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Paper mache props

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I was wondering if anybody in PC has ever used paper mache to creat something for their display. If so, how did you, or, if not, how would you protect it from the elements?

Ive done research, but results vary.

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I've started on whats going to be a creepy pumpkin with hands. Here's a couple pictures on how I started him. I'll have to tell you more tomorrow since it's really late now and this could be a little lengthy and my eye balls won't allow it now.:)

post-2202-129571235242_thumb.jpg

post-2202-129571235257_thumb.jpg

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Those hands look wicked. My Idea for the paper mache is oversized ice cream cones to carry on the bake shop theme I have planed for this year.

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... how would you protect it from the elements?

Ive done research, but results vary.

I've haven't done papier-m

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I have been making life size props for years. I use monster mud. Holds up to weather and last for years. I will post some of my props tomorrow. It is so easy to do...and has a scary effect. I don't know how to post pictures on here as I am new. If I can't post. I can pm them to. So let ms know if you are interested. And I will send all my prop directions.. Props life-size props can be made in a couples of days. Edited by Ladyluck

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I’ve done some research on this at multiple sites and have gotten recommendations from people experience in paper mache. Obviously the materials you use will make a difference in the outcome of your project. I’m shooting for weatherproof.

I used a Walmart bag stuffed with newspaper for the shape of the pumpkin. Masking tape was used to get the indentations lines on the pumpkin. You could also use yarn, fishing line, thin wire or whatever you have handy.

Weatherproof Titebond II Premium Wood Glue was mixed with flour, water and a little salt (1/2 teaspoon salt to 2 cups of flour, water & glue mixture). The water and flour mixture and glue were mixed at roughly a 50/50 ratio. The salt is supposed to prevent any molding and is an option. Mix it up and dip your strips of paper into this and then remove any excess so that you don’t have big globs of the mixture running down your project. I do this by putting the strip of paper between my index finger and middle finger and gently side the paper through your fingers. This will leave a nice coat of the mixture on the strip. I used an old chip brush or my fingers to smooth down the paper strips on the pumpkin and hands. Be sure to cover the area where your working since this does get messy.

Make sure to let the layers completely dry before adding the next. Try to use newspaper and old telephone book paper. I found the yellow pages came in handy for every other layer of paper. This way you can see where you need to add strips since the paper is yellow. The next layer will be white so anywhere you see yellow… cover it.

I put 7 layers of paper on the pumpkin but the last 2 layers I used straight glue to dip the paper in just for added protection. The pumpkin is rock hard now.

For paint, I’ll be using exterior grade latex paint. I’ve been lucky enough to find this paint at Home Depot in the OOP’s paint department for $5.00 a gallon and the kicker is that they will still mix it to any color you want at no charge. If you need just a little of a certain color they might have 4 or 6 ounce container you can buy for .50 or $1.00 but these are rare finds. Just make sure its exterior grade latex paint.

For the sealer, I’m going with a marine type wood sealer. The kind they use for boat decks. It’s more expensive but I figure if I’m going through all of this to make something I want it to last.

For your ice cream cone, I think I would make the basic shape out of sheets of styro foam glued together to get the thickness you want. Cut the shape maybe with an electric knife or a hot melt knife and start layer the paper. But definitely use a good weatherproof type sealer.

I hope this helps anyone who is thinking about a paper mache project. :) I hope I didn't get to carried away here!

Edited by Valerie

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I have been making life size props for years. I use monster mud. Holds up to weather and last for years. I will post some of my props tomorrow. It is so easy to do...and has a scary effect. I don't know how to post pictures on here as I am new. If I can't post. I can pm them to. So let ms know if you are interested. And I will send all my prop directions.. Props life-size props can be made in a couples of days.

I would definitely be interested in this and have been reading about monster mudd projects. I would love to see what you've done and how you did it!

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Thank you all so much for the info, I'll be starting my project in a few days and I will post Pics (if I can figure out how) from start to finish.

I just gott get the news papers together. Luckily I work at a hotel and can take home all the unused papers.

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