How to Make Paper Mache Wallpapers or Wall Decors -

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How to Make Paper Mache Wallpapers or Wall Decors

          Did you know that you can make wall papers using paper mache techniques?  Paper mache is a French term which means “chewed paper” in English.  No, you do not bite the papers.  What it means is you glue papers together using paste or glue or any other bonding solution.  It is a popular art project in primary school levels.  Usually, you create the pattern of an object with papers and cut it to remove the paper mache from the object and decorate it by painting or using sequins and beads for example.  You can use this technique for wall paper as well.  Here’s how to do it.

Steps to Make Paper Mache

paper mache wallpaper

          Before proceeding with the steps, let me remind you that the paper mache wallpapers are ideal for bars and restaurants. This project was inspired from a gift I gave to a friend.  I wanted something unique. So here’s how I did it.

1. In order to make a wallpaper base, I glued together 5 pieces of 80cm by 100cm  cartolinas (paper used in greeting cards or card stock like paper) in order to have a base that is nearly equivalent to 7 feet by 7 feet.  I used a cornstarch paste; mix the cornstarch with hot water until it is sticky.  Dry it for a few minutes.

2. While drying the wallpaper base, cut out magazine pages. What I did was, I thought of a theme which was advertisements, specifically fashion ads.  So I tore up hundreds of pages from my glossy magazine collections.

3. Once you are finished and the cartolinas are dry, you can start pasting the glossy advertisement pages.  You can use clear adhesive tapes to bind them together.  Pastes and glues are okay but they leave some bumps in the finish product. 

4. You can arrange the pages according to your preference.  For my project, I arranged according to a monochromatic concept of colors meaning from light to heavy shade.  Since paper mache calls for overlapping of pieces, I only exposed the portion where human characters are plastered.

5. Review your work, if you feel that you want to rearrange the arrangement, do so. Using a pair of scissors, cut the edges where the clear adhesive tapes are to remove the pages or you can paste on top of the page for your new arrangement.

6. Once you are satisfied with the finished product, you can have it laminated or wrapped with plastic cover to preserve and make it sleeker in appearance. 

7. Then, you can have it plastered in the wall using thumbtacks or super blue.  My friend had it hang in the wall instead of nailing it or gluing it.  This way, she can clean it from time to time.

          When my friend saw my gift, she asked me how I did it.  I explained it to her.  Months after, I visited her dress shop and I saw several paper mache wall papers inside.  She said that she was thankful for the gift as it solved her problems on how to design her walls with eco-friendly materials that are cheaper at the same time. 

Contributed by: Alden I. Bula

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