Sunday, June 22, 2014

7 Basic Methods for Crafting With Papier-Mâché

This hollow shape was made by layering
newsprint with wheat paste and then an
additional layer of CelluClay was
then layered on top to add strength to
the project. 
There are many different methods used in order to transform paper into small decorative ornaments. I have listed here the seven that I will include among the Christmas ornament projects for this blog.

1. Covering balloons with newsprint and wheat paste. This is one of the oldest methods for creating hollow papier-mâché ornaments. It is a method best suited to the crafting of very large, light weight ornaments. However, it is a bit fussy. Many school children learn to craft with papier-mâché using this method. Whenever I am speaking with students about papier-mâché, this is the method of working that they believe I am referring to. However, I rarely use this type of process. 

Examples of Christmas Ornaments Made from different combinations of newsprint strips and wheat paste:

2. Mass produce detailed mâché ornaments by first casting old-fashioned Plaster of Paris molds of your own clay sculptures. Pour a liquid papier mache mixture/ casting compound into prepared molds to duplicate your original clay sculpted ornaments. 
3. Mix and layer paper pulp directly to the surface of styrofoam or cardboard parts, skipping the old newsprint and wheat paste steps altogether.
4. Crush and mask paper sculpture forms and then layer paper pulps directly onto these light weight armatures. This is a very old process using newer products. It is my preferred method for working with papier-mâché and I will continue to post many ornament tutorials using this specific method.
These paper armatures are ready to have layers of paper pulp smoothed out over them. Far left, German lovebirds,. Center, Early American Lion. Right, Apple.
These are different types of stoneware molds that can be used to cast papier-mâché ornament.
5. Cast papier-mâché ornaments from cookie molds. After perfecting this method, I proceeded to acquire a large collection of cookie molds for teaching classes in crafting Christmas ornaments to adults.

Examples of Christmas Ornaments made from casting paper into molds, cookie cutters and also from sculpting with paper clay :
Prefabricated papier-mâché Christmas ornaments perfect for
decoupage techniques.
6. Decoupage with paper or fabric over a mass produced papier-mâché forms. By means of layering fancy papers and Mod Podge onto surfaces already cast in a factory, most people can craft some relatively sophisticated Christmas ornaments. 

7. Sculpt with papier-mâché, paper clay.

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