I love creating with paper mache. It is an inexpensive substrate for tons of craft projects and it can hold lots of great embellishments. The best part is the 3D shapes you can find. Why paint on a flat canvas when you can go 3D?

You see, paper mache wants to buckle, bubble and warp when it gets really wet. The trick is to seal the paper before adding lots of liquid. You can paint on top of the paper mache like I did for these Glamorous Paper Mache Pumpkins if you use light coats for the first few layers.

Generally, once all of the paper mache is covered and has dried you can add all sorts of other medium to it. You can even use watercolors on paper mache.

Put a couple of light coats of gesso on the house letting it dry in between coats and it will take watercolor without warping and bubbling up. And you can even use crackle medium on paper mache like on this Hand of St Valentine project. To give you an idea of just how much you can add to a paper mache substrate I give you the Forever Gingerbread House.

Not only is it covered in the embellishments you can see but the paint is also loaded with SAND. Go easy on the Mod Podge for the base coat, add your paper and then you can use a heavier layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper.

Then there is always the option of just leaving the paper mache naked like I did on this Paper Mache Mixed Media Ornament. I had my great nephew and niece make paper mache totem poles. They now sit outside until I can either just paint them or kill the mold with bleach and then paint.

I just want them to finish and the finished work will be displayed outside, not to last a long time. What if you wipe it off with a cloth?

How bad is the mold? Let me know how you are getting on. I have been advised to sand the ghesso down before painting… do you think this is advisable for a lumpier project like my mask? Thanks again. If you sand a lumpy project you will likely remove all of the gesso from the higher areas Superkait.

What kind of gesso do you use exactly? I have a MASSIVE paper mache Phoenix she is about 7ft long from beak to tip of longest tail feather, then wings are 3ft from tip to body that is getting close to being ready for paint… I heard gesso is good as a primer for more vibrant colors on paper mache needed for a golden and brightly colored mythical bird …. However I do not have much money I can to invest even more then I have already….

Which kind do you use since it seems to only require coats for a solid white. Paint on thin coats so as not to get the paper mache too wet. It sounds fantastic! I just found your site via google. My gosh you do wonderful work.

I have a question or 5 and any advice would be great. Can a regular piece of copy paper be glues on or is another type of paper better? What glue would be best yo use?Now, before I get to the steps I should mention that many people use a thin layer of paper mache clay for their first layer, and then they mix up a batch of the Silky-Smooth Air Dry Clay to use as the final layer. I never measure the thickness of the layer of paper mache clay I apply.

Make Paper Mache Clay Smooth Without Sanding

I just make sure none of the armature is showing through. Both of the recipes for paper mache will dry very hard and strong. Make sure your paper mache clay is completely dry all the way through before you move to the next step. You could also use a knife to apply the drywall joint compound, but the flexible spatula makes it so much easier. Drywall joint compound can be smoothed with a damp rag.

But I just did this for the picture — I would never sand joint compound or anything else in the house. It makes a big mess and I hate wearing a mask. You must use a mask if you sand drywall joint compound Read the label! No mask is needed if you use the damp towel, instead.

Acrylic gesso is like a primer for acrylic paint. All acrylic paint companies also make gesso, and I think you can even buy it in the craft department at WalMart.

It protects the drywall joint compound, seals the sculpture, and creates a really nice white ground for your paint. The colors you add will be much brighter and cleaner if you put the gesso on first. In the video my daughter made when she painted the cow mask, she pointed out that gesso also saves paint. After the gesso is dry, your paper mache clay sculpture is, essentially, a three-dimensional canvas. The light from your lamps or windows will cast natural shadows.

The giraffe pattern is now available, by the way.

using gesso paper mache

Skull-Shaped Face-Sculpting Form. Tiger Headdress Mask Pattern. Animal Mask Patterns.To create this article, 13 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 83, times. Learn more Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker.

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Explore this Article Steps. Tips and Warnings. Things You'll Need. Related Articles. Author Info Last Updated: May 13, Apply white Gesso all over your creation, making sure you paint Gesso into any corners and creases You may require several layers to ensure a smooth base all over, so let it dry completely between applications. Once dry and smooth, begin to paint the colours. Begin with the larger areas first, and work smaller towards the details.

