Monday, April 29, 2013

How To: Mother's Day Paper Mache Vase

Meet my granddaughter, Olivia. She's the budding artist behind this beautiful flower vase she made for her mommy. Olivia couldn't wait to return from her soccer game so she could begin painting the vase. It seemed like it took forever for the Mache paste to dry (at least in her mind).

Four year old, Fischer, also had to get his hands into the messy, gooey paste. I think the kids favorite part was playing in the goop. I was cleaning up dried flour paste for days.

We used plastic bottles from Daily's Bloody Mary mix. When working with a four and six year old, plastic was the better choice.

My honey-man brought home old newspapers from the tire store (he was there getting his tires rotated). The newspaper was torn into strips, some long, some short and dipped into a mixture of flour and water.

The paste was made with 2 cups flour and 1 cup water. These measurements aren't exact, but close. The Mache paste should be the consistency of cake batter with no lumps.

Apply the paper in layers covering the entire bottle.  Allow layers to dry before the next application. The waiting is difficult for the kids, but you can generally apply the next layer within 15 minutes if you haven't over-saturated the newspaper with the mix.
I did mention messy, didn't I?
We found three layers worked well. The third layer was plain white paper, though this isn't necessary. It does, however, offer more painting options. Let the bottle dry overnight before applying paint (the kids used tempera paints).

A word of advice...cover the work surface with plenty of paper. I keep a big roll of Kraft paper on hand for these messy projects.

Once the paint was dry, I gave them a thin coat of clear acrylic spray to seal the paper coating. Fischer didn't want any added embellishments on his vase, but Olivia was all over the idea (must be a girly thing).
I hot-glued coordinating grosgrain ribbon around the bottle and added a colorful sun catcher to the bottle neck. It was a sun catcher left-over from another project I did with the grandkids. What mommy wouldn't love to receive this colorful vase on Mother's Day? I know I would.

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