“Making Paper Mache Furniture From Recycled Materials”

“Making Paper Mache Furniture From Recycled Materials”

Making furniture from recycled materials using paper mache is an eco-friendly and creative way to update your home decor on a budget. With a few simple supplies and techniques, you can transform cardboard, newspaper, and other recycled papers into sturdy yet lightweight furniture pieces.

Gather Your Supplies

Making paper mache furniture begins with gathering a few key supplies:

  • Cardboard – The base structure of your furniture will be made from cardboard. Collect clean cardboard boxes, sheets, and tubes.

  • Newspaper – Tear newspaper into long strips to use for the paper mache layering. Avoid glossy paper.

  • Flour and water – Mix equal parts flour and water to create the paper mache paste.

  • Acrylic paint – Once dried, paint the furniture with acrylic craft paint in your desired colors.

  • Sealant – Seal the finished pieces with polyurethane or varnish for protection.

  • Scissors and craft knife – Use scissors to cut cardboard and a craft knife to score lines.

  • Container for paste – Use a plastic tub, bucket, or bowl for mixing the paste.

Construct the Base Structure

The first step is to construct the base shape of your furniture from cardboard pieces:

  • Choose a piece to make – Table, chair, shelf, etc. Keep the design simple.

  • Sketch plans – Draw out the shapes and dimensions needed.

  • Cut cardboard – Use scissors and a craft knife to cut cardboard into the required shapes.

  • Assemble with tape – Tape cardboard pieces together to form the base structure.

  • Make it sturdy – Use thick cardboard and reinforce joints with diagonal strips.

  • Add support – Insert dowels or tubes for table legs, chair backs, and other supports.

Layer on Paper Mache

Once your base is built, you can start adding the paper mache layers:

  • Make paste – Mix equal parts flour and water in a tub to create the paste. Adjust consistency as needed.

  • Tear newspaper – Tear or cut newspaper into long strips around 1-2 inches wide.

  • Dip and apply – Dip the strips into paste and smooth over the cardboard, overlapping edges slightly.

  • Do multiple layers – Let each layer dry then repeat 3-5 more times to achieve thickness.

  • Smooth with hands – Use your hands to smooth out bumps and create rounded edges as you go.

  • Let fully dry – Allow the piece to dry completely between layers, at least 24 hours.

Paint and Seal Your Creation

The final steps are painting and sealing your paper mache furniture:

  • Lightly sand – Once fully dry, gently sand any rough spots.

  • Paint with acrylics – Paint with acrylic craft paints using a brush, roller, or spray paint. Do multiple coats.

  • Let paint dry – Allow paint to fully dry between coats.

  • Add decorative details – Use paint pens or extra acrylic paint to add dots, lines, or other embellishments if desired.

  • Apply sealant – Coat with polyurethane or varnish to seal and protect the finish.

  • Attach hardware – Add any hardware needed like drawer pulls or legs with adhesive.

With a little time and effort, you can create stunning paper mache furniture from recycled materials. Let your imagination run wild! This eco-craft is highly rewarding.