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Cardboard Paper Mache

Sponsored by
Ripped cardboard


Recommended for ages 6 and up with adult supervision.


Do you have excessive amounts of cardboard left over from the holiday season? Learn how to transform your cardboard clutter into a strong and versatile sculpting material with just a few simple steps. Visit our past exhibition, Elevated Corrugated, to gather some additional ideas on how to repurpose cardboard for art.


Mixing container
Mixing stick



  • Gather discarded or pressed cardboard.
    • Remove tape, plastic, and other materials which may prevent the cardboard from successfully absorbing water.
  • Grab a mixing container and soak cardboard overnight, using enough water to fully submerge the cardboard.
  • Strip, break down, and agitate cardboard further until water has penetrated thoroughly.
  • Drain all the water from your container.
    • Squeeze pieces of cardboard to extract excess water.
      • If you have any cheesecloth available, you might use it here to really squeeze out extra moisture.
    • Remove any missed bits (tape pieces, staples, etc.); small pieces of colored paper are OK.
  • Place your lump of cardboard back into your container and begin adding glue and oil.
    • Suggested measurements: 1/3 cup of glue; 2 tablespoons of oil.
      • Feel free to personalize your ratio.
      • More glue will make a stiffer mixture; more oil—runnier.
  • Mix your contents for approximately 10-15 minutes.
    TIP: Using a power mixer will help a lot.
  • When you are satisfied with your mixture’s consistency, begin molding it or applying it to an armature.
    • For best results, apply 1/2–3/4 inches to your preferred surface.Allow the mixture to dry for about 24 hours.
  • After the compound has hardened, scrape, paint, and detail as you wish.
  • For ideas as to how to combine your homemade clay with other materials, view works by featured MCD artist Adam Shiverdecker, or try using premade dishware as a base to form the clay around.


  • Check out past MCD exhibiting artist Adam Shiverdecker’s work in the MCD Store!
  • Find inspiration in how Jacqueline de la Fuente creates amazing vases out of cardboard and paper waste.


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December 7 @ 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Mobile MakeArt: Stonestown Farmers Market

December 10 @ 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Mobile MakeArt: RWOH Winter Wonderland

December 16 @ 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

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