How to Connect Papier-Mache to a Wire Frame

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Crafters, teachers and parents use papier-mache for art projects because of its versatility. Creative design possibilities are endless with this creative craft. The term papier-mache often makes people recall a popular school project in which balloons are used as a base, with newspaper glued to the balloon. But papier-mache can also be made using cardboard, glass and wire as base objects. Each base object requires a slightly different method of attaching the papier-mache newspaper. Using wire requires a little more patience in construction.

Things You'll Need

  • Galvanized wire in a coil
  • Tissue paper
  • White glue
  • Poster board
  • 1- and 2-inch masking tape
  • Drop cloth

Bend the wire into the shape you wish to create for the papier-mache. Cut smaller pieces of wire to reinforce the outline of the shape. Attach the smaller pieces of wire. For example, when creating a large object such as a mask, smaller pieces help the shape stay together. Use masking tape to hold the smaller wires in place. Wrap each joint securely.

Wrap all the wire with 1-inch masking tape. All parts of the wire should be covered when finished. Rip pieces of poster board into squares and strips based on the design. Fill in the shape with poster board squares and strips. Tape the poster board to the covered wire to mold the shape. Put a drop cloth down to cover the area where the gluing will take place. This is a messy project.

Mix the glue. Use 3/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup of glue and mix well. Tear tissue paper into 1-inch by 6-inch strips. Dip the tissue paper into the glue mixture and gently add to the wire structure. Cover all areas of tape with a layer of tissue paper. Let the shape dry for 24 hours. Repeat the tissue-paper layering process two more times allowing a 24-hour drying period between each layer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure all areas of the tape are covered with tissue paper so the tape will not fall off and ruin the design. Use a drop cloth to protect surfaces around the creation area.
  • Each layer of the papier-mache design needs to fully dry, allowing the shape to remain intact.

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