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Cardboard Paper Mache

Sponsored by
Ripped cardboard

RECOMMENDED AGE LEVEL

Recommended for ages 6 and up with adult supervision.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

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.

MATERIALS

Cardboard
Mixing container
Mixing stick
Paint
Water
Glue

Optional:
Oil
Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

RELATED RESOURCES

  • 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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

MakeArt Family Day

December 3 @ 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Mobile MakeArt: Tenderloin SPark

December 6 @ 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Mobile MakeArt: BVOH Winter Wonderland

December 15 @ 2:00 PM - 8:30 PM

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