Use acrylic paint. It is the most popular paint for this, because it dries nice and bright, and it is also waterproof. Water colours are not waterproof, and dry in a dull soft way. You can also use household paint if your creation is quite large. Again, allow paint to dry between applications. Once everything is painted, apply the details. These can be done using waterproof marker pens, wool for the hair or fur! Beads, string and other household items can be added if applicable.

Yes No. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Not Helpful 4 Helpful 3. Wait for your creation to dry, then paint over it.

using gesso paper mache

Tempera paint works best.Last Updated: September 3, References Tested. To create this article, people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.

The wikiHow Video Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 2, times. Learn more It is often used in arts and crafts to make various sculptures, fruit bowls, puppets, dolls and much more.

The surface is easy to paint, allowing you to add patterns, bright colors, and interesting designs to your finished product. Stir the flour and water together until a paste forms, then set the paste aside. Continue dipping and pasting the strips until your object is completely covered.

Then, let the first layer dry, which should take about 2 to 3 hours. Repeat the process 2 more times so you have 3 layers in total. Did this summary help you? Yes No. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Log in Facebook. No account yet? Create an account. Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great.

By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy.In the end, what really gives any paper mache creation personality is how you finish or decorate it.

There are a lot of ways to add details and finishing touches to paper mache projects and I'll go over a few simple ones in this lesson. Whether you've used paper mache clay or just paper strips and paste, you can adapt these techniques to suit your design.

I'll go over some smoothing and painting techniques as well as how to decorate a project with crepe paper to give it some fun texture. Finishing and painting your paper mache projects is an important part of making them look great, but even a project that you don't spend a lot of time and effort on can look great depending on what kind of look you're going for.

If you've used the store bought Paperclay, you can easily sand it to smooth and shape it once it has fully dried. I used grit sandpaper for a first pass to shape the clay, and for a second smoothing pass. The homemade clay is harder and more fibrous than the store-bought clay, so it doesn't sand as well. If you are using this clay and having a hard time sanding, try using a sandable smoothing compound first then sanding over it.

Smoothing compounds like gesso and Flexbond are helpful to create a smooth finish on paper mache strips or clay before you paint. Flexbond is a lot like wood glue, but creates a smoother finish and can be wet-sanded after it is dry if you want an even smoother finish. Gesso sands evan more easily, so it is the best choice of smoothing compound if you are working over a base that can't be sanded and want to create a really smooth finish.

I used Flexbond on both my un-sanded home made clay and my sanded Paperclay so you can see what a difference the sanding makes when I paint it later. Put a little Flexbond in a cup and dilute it with some water. Use a medium sized brush to apply it all over the mask in a even layer.

It can have a tendency to run and create drips, so use your brush clean up any dripping areas before you leave it to dry. Once the first layer has dried, which shouldn't take more than an hour or two, add a second coat.

You can continue adding layers until your mask is as smooth as you want it to be. If you plan on wet-sanding your Flexbond, you should add at least 4 coats. Once you have sanded and primed you can paint your paper mache project whatever colors and patterns you like! I think acrylic paints are the best for this type of painting. They dry fast, can be mixed easily and are relatively inexpensive. I particularly like using metallic colors or a combination of metallic pigment powder mixed with acrylic medium.

Mix your paints to get a color you like, then apply enough coats to cover the details of the newspaper and clay. If you are using a light or bright color, you might want to prime your project with a white paint or primer first. To create blended or shaded effects, mix a lighter color and apply it over the base coat, using the base color to blend the two at the edges.

It can really enhance the look of a piece to add shading in concave areas and highlights in raised areas. Once you've painted your projects, you can give them some extra protection or a different finish by covering them with some kind of sealant like an acrylic medium, shellack, or something similar. This is an optional step, but a good one if you are creating a piece that is going to get a lot of wear or be outside often. Another great way to decorate a paper mache project is to use crepe paper.

You can either decorate entirely with crepe paper strips, or use a combination of painting and crepe paper. If you want to combine the two, you can start by painting the whole thing white with acrylic paint.

Once the paint has dried, you can add details with crepe paper. It's sometimes nice to have two kinds of crepe paper, rolls of narrow streamers and longer pieces as well.

You can create different shapes with the crepe paper that you can add to your project to give it different textures. And to add long flight feathers to the wings, I cut individual pieces out of the larger crepe paper. To attach crepe paper Take some white glue and pour it into a disposable cup and add a small amount of water.

