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Paper Mache Tips and Hints

Learn How to Paper Mache

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Make your next paper mache project more successful using these tips and hints. If you have a great paper mache tip, take a moment to share it with us and it could be posted here.

  • Paper mache is a very messy craft! Make sure to cover your work surface, or you can even do it outside if weather permits. Make sure you cover yourself also!

  • Some creations can take several days to finish, so be prepared and be patient! Sometimes you will have to work for a little time every day adding new layers to your project.

  • You want to make sure your paper mache project is completely dry before you paint and decorate it.

  • Always tear your newspaper into strips instead of cutting them. For some reason the torn paper lays better on paper mache creation.

  • To help your creation last longer, seal it with varnish or acrylic sealing spray when you are done painting it.

  • For a natural look, use brown paper towels for the final layer of your creation.

  • When you lay the newspaper strips onto your paper mache project, make the strips go in as many different directions as possible as it will make your finished project stronger.

  • If you live in a humid climate assemble you paper mache project using glue rather than a flour and water mixture or try using a little less water in the recipe you follow.

  • When working with a round object set it on top of a bowl or large-mouthed cup while you are working on it so it sits still.

  • If you do not like the smell of your flour and water mixture, try adding a touch of cinnamon to sweeten it up.

  • Tip from Anna: "I used your method to boil newspaper pieces in boiling water in order to make paper mache pulp. The method worked. However, the pot that I used was smeared in newspaper ink on the sides. I tried soap, baking soda, vinegar and finally came upon a solution that quickly removed the ink: vegetable oil. I used the oil and a paper towel & was able to quickly remove the residue in the pot. I thought it would be helpful to include this remedy in your article for those of us who end up with dirty pots."

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