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How To Papier Mache

I am ‘a tad’ obsessed with papier mache, no secret there!! so in advance of publishing my new Hen design, tutorial and pattern Friday morning, I decided to post the tutorial for the papier mache technique I use in advance, so as not to overload the steps on the hen tutorial.

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Tips before you start:

Rip the newspaper pages into strips along the grain, you will know you are ripping the right way when you are getting long full length strips, if they start breaking on you rip from the other side

Experiment with different newspapers as the quality of newsprint varies greatly. You want to work with newsprint that doesn’t start turning to mush as soon as you raise it from the paste, a good quality newsprint will give you the luxury of time to reposition, if needed, without breaking apart.

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Making the Papier Mache Paste:how-to-make-papier-mache-paste

Ingredients: wallpaper paste, pva and water
– first make up a small quantity of wallpaper paste
– mix until the consistence is smooth and add a small quantity of craft glue
– mix well
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How to Papier Mache:
(all black & white, documentary style :)

psst!! no need for a brush, using your hands is far more fun :)
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Step One: dip one end of the newspaper strip into the paste
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Step Two: lift the end out and squeeze the paste down along the strip between two fingers.

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The strips do not need to be soaked through, so squeeze down to leave a light spread of the paste on the strip – this will ensure the item you are covering doesn’t get too wet and weak, and it will dry that bit faster.how-to-papier-mache4
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Step Three: lay the strip onto the surface of your piece and smooth it down with your fingers, ensuring there are no air bubbles.how-to-papier-mache5

Step Five: to get nice crisp, flat corners and edges make little tears across the width of the paper strip and smooth down individually, overlapping where necessary. Getting the edges clean makes all the difference to the final finish. You can only achieve this by using your hands and not a brush. Again massage the paper onto the surface to make sure there are no air bubbleshow-to-papier-mache6.
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