Paper mache is a great medium for arts and crafts, because it can be made quickly using common household items. One project uses the most basic paper mache recipe to make prop or decorative plates that can be painted and decorated. Their uses can include theatrical productions, wall art or sculpture. They are a great project for children to make as gifts. Try adding a child's handprint and the date for a memorable Mother's Day keepsake.
Things You'll Need
- Strips of paper
- Plastic wrap
- Dinner plate
- Sharp craft knife
Wrap a dinner plate in plastic wrap, being careful to cover the plate entirely. This will serve as your mold or template as you make your paper mache plates.
Make paper mache glue. This is made by combining one part of flour to two parts of water in a clean glass bowl. Mix the flour and water slowly to avoid creating air bubbles. It is common for this mixture to settle, with the flour sinking to the bottom and the water rising to the top. If this happens after sitting for awhile, just stir it and it will return to normal.
Prepare your paper medium. This project works very well with newspaper; however, you can also use strips of construction paper or any paper leftovers you may have. You cannot use coated papers as these tend to not hold and absorb the paper mache glue. Rip or cut your paper into a series of 4- to 6-inch strips. Create a variety of shorter and longer pieces.
Dip each strip of paper into the paper mache glue, and apply it to the dinner plate. Start by using the longer strips and applying them across the middle of the plate, working outward toward the sides. When you get to the edges of the plate, use the smaller strips and carefully fold them over the edges, making about a half-inch lip. Repeat this process until you have covered the plate in three to four layers of paper mache. Allow the plate to dry overnight.
Use a sharp craft knife to cut the lip you have created from the bottom of the plate. This will allow you to lift the paper mache off of the dinner plate, and create a smooth edge without a lip. Carefully lift the plate off the the mold to view your finished project.
Paint your plate. Set the paper mache plate back onto the mold if you are going to paint it. This will protect it from bending, warping and breaking. Use acrylic or water-based paints. Try to avoid water colors, as you do not to want to rewet your paper mache. It's normal for the paper mache to absorb some of the paint as it dries.
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