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  #1  
Old 06-02-2012
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orlokoclock orlokoclock is offline
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Default Paper Mache Papers

Hey all!

I'm doing some paper mache for my window display, and I wanted to know what people preferred as their paper mache paper of choice.

I'm currently using newspaper, the old standby. But for a while I was using paper towel. I liked the way paper towel draped and fell. It looked natural and creepy. But it took DAYS to dry. I'm still debating going back to it and just dealing with the dry time because it looked so good.

Any thoughts? Preferences?
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Old 06-02-2012
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Love paper towel over newsprint, but it does add days/weeks to a project. Can't beat the look though. I like adding cellular and paper clay where needed as well.
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Old 06-02-2012
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Depends on the look you want. I almost always use newspaper as a foundation if I'm using a form. After that, it's toilet tissue, paper towels, or shop towels.
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Old 06-02-2012
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I am a novice when it comes to paper mache, so defer to the other forum members over me, but I have had good luck with torn paper towels and white tissue paper in addition to regular newsprint. The paper towels do have a smoother look when applied.
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Old 06-02-2012
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Used paper mache last year to create a death mask like the ones used during the time of the plague or black death as it's also known. The hard part was the nose extension and making it stay on. Chicken wire helped a lot.
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Old 06-02-2012
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We use newspaper as the base layer and then have a final layer of paper towel. Always make sure to have torn edges on either. Straight lines don't blend. I haven't had the problem with paper towels taking days to dry, but we do have a dehumidifier in the basement where we do the papier mache projects. I have some drying right now from this afternoon. It's still slightly damp, but should be dry by morning.
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Old 06-02-2012
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What Spooky1 said - couple layers of newspaper and final layer of paper towels. We don't typically see a need for more than 24 hours between layers, no matter what we use, but a few factors may help with that. The dehumidifier in the basement keeps the humidity well below 20% when we have it running. Also, most of the time we do mache work during the winter heating season when the air is drier anyway. The other thing that will really help with drying time is to squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the paper towel (which can hold a LOT of water) before you apply it to your prop.

We usually find that a single layer of newspaper mache layer dries completely within 24 hours of application. A layer of paper towel mache almost always dries in 24 hours under the conditions described, although I often give it an extra day just to be sure.
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Old 06-02-2012
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I alternate layers of newspaper and white copy paper (or colored copy paper, whatever ...), then usually finish with a detail layer of paper mache clay, if I want a smoothish finish (like pumpkins), or crumpled newspaper if I want a more wrinkled look (like gargoyle wings).

I find copy paper actually stronger than the newspaper, but I like the size of the pages I can get with newspaper ... so mixing them works for me. (I don't tear my stuff into strips -- I paste 1/4 pages of newspaper with whole sheets of copy paper and then tear them (or not) into the shape needed after it's pasted. Wet paper is easier to tear.)

The paste I use is ~ 3/4 methyl cellulose, and when I brush it on the paper, it 'softens' it ... so I can get newspaper to drape like paper towels if that's what I need. I'm with Spooky and do my papier mache in the basement with fans and dehumidifiers and pieces normally dry overnight, or within 24 hours.

You can see more info plus get my recipes in the skeleton and skulls tutorial I posted:
http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=31051 (scroll down to post #7, "skull tape copying part 2")

If you're looking for a faster drying method using paper towels, Jonni Goode at Ultimate Paper Mache has a plaster + glue recipe that she uses in her masks.

http://ultimatepapermache.com/how-to...ne-mask-part-2

Jonni also has been known to put her paper mache in the oven in order to speed dry it. (Obviously it shouldn't have any plastic in it or anything like that -- and it should be <=200 degrees.)
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Old 06-02-2012
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Oh ... and to follow-up on what Roxy said ... I do multiple wet mache layers, and then let the piece dry. So after the 24 hours, the piece is either ready for clay, or a detail layer (like cutting out the pumpkin face, and then reinforcing that with mache), or to start painting.
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Old 06-03-2012
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Has anyone ever used sales receipts? Disregard their varying lengths.
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