s Paper Mache Plates: Not As Messy As You Think - The Kim Six Fix
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Paper Mache Plates: Not As Messy As You Think

We came across this art project in a library book and thought we would give it a shot. We had all the materials on hand, and although I was nervous about what kind of mess we would end up with doing paper mâché, it really wasn't bad at all.

First we wrapped our mold (we decided to make a plate but you also could use a bowl) in plastic wrap. We used the bottom of the plate since it had a raised pedestal that we wanted to show on the surface of our paper plate.
Normally paper mâché is made of recycled newsprint, however we didn't have any newspapers lying around so instead we used old office paper. We used about 20 sheets cut into small strips and squares.We then mixed 1 part water with 2-3 parts school glue. ThePrincess was NOT happy about getting her fingers dirty so she used a paintbrush to brush the glue mixture onto the strips while I dipped them by hand. You need to get them pretty wet, so the paintbrush alone would not have been effective.
We layered the strips onto the mold until they were 5-8 layers thick making sure we allowed plenty of overlap on the edges. We placed the plate on a coffee mug and allowed it to dry. This took 48 hours. I think it would have been faster if we had used newsprint, but the office paper took quite a while to dry.
After drying the plastic wrap made it simple to remove the plate from the mold.
We then trimmed the excess paper from the edges to make the plate perfectly round.
ThePrincess decided she wanted a pink plate (of course) so using tempura paints we painted both sides completely
and allowed that to dry overnight.The final step was to decoupage the top of the plate with tissue paper. We used solid pink and floral which is what we had on hand. Multiple colors of tissue would give you a fantastic stained glass effect but we didn't have any other colors. We just placed the tissue paper squares on the plate and painted over it with undiltued school glue.

We completely covered the top of the plate and left the bottom plain pink. This took (yet another) night to dry.
So finally 4 days later we eneded up with our final product. A paper mâché decoupaged plate:
All things considered it was a relatively easy project, and not too messy. It did take a lot of time, but that worked out pretty well since a four year old's attention span couldn't handle doing all the steps back-to-back.

We are now looking forward to making a bowl. Who knows? At this rate we end up with an entire service for 12.

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