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How to Make Paper Mache Christmas Dishes


Paper mache has been used for many years to create decorative objects. The Victorians would make paper mache boxes and dishes to sit on their dressing tables for jewellery and other trinkets. Paper mache is quick, cheap and easy to use and creates sturdy objects. Of course these objects can not be washed because they are just made from newspapers.

To make a delightful paper mache Christmas dish all you need is…

Old newspapers, PVA glue, paints, scarps of Christmas wrapping paper, varnish and Vaseline.

How to do it…

Fist you need to find a nice dish or plate to use as a mould. Be warned, a large dish or plate will take longer to make. It may be a good idea to start off smaller. Saucer sized is great for a starter mould.

Sometimes the underside of the dish or plate can have a more interesting shape than the top surface. Bear this in mind when choosing a mould.

Cover the surface that you want to use as a mould in Vaseline. This prevents you from simply sticking the newspaper to the plate. It will make it easier to lift the paper mache from the mould at a later date.

Mix some PVA glue with water. One part glue to two parts water. Rip up small pieces of newspaper and dunk them into the glue mix, and apply them to the mould so that they overlap. Cover the entire mould surface, allowing the newspaper to over hang the mould, any excess can be trimmed off later. After the initial layer you can use a rush to paste the newspaper on, it’s a lot less messy.

After completing three layers of newspaper allow the paper mache to dry over night. In total the dish needs a minimum of about ten layers to complete this stage, again allow to dry over night.

Before you remove the paper mache from the mould, use the mould as a guide and rim a neat edge around your pot, cutting away the surplus over hanging paper.

Then you’re ready to prize the paper mache from the mould. It can help to run a knife between the paper mache and the mould. Be careful and don’t rush.

You may be able to feel a trace of Vaseline on the paper mache, this will spoil any attempts to paint the pot. To remedy this apply one layer of paper mache to the surface of the pot that was exposed tot he Vaseline.

Tidy the edges of the pot by sticking small rectangles of paper to over hang the edge of the pot and stick them down on the reverse side.

Now you’re ready to decorate the sweet or trinket dish. Here are a few suggestions…

Paint it a base colour and decorate the edges with drawn lines or draw some sprigs of holly. Find a centre piece image to stick at the centre of the pot from old Christmas cards or gift wrapping paper.

With gift-wrapping paper rip up small pieces and it apply it to your pot as if you were adding a layer of paper mache. Add a line of glue around the edge of the pot and apply glitter to make it really festive and sparkly.

Of course the pot doesn’t have to have a Christmas them. You could paint it and stick pressed flowers or leaves onto it.

Paint the pot a base colour and then ad blobs of paint to swirl around the pot to create an abstract design.

You could personalise your pot by writing on it ‘For Gran’ or ‘Special Mum’

Let your design dry over night.

Once you have decorated your pot, in whatever style you choose, It will need protecting. Apply a thin layer of clear varnish to the pot. It will need varnishing on both sides, and will probably require 2 coats. You can get quick drying varnish that saves time, you can also get spray varnish which wont smudge a painted design.

And there you are a beautiful little dish for sweets or jewellery. A cost effective Christmas gift idea.

Submitted by:

S. Roberts

S. Roberts writes for http://www.santaspostbag.co.uk a Christmas website packed with home-made gift and Christmas trimming ideas for kids to do and make. http://www.santaspostbag.co.uk is educational as well as fun, you can even correspond with Santa himself. Santaspostbag is in association with http://www.bigboystoyz.com.





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