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Video:Paper Mache Base Ideas

with Zoya Popova

Paper mache bases can come from a variety of household items. As long as you don't mind getting a little messy with glue, try some of these ideas for a paper mache project base.See Transcript

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Transcript:Paper Mache Base Ideas

Hi,I'm Zoya Popova for About.com, and today we're going to talk about paper mache base ideas.

Boxes and Bowls are Easy Paper Mache Bases

A cardboard box is a great idea for the most straightforward paper mache project you can think of. It already has the shape of—well, a box, such as a box for your jewelry, for your recipes, or an Easter basket. To turn this cardboard box into a pretty jewelry box, trim all unnecessary parts and secure all loose parts with masking tape. Apply paper mache inside and out. Let dry, cover with a couple of layers of water based paint, and add décor.

Smooth-surfaced containers, bowls and bottles made of a variety of materials such as plastic, metal, or ceramic, are all great ideas for paper mache bases. Most of these objects will have to be removed from the paper mache shell once it is dry. To make a Leprechaun hat, start with a plastic flowerpot. Cover the flowerpot with tin foil and top with no-stick cooking spray. Apply the paper mache, let dry for at least 24 hours, and carefully remove the flowerpot. Create a cardboard base for the rim of the hat, and use masking tape to attach it to the paper mache shell. Cover with a second layer of paper mache to create a wholesome structure. Let dry, pain, and decorate.

Use Irregular Surfaces for a Paper Mache Base

One thing that may not be obvious to a beginner paper mache artist is that the bowls, containers and bottles that you use for your projects do not necessarily need to have basic shapes. In fact, they may be shaped quite irregularly, such as this ceramic bowl which has quite a lot of curve in its shape.To use this ceramic bowl as a mold for its paper mache counterpart, start by wrapping the bowl in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Apply paper mache. Once the shell is dry, take a craft knife and very carefully cut it in two. Remove each of the halves from the mold, put them back together, secure with masking tape, and apply more layers of paper mache. Let dry, paint, and decorate to your liking.

Use Aluminum Foil to Mold Your Own Paper Mache Base

Now, we've been talking about how aluminum foil can be used to separate the paper mache from its mold. Well, in some cases, aluminum foil can be the mold.Place heavy duty aluminum foil over an object, such as your face to make a mask. Emphasize all the convexity and concavities of your shape. Spray with no-stick cooking spray. Cover with a light layer of paper mache. Once thoroughly dry, remove the tin foil, cut out the slits for the eyes, and add décor.

Aluminum foil may be great at retaining complex shapes, but it won't support a lot of weight. Enter chicken wire, a great material that's strong enough to hold the weight of a lot of wet newspaper; and flexible enough to create any sort of shape. To create a star-shaped Christmas-tree decoration, cut out 5 rectangular pieces of chicken wire. Fold each rectangle into a cone. Place them side by side and slide a piece of string through the bottom parts of the cones; you'll have a basic star shape. Cover the armature with paper mache. Allow to dry; paint and decorate.Well, that it's it for our paper mache base ideas.

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