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Snowmen with Paper Mache Clay – Weekend project

11.14.2012 · Posted in Craft Projects

Puerto Ricans are mad about snowmen…who knew!  I suppose its a novelty for those who haven’t seen nor experienced real snow.  I had lots of requests last year for snowmen so I made these little ornaments from 1-1/2 inch and 2 inch styrofoam balls with paper mache clay to form the noses, eyes, buttons and hats.  They’re sitting on cork platforms with paper mache clay filler so they’ll sit by themselves on a mantel.  Red and green pipe cleaners were used for the scarves and ear muffs.  The cap and scarf on the snowman to the far right was made of stretchy T-shirt fabric.

Paper mache clay is one of my favorite mediums for crafting.  Its used in place of paper mache (paper strips and paste) over an armiture.   It’s simply toilet paper soaked in water, squeezed dry then shredded fine in a food processor.  Joint compound, homemade white glue, flour, bleach and gylcerin was whirled with the shredded paper until a smooth dough was achieved.  This recipe is adapted from Ultimate Paper Mache. Check out the recipe video below from Ultimate Paper Mache.  Jonni Good is the author of Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay.

Paper Mache Clay Recipe – makes 1 quart or 2 pounds

  • 1 roll Angel Soft toilet tissue
  • 1 cup regular joint compound
  • 3/4 cup homemade white glue (recipe to follow) or Elmer’s Glue All
  • 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 Tbsp Chlorine Bleach
  • 1 Tbsp Glycerine

Homemade White Glue

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Place homemade glue ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened like a medium thick white sauce.

To prepare the paper mache clay: Remove the cardboard roll from the toilet paper.  Place toilet paper in a bowl of warm water until completely saturated.  Squeeze as much water as possible from the toilet tissue. Break up the roll of toilet paper into chunks and whirl in a salad spinner until it feels just damp.  Transfer to a food processor, pulse and whirl the paper until finely shredded.  Add the remaining ingredients and whirl until its like cookie dough.  Place in a plastic container with tight fitting lid and let set 3-4 hours or overnight.

Three Kings with Paper Mache Clay


Next up – Three Kings statues made with wine bottles and paper mache clay.

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