Paper Mache can be used as base material for many projects, such as helmets, shoulder armor and props. It’s super cheap and easy to make!
Materials Needed (depending on which method you use)
Take your newspaper and tear it up into long strips. Size is irrelevant since each project requires different shapes and sizes. You’ll want to go around your project three times, so don’t be afraid to tear a big pile.
Methods for Making the Mixture
1/2 Elmer’s glue to 1/2 water
1 part flour to 5 parts water with at least a teaspoon of salt, boil mixture for about 3 minutes and let cool.
Option 3: (This is the one I mostly use)
1 part flour to 1 part water with at least a teaspoon of salt.
Be sure to add salt if using flour mixtures, or it will mold – especially if you live in a humid area.
Sometimes you have to tinker with it a little to get the right consistency. If the mixture seems to runny, sprinkle more flour (or add glue) until it thickens. If it’s too dry, then add water by the teaspoon until it resembles pancake batter. If you’ve never made pancakes before, the mixture should look something like this.
Once your mixture is ready, simply dip your newspaper pieces into it one-by-one. Lightly rub off any excess mixture with your fingers and lay it over the shape of your choice; this could be a balloon, cardboard, twisted aluminum foil, a figurine, whatever. If you’re using a balloon, consider painting it with cooking oil beforehand — that way, when it’s dry, you can slide it out easily. Smooth the gooey paper out onto your shape until it’s nice and secure. Yes, your hands will get messy, but that’s all part of the fun!
When you have a single layer covering the surface, then proceed with the next layer and so forth. Three layers is recommended, but you can build it up even more if you’d like. For best results, place the strips horizontally for the first layer, vertically for the second and diagonally for the third. That way, every little crevice gets covered and is reinforced.
Once you’re satisfied with the general shape and sturdiness, let it completely dry before sanding or painting. I usually let mine dry overnight for safe measure.