I love to make decorative paper mache bowls from newspaper and use tissue paper as the top layers. I know that a lot of people turn this paper mache process into a big and involved project by making paper mache pulp in their blenders. My motto is keep it simple and my results have been very satisfying.
First, I choose a bowl with the form I love. I have a big pottery salad bowl that I’m especially fond of. O.K., the bowl is picked for the form.
Turn it upside down and ‘grease’ it with petroleum jelly or anything (even Crisco) to keep the paper from sticking to the bowl. It’s a good idea to place it on a board or tray to catch drips and also to make it portable as the paper mache bowl needs to dry thoroughly. Tear newspaper into small pieces. You are going to need lots of paper pieces to complete this paper mache bowl. I have used wallpaper paste to adhere the paper to the form. The dry wallpaper paste is easy and cheap because a tablespoon of paste makes alot of glue after it is mixed with water.
ModgePodge thinned out with water works very well I have also used Elmers glue thinned with water. All we are doing here is bonding the wet paper together and smoothing it with the paint brush. Cover the greased form with the newspaper bits one at a time adhering them with the ‘glue’. Use a small paint brush to apply the glue or paste.
After the first layer is complete, go on to the second layer and then the third, etc. After a few layers, let the paper mache bowl dry before adding more layers of paper to the paper mache bowl. The more layers you add, the more substantial the bowl will be. Let the bowl dry completely. I let it dry for several days. Take it off the form.
When the paper mache bowl is completed, you have a couple of options:
Paint it inside and out, to complement your decor or add a few layers of tissue paper. Acrylic paint is available in small bottles and works very well on paper. Let your imagination guide you to a masterpiece! I like to use three colors and white tissue, also torn into small pieces, and layered until the newspaper does not show through. The different colors randomly layered, form new colors and shades. Pay attention to the rim of the bowl so it is neat…fold the pieces of tissue over the rim to make a smooth edge.
Hint: save all that tissue paper you receive in gift bags. Use tissue scraps to cover boxes or anything else that catches your fancy.
As a final step, spray the paper mache bowl with a sealer. There are many spray sealers available in craft stores and even Walm art. Making paper mache bowls is a great way to recycle some of the some of the paper that accumulates in our homes. You can use paper mache bowls as the basket for a gift basket, a fruit bowl or to hold potpourri….
I found this gallery of paper mache projects you might enjoy.. http://pitterpaint.blogspot.com/
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