Wednesday, December 11, 2019

creating with jules: paper mache trinket box

Paper mache is wonderful as it’s super cheap to make any sort of shape, limited only by your imagination! I wanted to make a small trinket box.

You will need:

-foam core board
-thick card (that can still bend easily)
-blank newsprint or butchers paper
-masking tape
-PVA glue
-craft glue
-air dry clay
-acrylic paints
-gold acrylic paint (optional)
-gloss varnish

I started by finding a small bowl to use as a template for the lid and base of the box. trace around and cut 2 from foam core board. 

I then cut from thick card a length 2” wide, and a small strip 3/8” wide. Make sure these are long enough to fit 1/4” inside the circumference of your base and lid. Tape the wider one into a circle, then tape this circle to the base using masking tape. Do the same with the 3/8” piece, keeping in mind that it needs to sit in a smaller circumference than the base walls, also taking into account a bit of padding from the paper mache layers. My inner rim sits about 1/2” in from the lid.

Using newspaper strips and a mix of PVA glue watered down slightly with water (approx 1:1) cover all over the base and lid, making sure you overlap the paper strips as you go. I then do another layer in plain newsprint so I can see where I’ve already covered. Let dry.

Using air dry clay, roll out a small slab to a little under 1/4” thick. Cut a leaf shape out with a blade, and smooth the edges using a bit of water and your finger or a clay tool. 

Roll three small balls of equal size for the feet and gently press down with something flat to make the balls slightly flat on the top and bottom. Let dry.

Once the clay pieces are dry, use clear craft glue to glue the feet onto the base, and the leaf shape to the lid. Allow to dry.

Gesso the whole box and lid, inside and out, including the feet and handle.

Now it’s time to paint! I chose to draw some simple leaf shapes, then painted around them and added wiggles, stripes and dots. You can copy my designs or come up with your own! Adding gold paint around the rim is a fun touch too. 

After decorating, I used water based gloss varnish everywhere except inside the box, and the inner rim of the lid, as my varnish can get a bit tacky when varnished pieces touch, as I discovered in my sketch book!

Now you have a gorgeous box to stash some special treasures!

Jules :)

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