How to Make Faux Rocks out of Crumpled Brown Paper

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Transform brown paper bags or craft paper into fake rocks by using some of the paper to make a rock shape and the rest to decoupage a covering over the lightweight structure. Use the rocks in stop-motion animation projects, part of the scenery in a diorama or in an environment for an action figure's adventures.

Making the Inner Structure

Crumple scraps of brown paper, such as the printed parts on a grocery bag into a ball to create a faux rock the size you'd like. Wad the paper as tightly as possible, adding more paper as needed to make the rock larger. Use bits of painter's tape to hold the shape together, but do not cover the entire structure with tape.

Tip

  • If you do not have a lot of brown paper, use newspaper or scraps of junk mail to form the paper wad. Thick paper such as from a grocery bag creates a large wad faster, and you'll need less than when using thin paper.

Covering the Faux Rock

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tablecloth or wax paper
  • Brown paper bags or craft paper
  • School glue 
  • Water
  • Disposable bowls
  • Paintbrush 
  • Rubber gloves

Step 1: Protect the Work Area

Cover the work area with a plastic tablecloth or wax paper.

Step 2: Crumple and Tear the Paper

Crumple pieces of brown paper, such as grocery bags or craft paper, and then smooth them out again. Tear the paper into pieces 1 to 2 inches wide and several inches long, or smaller if your faux rocks are less than a few inches high.

Step 3: Make the Decoupage Medium

Mix equal parts school glue and water in a disposable bowl. For a thinner decoupage medium, add up to twice as much water.

Step 4: Decoupage the Faux Rock

Apply a moderate amount of the glue mixture to the back of a piece of the previously crumpled brown paper. Pull on rubber gloves, and smooth the wet paper onto the taped rock shape.

Step 5: Continue Covering the Rock Form

Apply glue to the back of another strip of crumpled paper and to the taped rock, overlapping the first piece of paper in some areas. Continue adding strips of crumpled paper until the entire rock form is covered.

Step 6: Touch Up the Rock

Finish by using the glue mixture to smooth down any pieces of paper that sticking up. To cover a noticeable gap between paper pieces, decoupage a fresh piece of brown paper over the gap. Allow the rock to dry completely before using it.

Tip

  • If you want to customize the rocks, mix a little acrylic paint with a small amount of water and brush or dab the paint over the rocks to add hints of color, such as black or a darker brown. Or use the paint to change their color completely. Painting artificial rocks can make them look more realistic.

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