5 Paper mache ideas for your next golu [Guest Post]

[This is a guest post by Sharmilee Muralidharan]

First of all, big thanks to Woodooz for this Paper Mache recipe, which woke up the crafty girl in me and there is no stopping it now. Beware. This is a dangerously obsessive craft. I chose eco-friendly-NO-plastic-in-any-form concept for my Golu 2013 and that led me to making handmade items. It was very challenging, but learnt a lot in the process, and it pushed me to create a lot of things. 

1. Paper Mache Earrings (using kitchen paper towel)

DIY paper Mache
Paper Mache Jewelry
I made some clay jewelry as return gifts and thought would make jewelry with paper mache too. I didn't have any paper pulp remaining and so made this quick recipe:

  • Soak few sheets of kitchen paper towel in boiling water for an hour
  • Squeeze out the water, and grind them in a mixer into a smooth pulp (as much as possible, can add water while grinding which can be squeezed off later)
  • Strain them on a strainer for sometime or squeeze out the water by hand. Once all water is squeezed out, add Fevicol glue. 
  • Keep adding the glue in small amounts and keep kneading it till it becomes a dough (it resembles a cookie dough). 
  • I also added a little bit of all-purpose flour/ Maida and salt, which added smoothness and I felt they helped in making shapes better than the one without it.

When it is wet, insert the required jewelry hooks and allow it to dry. Once dried, you can paint them and apply a coating of Artist's picture Varnish . If small pieces or shapes are made, instead of painting after drying, you can add acrylic colours to the pulp when it is wet, like I did for this Kulfi earring and then dry it. Though they can be sanded smooth, what I like the most in these is the unfinished rough look.

2. Newspaper paper mache bowl

How to make paper mache
Paper Mache bowl
This is a technique used during our grandma's time to make vessels out of paper mache. I used a Styrofoam bowl as a base. I applied paper mache on the outside of the bowl, covering it completely with the pulp, and allowed to dry for 4-5 days. Since the Styrofoam is flexible, the bowl comes out easily after it dries. And it can be painted as per wish. I used this as a prop for my Golu below a painted coconut shell.

3. Aatukkal and Ammikkal (yesteryear's grinding stone)

DIY Craft
Paper Mache miniatures
When the paper mache bowl was drying, its colour and texture reminded me of the grinding stones. Immediately planned to make these for the Golu. I used a match box as an armature/base for making the Ammi (the flatter grinding stone) and shaped the ends accordingly. For the Aattukal no base was used, just made a ball, and slowly shaped them with hands. All my golu visitors loved them, they all thought these were real miniature grinding stones until they touched and felt them. They are as light as a feather.

4. The Maaya sisters (miniature dolls)

DIY miniature dolls
Paper mache dolls
With the leftover paper clay I made a small doll with a curvy base, so they dance if you push them. No base was used for this. I inserted a thin steel wire as support for the head and the body, though not required. I painted a face both in the front and the back with different expressions and kept them in front of the mirror to click this photo. I made only 2 dolls, but there are 4 girls in total. I call them The Maaya sisters.

5. Paper Mache Rangoli

How to make paper mache pulp
Paper mache Rangoli
The picture is self explanatory on how the design was made. As a trial I chose some odd design with a circular shape in the center to keep a Diya. It took few days to dry. I guess lots of rangoli - to be assembled pieces can be made using this, which is as attractive as the kundan rangolis available in stores. Could be a fun activity for kids to make and assemble them as they wish. 

Paper mache is such a great medium to work with and can be used to create anything right from miniatures to life size structures. One most important thing is the opportunity for recycling anything lying around at home, newspapers, cardboard, cereal boxes and the list goes on. So, how do you like my paper mache creation ? Please do leave me a comment.

About the crafter : 
Sharmilee Muralidharan is a Chartered Accountant by profession and she works as a Management Consultant in her husband's consulting Company. She is an avid birdwatcher and nature lover. She has deep interests in recycling and eco-friendly concepts. She is from Chennai and is an active member of the ChennaiCrafters club.

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  1. Wonderful piece of art and amazing work..

    1. Hi Karthik, Thanks for your comment. Will make sure the feedback reaches the original crafter :)

  2. Wonderful ideas. I sure will try one at least.

  3. Splendid! I wanted to make a Buddha head for my balcony, thanks for this tutorial:))

  4. best craft work ever seen .keep the good work going dear Sharmilee

  5. Love love love the miniature grinding tools :) Can't wait to try !!

  6. Making handmade things with help from your children enhances the beauty of festival celebrations at home. These super-easy craft ideas will add dazzle to your Golu and Dussehra festivities

  7. Download Best Rangoli : https://ansunibaate.com/rangoli-design-images/


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