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Old 09-22-2008
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Daddy's Little Corpse Daddy's Little Corpse is offline
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Default Glueless Paper Mache

I had a couple people PM me with questions about how I do my paper mache after my response to a comment on what my method was to make these guys:

Actually, this includes the little guy in the upper left too.
I guess my method is a lot different from others, because I don't use glue. Predominatly I use just toilet paper and water which raised a few eyebrows, so to answer everyone's question, here's my big secret to my glueless paper mache:

There's a little glue...
As a rule, paper mache is my enemy. I've tried a million different ways and always hated the process and usually my result, but this method has worked pretty well for me.
What I do is wrap whatever I need to corpse or start a base on with toilet paper. Sometimes paper towels, sometimes kleenex (whatever). You get your first layer on, spray it with water, let dry. Then I add a second layer of TP, but with this one, when you spray, you add a little elmers to the water. I don't measure-- maybe a few good squirts from the bottle and then shake well and spray. When it dries you have a relatively hard surface to build on with latex, floor varnish, straight up glue, etc to make it more resilient. I'm going to seal the groundbreakers above with outdoor heavy duty modge podge when I've got them painted.
You can probably skip the first non-glue layer, but it adds strength and allows you to wring out excess water and smooth things out with your fingers w/out the glue mess (though the glue is VERY minimal). The best thing is, if when it dries there's a jutting corner or such, you give a little spray and you can smooth it out without adding more layers. This method can be super drippy-- in fact most of my stuff sits in our basement shower for a couple hours just drip drying-- but it's an easy clean, especially if you use elmers or some water based glue and cuts out the messy hands and trying to smooth the TP down without tearing it. That drives me nuts when all the TP does is tear.

If paper mache is your enemy too, I hope this helps!

Last edited by Daddy's Little Corpse; 09-22-2008 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 09-22-2008
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PS The groundbreakers were made from the Spookyblue rolled paper groundbreaker method. I just used my own mache recipe. ;D
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Old 09-22-2008
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ok- dumb question- but do you use 1 or 2 ply tp? does it amke a difference- I love the look!
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Old 09-22-2008
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I use whatever I can get my hands on, so no, I guess it doesn't make any difference.
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Old 09-23-2008
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I have used liquid starch (laundry variety) rather than glue and water. Works much better but sucks if you have cuts on your hands.
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Old 09-23-2008
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thanks DLC...I've been trying to decide what to do with a store bought breaker someone gave me this sounds good.
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Old 09-23-2008
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Thank you DLC! I loved to mache, but hated trying to get the glue off of my fingers..... and also when the paper ripped.... or when it dried and I realized that there was a piece that for some odd reason just plain wouldn't do what I wanted it to.... I'm going to try this when I get home from work..

clevergirl--- I may try that too..... Thanks for the heads up.... knew it made a really cool goo, but didn't think of it for mache....
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Old 09-23-2008
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Now THAT's an interesting approach. Thanks for sharing. Cool to read about how people build things using different mache methods.

A lot of toilet paper is actually made with a bit of cornstarch. I wonder if that helps to keep your creation together with only a hint of glue.

Ever have trouble with the nozzle of the spray bottle clogging? Or is the amount of glue so minimal that it doesn't affect it at all?
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Old 09-23-2008
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Glad to help guys. I hope it works as well for you.
I used to make casts for my Barbies when I was a kid with just TP and water-- they were always getting hit by cars and just generally being clumsy (<--- what happens when you aren't allowed action figures I guess). I had a serious case of recovered memory when I started with this stuff.

Ghoul- Sometimes with the mist setting there can be clogging, but a good rinse of the nozzle with hot water before use (if clogged) and after (to prevent it) and there shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 09-23-2008
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Wow, I have to try this. I have five corpse arms to make and this sounds like just the deal to use. I have used TP and latex before and that kinda works. Its a mess though. Thanks a lot for sharing this idea.
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