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Somewhat Eccentric
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Build will be starting 2/1/16. Follow the prop building news thread for more updates http://www.halloweenforum.com/general-halloween/146095-2016-online-prop-building-group-news.html#post1823615

Now that Halloween is over and our thoughts are on the 2016 season, I wanted to toss out the idea of a beginners paper mache course and see if there was any interest. I know there are several tutorials here and on the web but having once been a paper mache newbie myself, I know that it can all be a little intimidating. So this is my way of giving back to the Halloween Forum community and hopefully increasing the number of paper mache artists out there.

Tentatively the course would include:

choosing paper
creating armatures
making paste
paper clay
painting and final details

Since to me pumpkins signify Halloween and are are pretty simple to make, that will likely be what we'll be creating in the course though I'm open to other ideas and suggestions. I just think that the first few projects should require easily obtainable items (newspaper, plastic bags, coat hangers, etc...). Lessons will likely be posted twice a week, depending on what step of the project we are on and where the group is at a whole. So there will not be a rush.

If the interest is there, I'd like to start Jan/Feb 2016, though I will post a thread with the start date and list of materials required at least a month before. The actual course would be posted in the tutorials and step-by-step forum. I do have a co-conspirator for this project and we would love to make this happen.

So are you interested? Do you have any suggestions or ideas about future projects? How does the course start date work for you?

Edit: There is more interest than I imagined so this is definitely going to happen. :) Right now the start date is Feb. 1, 2016 and I will post a list of supplies needed in mid/late December. I figured we all needed a month off after the holidays. :D

Feel free to continue to post your comments and suggestions. Right now it looks like we'll be following this course with a paper mache skull build.
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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2,278 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
We'd be glad to have you UnOrthodOx! Everyone is welcome to join in no matter what their experience level is. :)

Thanks for the suggestion too! Skulls are one of my favorites too and are definitely on the list for a future course.
 

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Paper clay, IMO, is one of the biggest things to getting a nice finish on paper mache projects. Makes a nice, smooth, sculptable, sandable final product. Bit heavy when wet, long dry time, but otherwise I haven't seen any downsides. Also, you can fill and smooth with leftover joint compound.

Techniques: using wire, tape, and wadded up balls of paper to build on; finishing (so important, especially for the inside of masks - glue doesn't work, from experience), maybe combining paper mache and monster mud (instead of paper clay?)

Tips for getting better outcomes: things like tearing the paper instead of cutting, smoothing the paste on with a brush or your hands rather than dipping the paper into the paste

Paper choice would be an interesting topic - I no longer have easy access to newspapers (unless I want to go dig through the recycle bin), so I end up using toilet paper. IMO, more, thinner layers is better than fewer, thicker ones. I've heard craft paper is good too.

And fabric/cloth mache is a thing! The gourmet paper mache guy uses it as a finishing technique.

Projects: Masks (my M.O.) (I'm looking into making a plaster face cast, to build masks on - semi-related.)



I don't feel too much like a paper mache newbie, but I'd follow along for new-to-me tips/techniques.
 

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I see you are talking about posting a series of tutorials and people can work along at home. That sounds like a great idea.
 
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OOOO This sounds like a great thing to do to pass the time! Not exactly a newbie to paper mache but I really only work with one method and
would love to learn other ones as i've never used things like paper clay. I also agree with the skulls because I will be needing to make some for
my 2016 theme.
 
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