Paper mache is a very old technique for making sculptures and artwork. It is popular with artists and students of all ages because of its simplicity and the creativity it allows. There are several different methods for making paper mache but the most commonly used technique is with white polyvinyl acetate glue. Elmer's is the most commonly known PVA glue but all white glue is PVA. So use whatever white glue you can find.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- White PVA glue
- Measuring cup
- Large plastic container
- Wood paint stirrer
- Old newspapers or paper
- Balloon, box or paper towel roll
Mix one cup of glue with ¾ cup of water in the large plastic container. You will need to add more or less water depending on your brand of glue. You are looking for a slightly watery consistency.
Stir until concoction is fully mixed together. Your mixture should feel like watered down glue, not water with a little bit of glue in it.
Tear newspaper into strips varying in width starting at about 1 inch.
Construct the frame for your sculpture. You will need something to apply the strips to. Balloons, balls or paper towel rolls are good tools for creating a foundation for your sculpture.
Lay the strips in the paste until slightly saturated but not so much that the strips tear as you are applying them.
Begin covering your foundation with adhesive-soaked strips. Wipe away the excess glue to even out the appearance and to guarantee that it dries clear. Keep covering until your entire frame is covered. Let each layer dry before applying the next layer.
Tips and warnings
- Try using wallpaper paste as your paper mache adhesive. It is easy to use, made for gluing paper together and dries clear.
- Look for paper mache books and guides to making animals and shapes online and in the arts and crafts store.
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