The truth is, I can't show you what I'm currently working on due to its being a surprise for someone from the person who commissioned it, and on the very slim chance that that person might actually read this blog, I can't post the pictures yet! So this will have to do for my creative offerings for today.
Once a month, I do art lessons with my home-schooled nephews, and January's project was papier-mâché. I unfortunately do not have any photos of the pieces in progress (due to the hazards of touching any type of electronic equipment while completely covered in Elmer's glue mixed with water - let me just warn you - papier-mache with three kids and one overly-ambitious, grown-up craft nut is not unlike a somewhat-controlled trainwreck..Do it outside if, like a normal person, you decide to make your pumpkins in September rather than January), so we'll just have to make do with the after photos... I will give you some brief instructions, however.
The boys chose to make the following:
- a self-portrait bust
- a race car
- a cactus
(Theirs aren't finished yet, so I have no photos of them to show you today....)
So, for simple papier-mâché projects, you'll need the following:
- strips of newspaper (they rip easily - make your strips about 1 1/2" - 2" wide - a variety is good)
- Elmer's glue - a lot of it (I got mine at a Back to School sale a year or two ago and wound up getting about 20 bottles for $2 or something crazy like that!)
- water & a large container (plastic bucket, cool whip container,etc.)
- balloons, cardboard, toilet paper/paper towel tubes, etc.
Once you get your form created, then the messy part begins.
Mix 1 part glue with 1 part water in your container and stir well.
Then, you simply begin dipping your strips of newspaper into the glue mixture, "squeegee" off the excess with your fingers, and begin layering the wet strips over your form. Be sure to overlap each piece with the next, and make sure that they are tightly pressed to the form with no "bubbles" or loose ends flapping.
It's best to completely cover your form with about 2 layers of paper, then allow it to dry before adding more. (If working with kids, you may want to spread the project out over several sessions - they get restless, and allowing it to dry before adding more layers will help with the final results).
To create the "squashed-in" bottom and stem ends for my pumpkins (pun intended), I allowed my pumpkins (with 6 or 7 layers) to dry overnight, then "popped" the balloons the next morning with a straight pin. Once the balloon was popped, the paper was still pliable enough to allow me to push it down a little (so it would sit flat). Do this carefully though. (And make sure you have plenty of layers and that they are mostly dry first - I lost my first pumpkin because I didn't have enough layers of paper and only allowed it to dry about an hour... which led to a deflated, rotten-looking pumpkin. Gross. Bummer.)
Once they are thoroughly dry, you can paint them as you like! I used acrylic craft paint... and may touch them up a little still. The green lines are a little too prominent, I think. But we'll see... I've got other things I should be working on!
So there's a little tutorial... maybe I'll re-post this again in the fall, when you might actually WANT to look at or think about pumpkins, but I had to have something to show for myself.... :o)