

At this point after a few seconds ( maybe 30-60 secs) I take this over to the sink where I have set up my Tulle and my colander.
I run cold water over this as I squeeze the hot water out ( remember this is very HOT!). I extrude the water out. I take the ball of clay out and put it into my empty bowl.

I do this until all the paper has been blended and extruded.

At this point I put all the balls of paper into a large Ziploc, or 2 squeeze out all the air as I am zipping and I put it into the frig until I am ready to use it. If you squeeze the air out of the bag it will keep for a couple of months in a cold frig.

Now for the Glue Recipe.
Here is where I said it varies.
Remember there is NO right or wrong way, it is what is comfortable for you.

I use White glue (ELMERS) ( I got a huge bottle at staples)
Linseed Oil ( to help add strength) About 2 Tablespoons. ( Buy this at your DIY center near the paint dept, usually)
Evergreen oil, or clove oil to cut the smell and retard mold.A few drops from an eyedropper.( Find it at a craft store, or anywhere they sell oils.)
Powdered chalk ( you can get this at your local DIY Center like Lowes. It is used for marking chalk lines in construction, it would be found in the lumber / construction dept.
The chalk is like the bread in a meatloaf, it helps to hold it all together. In fact I look at making this similar to making meatloaf.... I eyeball most of my ingredients, and can tell by feel what I need more of.

I also add some wallpaper/bond that I mix myself... Sadly they don't sell this no more, so I am need of finding something to substitute, or maybe I will omit this step altogether and just use the straight elmers glue.
The reason for the WP Glue was that was what I originally started off using in the beginning.
I also like to dip my hands in the WP mix on the final layer and smooth out the clay, NO sanding when I do.

I mix all this together in a large bowl...Like I said , Think Meatloaf.
If it is to wet, add some more chalk, if it is too dry, more glue, and sometimes I add a few drops of water, ( my WP mix is primarily water so I use this)

I usually use a beach ball or one of those large rubber balls you see in the supermarket / dept. store for kids. They cost somewhere between .99 cents and 1.99 as a armature. I cover some of this, just enough to make a bowl shape. I have found that 3-4 layers with dry time in between layers works well.

After it is done the last time, I let it dry for a week, To be sure it is dry, then I gesso it, ( you could use a reg. primer) and paint it. If you need to sand it I would do it after I gesso it so it is tougher, but to each is own, you don't have to..

One thing I like to do to add Color, is use the colored tissue paper and crepe paper. it breaks down easy in water you don't need to boil it, just let it soak overnight, drain it and mix it with the glue recipe. I get a package of 12 sheets for 1.99 at the craft store. the crepe paper is .99 cents for a large roll. Just be sure to buy enough.
To cover a large bowl bottom ( the outside only) I used 1 roll of crepe paper and approx. 1 and 1/2 packages of tissue paper.( 18 sheets) If you are doing both sides make sure you buy enough.....Better to have 2 much then not enough and have to wait for the store to order more...LOL I have had that happen...Also dip your hands in a mix of diluted white glue to smooth out the paper after putting it on, I found it saves time on the sanding as I said, but also the fluid smoothing movement is very relaxing.

MY paper mache Recipe.... Now Go and experiment. Have fun get messy and CREATE!