1. Tightly roll 12 pieces of printer paper and duct tape the top. middle and bottom. This will be the main support for your armature. Keep in mind the height of your project. The paper clay will make it taller.
2. Trace and cutout two circular pieces of cardboard. One for the top and the other for the bottom. I trace a coffee can and sometimes plates. They don't need to be the same size, but the bigger one should be on the bottom.
3. Generously hot glue the rolled paper to the middle of both circles. You will need a lot of hot glue.
4. Use a box cutter and cut out equal strips of cardboard long enough to glue to the top and bottom of your circles. Make sure the cardboard isn't so long it sags.
*5. You will remove the paper roll from your armature later on. If you wish to remove the entire armature, cover the armature with painters tape before you paper mache. This will prevent the paper mache from drying to it. I remove the paper roll, but leave in the rest. I think it looks cool.
For paper mache
Tear, don't cut newspaper strips. Use a small synthetic paint brush to apply the glue and wrap around your armature. You'll need at least three layers of paper mache. I do half of the armature in all three layers at one time. I put a fan on it or put the armature in a sunny window until its dry. Usually its dry the next day, so I do the other half and repeat the dry process. Remember they won't grow mold on them.
*Wallpaper paste is full of chemicals, so keep small children away from it. You do have the option of buying toxic-free wallpaper glue. Also, don't let the glue get on your clothes or the carpet.
*I don't wear gloves when I make these.
*This glue is strong, so the ink from the newspaper will transfer to your fingertips. It cleans off effortlessly, so don't worry.
1. Soak one roll of toilet paper at a time in the smaller bucket using warm water. The toilet paper tube will easily come out and the toilet paper will turn to pulp. Break up the pulp with your fingers and then dump it in a plastic strainer. Push as much water out as you can and then put the pulp in the big bucket. Do this for each roll of toilet paper.
2. Add the wood glue and joint compound.
3. Mix carefully at first, so the joint compound doesn't fly up in the air. Mix it thoroughly until it becomes paper clay.
*It's better to buy buckets and tools that will only be used for this.
*If the paper clay is too wet, add more paper pulp. If you have the option of buying pure dry pulp, it is definitely better and easier!
Start adding your paper clay from top to bottom. You can always add paper clay to dried paper clay, so there is no rush. I use two colors of clay on my projects, so I can keep track of where I'm at. Paper clay the whole pumpkin except for the bottom. When the clay is fully dry, you can cut a hole in the bottom and remove the paper roll support and armature if you used painters tape. Cut a hole the same size as the bottom circular piece of your armature. I usually add paper clay to the inside of my pumpkin too. You'll need to paper clay around the hole now and keep in mind how you want the pumpkin to sit. It might take a couple layers of clay to get your pumpkin perfect. Let the pumpkin dry upside down with a fan on the hole. I flip my pumpkins upside down in a box.
*Give your paper clay time to dry. It dries rock hard, so you'll know when. Putting a fan directly on it speeds up the process.
Painting time! I always paint my pumpkins inside and out with a black matte base coat. It usually takes two coats. I give my pumpkins a heavy textured look and the black base coat makes the top colors pop. Seal your pumpkins inside and out with 2-3 coats of clear polyurethane. I prefer to brush my sealer on so I'm sure I cover everything. After a couple coats of sealer, this can go outside. I like to put some of my sealed paper clay projects outside, but I will bring them in during a thunder storm. :)
Good Luck with your projects!!
You can find more paper clay Halloween crafts on my Facebook page! Just follow the link to see more. :)
Materials I used for this project:
- Jack Richeson Armature Wire 1/16 Inch (.063) 32', SolidBuy MaterialStarting at $4.89
- Printer paperBuy MaterialStarting at $6.59
- XFasten Duct Tape White, 2 Inches x 50 Yards, Yellowing Resistant and...Buy MaterialStarting at $10.99
To see more: https://www.facebook.com/bryansworkshop/