With a paintbrush paint some glue onto your base where you want to stick the crepe paper.Final touches! We decided to make some signs out of cardboard and some tools from two toothpicks and some paper. Now we have an awesome Mine Shaft Marble Slide! A perfect time to say thank you and give you a present. There is a template you can download here.

And lots and lots of photos and instructions. What you need:. Let's go! Homemade Polymer Clay At different points over the last few years I've played around with different kinds of homemade "clay. Its main ingredients are cornstarch and white PVA or Elmer's glue. You will need: - Water- White flour easy blend works really well, but must contain gluten - Salt- Weldbond or exterior brown woodworkers glue- Large mixing bowl - Storage container large empty plastic milk or juice carton - Long mixing spoon- Kettle or pot for boiling water Proportions to use.

Build a Cardboard and Paper Castle Make a Paper and Cardboard Medieval Castle This is a complete project that shows you how to make a medieval castle out of paper and cardboard. I give you all the templates and instructions. The project takes about hours to complete depending on your skill level. And you have a lot of flexibility in how you decorate it.

Lots of people have made this castle and sent me pictures. Paper Mache Birds I guess I have a bird theme going here. These are some cute paper mache birds we made recently. They have wire feet which allow you to clamp them on an edge like a flowerpot or piece of driftwood or have them free standing.

Captures impressive detail, while being flexible enough to prevent entrapment of the hand. It dries and shrinks over time, so it's not suitable for more than a few castings. My Grandmother used to make bird houses and feeders that my Grandfather would laquer with the remains of a product he used for finishing car paints he was a car mechanic.

Later on in life I got fascinated by the world of puppeteering the muppet show is still in my top 5 favourite shows and started my first trek in the business when I was Put them together and you get paper dinosaurs!

Unfortunately, most of the models on this page are too complex for children. The only exceptions are: - the Mammoth Nick Robinson. This rather obvious realization got me thinking though, about all the fun things I did as a kid to get ready for this increase in darkness.

One of which was to create a little light of my own.African Animals Pattern Set. Use the patterns to create memorable gifts, or to bring a little bit of Africa to your own home. If you use more glue and make it runnier, the gesso will tend to self-level and make a nice smooth surface on your sculpture.

If you use more joint compound and make it thicker, you can use an old brush or sharp tool and create fur and other interesting textures. If you apply the gesso too thickly, it may crack as it dries — but you can fix that with a bit more gesso, or by using a damp sponge to smooth things over. You can add a dab of white acrylic paint if you want the gesso to be more opaque, to cover the printing on newspaper, for instance.

Also, you can sand the gesso if you want the surface of your sculpture to be really smooth, but if you do sand it, be sure to wear a mask. This mixture can also be used as paste with blue shop towels. The gesso is a variation of the fast-setting paste that I use for my masks.

I used the gesso mixture as paste with shop towels for the first time when I made the green witch mask for Halloweenand I was quite impressed with it. By the way, several years ago I tried making paper mache clay using the DAP brand joint compound, and it turned into little balls of rubber. Use any brand of drywall joint compound except DAP.

Note: Drywall joint compound is created for the construction industry and is not edible! For a thicker home-made gesso, you can use calcium carbonate powdered marble and white glue.

To make it nice and white, add 1 part powdered titanium or zinc white pigment. If you want to thicken the gesso to cover bumps faster, you can use more powdered marble. This mixture dries very hard, but sands easily. This recipe uses materials that are not readily available, and they can be rather expensive, but this was the first gesso recipe I used, and it does work really well.

You can see someone making this gesso here.

using gesso paper mache

Skull-Shaped Face-Sculpting Form. Tiger Headdress Mask Pattern. Animal Mask Patterns. It gives you a nice white ground for painting. Could you make it into a thick paste so you could then funnel it from a cone on to a flat surface for 3 D art projects?

Painting and Decorating

Just like cake icing? Does it harden well and last long? Or does it crack? Thanks for answering in advance my innumerable questions. Hi Nirmal. A lot of the people who visit the Daily Sculptors page every day have used the air dry clay recipe more often than I have. If you have any questions or need some advice after you try it, that would be the best spot to leave a comment.