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Paper mache is an inexpensive hobby as any paper is readily available and can be recycled to make any art and crafts projects. Children and adults can participate in this hobby depending on the simplicity or complexity of the project.
Paper strips from newspapers and other assorted paper sources are soaked or dipped into a paste of flour and water or flour and glue and is applied to a foundation or mold of an article being designed or duplicated.
The art and craft of paper mache has been with us for thousands of years. New products and techniques may be used but the basics remain the same.
Equal parts of flour and water or flour and glue are mixed together. An option of ½ or a teaspoon of salt may be added to flour and water to ward away mildew. Proper drying between applications will usually eliminate the addition of salt. Living in a non-humid dry climate will discourage mildew and mold.
Flour, water, and salt option is the traditional recipe for the paste. However, like many other people; you may experiment with different recipes. There are a variety of recipes online and it can get confusing. Start with tradition then make your decision.
This craft can make objects for both indoor and outdoor use. My first project was making a bowl of fruit. The first fruit was bananas.
- Cover the bananas with the desired paper thickness.
- Set aside for about a week of drying.
- Cut a slit in the fruit in order to remove the contents which will be rotten.
- After removing the fruit let dry thoroughly.
- Place dry beans into the interior if making a noise maker.
- Apply acrylic paints to capture the color of the banana.
- Finish with a spray of a fix-it agent or varnish for added protection.
The foundation or mold may be your personal plans or these items may be purchased online.
Any object may serve as a foundation. Or if you wish, use balloons, paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes, and assorted toys or objects which can be found in your home. The type of object will determine a foundation for indoor or outdoor usage. PVC piping and other weather proof objects will need to be considered for outdoor art and craft pieces.