How to Paper Mache a Glass Bottle

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Papier Mache -- commonly referred to simply as "paper mache" -- originated in China and spread throughout Europe in the 17th century. Paper mache is the artistic technique of making sculptures, items and objects out of strips of paper dipped in a simple, homemade paste. Learn how to utilize this longstanding crafting tradition to make creative paper mache bottles for clever and unique home décor or decorative gifts.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty glass bottle
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • Newspaper, cut into long, 1-inch-thick strips
  • Paper towel or hand towel, for wiping hands
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • 1 paintbrush
  • Tubes of poster board or craft paint

Making the Cast

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour with 1 cup water to form a paste that is about the same thickness and consistency as school glue.

  • Hold the bottle lengthwise is your hand, or position it on a table between two sturdy objects, such as books or canned goods, to keep the bottle securely in place.

  • Dip a strip of newspaper into the paste, coating it entirely. Gently run your thumb and index finger down the strip to remove excess paste, but try not to rip the strip.

  • Place the strip along the exposed surface of the bottle, running your fingers down the pasted strip to ensure smooth adhesion and remove air pockets.

  • Continue placing strips along the exposed half of the bottle, including the bottom, all the way up the bottle neck. Overlap strips slightly.

  • Once half of the bottle is covered, allow to dry completely overnight or longer.

  • Repeat the process on the other half of the bottle once the first half has dried, and allow the freshly pasted half of the bottle to dry overnight or longer.

  • Apply a second coat of paper mache strips to both halves of the bottle, following the same procedure.

Assembling and Painting

  • Use a pair of scissors to cut a straight line down the hardened paper mache covering the bottle.

  • Carefully pull the glass bottle out of the paper mache cast.

  • Use glue to adhere the two edges of the paper mache cast back together.

  • Place one strip of newspaper covered in paper mache paste over the seam and allow to dry overnight.

  • Paint the bottle using colors and designs of your liking.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean up any paper mache paste drips or spills immediately so the paste does not have time to dry or harden.
  • Cover unused paste with plastic wrap and refrigerate for future use. You may have to add a little water to refrigerated paste to return it to the proper consistency.
  • Use a hot glue gun instead of craft glue for extra durable assemblage.
  • Paint the paper mache bottle in stripes, patterns or solid colors.
  • Use tissue paper, ribbon or other embellishments to decorate painted paper mache bottles.
  • Paper mache paste is difficult to remove from some fabrics and surfaces once it has hardened.

References

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