How to Make 'Oh-so-exquisite' Paper Mache Flowers

How to Make Paper Mache Flowers
There are lots of crafts and home decor items that you can make by using paper mache. So why not make paper mache flowers?
Making paper crafts is one of the most productive and pleasing hobby that anyone can try. From making home decor items to beautiful functional pieces there are many things that you can fashion out of paper. Paper as a craft material is a very versatile medium and there are many techniques you can employ to make paper crafts. One such paper craft is paper mache. Paper mache is a technique, whereby, strips of paper, coated in a paper mache paste are layered over a mold to make an object. From paper mache masks, flowers to boxes, there is no limit to the number of things that you can make with paper mache. The best thing about making paper mache crafts is that they are lightweight and durable and can be made with any kind of paper. You can also add bits of thread, glitter and glue to the paper mache pulp to make your crafts more fun and interesting. One of the most beautiful items to make with paper mache is paper mache flowers.

Making Flowers with Paper Mache

Paper Mache Flowers #1

You can use any type of paper for this project from old newspapers to marbled craft paper. To make the mold for the project, you need to purchase wires and buttons. If you do not have these supplies lying around the house you can purchase these supplies from any craft supply store.

Things required
  • Paper
  • Wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Glue
  • Lightweight cardboard
  • Water
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Paper cutter
  • Pencil
Procedure

The first step in making paper mache flowers is to create the mold or base for the flower. For this you need to place the lightweight cardboard on the paper cutter. Mark a small circle on the cardboard and draw six petals to join the circle. Try to make the petals of an even size and as symmetrical as possible. Once you are happy with the design of the flower, cut along the markings of the pencil to get the shape of the flower. Place the flower pattern aside and make four or five more patterns in a similar way. Gently bend the petals upwards to give the pattern a three dimensional appearance. Now punch out two small holes at the center of the cardboard pattern, and loop an 8 inch wire through the bottom of one of the hole and then string it through the other hole. Twist both ends of the wire together to make the stem for the flower. Your mold for the paper mache flower is complete.

Once you are done making the mold for the flower, the next step is to make the actual paper mache flower. To do this, tear out long strips of the paper. Make sure that the strips are long and narrow and you tear it out by hand instead of cutting it with scissors. This will give the paper the right grainy and rough texture which will make the paper mache flower look more attractive. Prepare the paper mache paste by mixing two parts of glue to one part of water in a small bowl or container. Now dip a piece of paper strip in the paper mache paste, remove it from the paste and wrap it across the twisted wire. Dip more paper strips in the paste and wrap around the wire until the wire is fully covered. There should be at least two to three layers of paper strips wrapped across the length of the wire. Allow the glue to dry completely. Once the stem is dry, dip more strips of paper in the glue and cover the cardboard petals with it. Every inch of the cardboard pattern should be completely covered with paper strips. The edges of the torn paper strips should be visible as it gives a great texture to the flower. Once you have covered the flower pattern with two to three layers, let the glue dry completely. This might take a couple of hours. It is best to keep the paper mache flower out in the sun for a few hours so that the glue dries out. When the paper mache flower hardens, paint the flower with acrylic paint in a color of your choice.

Paper Mache Flowers # 2

Things required
  • Paper napkins
  • Glue
  • Plastic flower
  • Water
  • Scissors
Procedure

First tear the paper napkins into small pieces and place them in a plastic container. In another container mix together one part water to two parts glue to make a paper mache paste. Pour this paper mache paste into the other container which carries the torn pieces of paper napkin. Now mix it all together until you have a paper pulp. The mixture should have a thick consistency and should not be too runny or watery. Transfer this mixture to a metal container and boil it for 25 - 30 minutes. Once the mixture reduces, allow it to cool down and beat the mixture until you have a thick pulp.

Next wet your hand in water and take a small portion of the cooled paper pulp and layer it over the plastic flower. Add enough pulp to cover the flower and mold the pulp with your hands to make the petals of the flowers. When you are satisfied with the results, allow the paper mache flower to dry out in the sun. This drying process can take anywhere from two to three weeks, so be patient. If you want to speed up the process, you can use a hairdryer to dry the paper mache flower. Once dry, you can paint it with acrylic colors to give it a good finish.

You can use a different pattern for the flower and you can use different materials for making the mold. Now that you know how to make paper mache flowers, you can make a bunch of them in different colors and use it to decorate your home.
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