Making Containers from Mixed Media PapierMâché

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Making Containers from Mixed Media PapierMâchéPapier-mâché (French for “chewed paper) is a sculptural technique that most people know from elementary school.  However papier-mâché was used for making coffins in Ancient Egypt, for armor, medieval church and castle interiors, boats and even aircraft fuel tanks during World War II. to make a papier-mâché bowl in your house you will need:

  • Paper, torn into strips and pieces – tissue paper, newsprint, junk mail, gift wrap, scrap paper
  • Fiber, fabric, threads and other light, “glueable” things
  • Flour or wallpaper paste
  • Masking tape for adhering bases, handles

You can make a balloon bow while using decorative paper for the inside layer. When you have almost reached the desired thickness, think about the base for your balloon bowl. You can get as creative as you like, but one easy method is a base ring. You can also use this technique to make handles and rims.

You can also make a container bowl by covering the inside of that container with plastic wrap and use it as a form. It’s safer to work on the inside of containers you don’t want to cover permanently with papier-mâché. However remember that you are working the outside first this time. When working in a bowl, you won’t need a base to make your object stand, but you can certainly add one later, as well as handles.

Once the objects are dried all the way through, lift your papier-mâché bowl out of the form and pop the balloon. Cut the containers into any shape that pleases you. Decorate the papier-mâché bowls

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