Paper Mache – New uses

So I have been experimenting with mulched paper for a home made paper project.

I got the first few pages, and without doing anything, they dry really stiff.  This made me think.. This could be used for more than just paper making projects.  This could bulk out the insides of dolls, forms, and be base starter shapes to put clay on.

For this you will need:  Blender/Processor, strainer and some sort of mesh (screen, cheesecloth etc), paper, a couple of buckets (i am using a cleaned out cat pan because it allows you to soak a lot of paper at once)  A ziplock.. optional.. white glue.

The first thing I did was started keeping my egg crates and brown paper bags from shopping as well as news papers and all kinds of other things.

I used my blender for this.. because I have a processor, I dont use my blender anymore.  It is now my craft blender!  TA DA..  Ok ok..

First step in this process is tear up the bags and the egg crates, then submerge them in a tub of water.  I let brown paper sit overnight.. because it is tough, egg crates will almost dissolve when you add water, same as news paper.  So only thicker/tougher paper needs to be soaked.

Now fill up your blender/processor part way with water.  Slowly add in bits of pre soaked paper.   You will know you have the right consistancy when your blender doesn’t want to work anymore, or it looks liek a really thick milkshake.  At this point it should be pulp.

Your mesh should be over a strainer which should be over a bucket.  The waste water shouldn’t go down the sink .. but rather the toilet.

Blend, strain, then squeeze the pulp in the mesh to get out water.

DO NOT TAKE OUT TOO MUCH WATER.. (but you can always add it back in)

Drop it into a ziplock baggie, to keep it wet.

When you want to use it take out chunks, and squeeze out the water while making it roughly into the shape you are looking to cover with clay.

Also if you wanted to use this as a modelling material, you could make some cold porcelain (paper clay) and mix this in with it.

OPTIONAL… you can add white glue into the blender.. this will give your finished product some added durability when it is dry.  I tend to paint it over the outside of the shape as it is drying.  Or you could add it full strength to the ziplock and knead it into the pulp inside the bag without getting your hands messy

RESULT UPDATE:  If you squeeze less water out of the shape, it (obviously) takes longer to dry, BUT, it does make for a smoother shape.  The more water you squeeze out, the less time it takes to dry, but it is harder to fill in holes and add new material.

5 comments

  1. Very good blog you have here but I was curious if you
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  2. Since I don’t have a blender dedicated to crafts.. how easy would you say it is to clean the blender afterwards? (I don’t plan on adding the glue into the blender)

    • it is just paper, (and ink if you are going to do newspaper) so as long as you rinse the blender out after you are done, and can put it in the dishwasher, I am going to say it would be pretty safe. The biggest worry is that your blades wont stay sharp for long if you are going to blend up things like paper and cardboard. I was going to pick up a used processor at the thrift store (salvation army) but i wasn’t quick enough.. saw one there the week before. If you can spare it, you can probably get a used blender or processor for about 15 bucks. If you have a choice go for the processor, they have a stronger motor.

      As an alternative you could always boil the paper and keep stirring it. It will have the same effect, but it will take longer.

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