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Paper mache is a wonderful way to recycle stuff, but what can you do to recycle projects that don’t work out.
For instance, I was creating a set of PM barnacle (http://www.designsponge.com/2012/07/diy … acles.html) and a couple of balloons deflated overnight while drying, collapsing in on themselves.
I figure that you could soak and break up a piece of PM like any other paper product and use it in a new batch of pulp but wouldn’t that throw off a recipe’s ratio of ingredients, since it already has glue, flour, linseed oil and joint compound (I use Jonni’s paper clay recipe http://ultimatepapermache.com/paper-mache-clay).
Any suggestions on re-recycling?
Turn your mistakes into something else!
It is not a good idea to soak papier mache once its had adhesive added, but you can use it as part of something else. I've adapted all sorts of things as I know a lot of people on this forum have done. You need not tell anyone that it was not what you originally intended to make....it can be your secret.
As for balloons going flat prematurely....it could be a number of things. You may not have tied the knot tightly enough, but most likely it will be caused by the temperature around your work changing. Once you have covered a balloon, it MUST be kept at as near the same temperature as you can manage. If you cover it in a warm room, the balloon will be fully expanded. If you then leave it to dry in a colder room, the air inside the balloon with contract, and hey presto....in goes your masterpiece with it. You need to work quickly on balloons - at least until you have enough mache to form a thick enough layer in case it does go down, or pops.
Yes, Jackie has the best idea, use it as a base and build something else over it. Just think of it as a 'lump to build on'.
Balloons are just very thin, cheap rubber, and they don't need much of a reason to leak, esp if they're a bit old. Try to dry them quickly in a warm place, or by blowing air on them, to get the shell to stiffen fast enough to hold its shape. After I stopped using balloons (because they deflated too fast), I did have the idea that if I could make the initial shell dry fast enough, maybe spraying the shell with shellac would stiffen it enough that it wouldn't be too delicate to apply more PM on top of it. But I haven't tried it.
Instead of balloons, keep an eye out for those cheap plastic play balls (they come in sizes up to 30"/76 cm diameter inflated, but tend to be seasonal). If you happen to have access to a cheap foot pump (like this: http://www.harborfreight.com/foot-pump-37544.html), buy some inflation needles for blowing up balls (http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-in … 68268.html).
PM tends not to stick to plastic, so you shouldn't have to use any kind of mold release.
Then apply your PM all over it, leaving an open space all around the inflation hole. When dry (or at least firm enough to hold its shape), stick the needle in and deflate the ball and pull it out through the hole. The first time you do it you will figure out how large the hole has to be to get the deflated ball out of the PM shell, if you didn't figure it out first.
If you need a full sphere (no hole), before you apply your PM to the ball, use a flexible tape measure and measure the circumference around the ball. Then either use a second ball inflated/deflated to the same circumference, or the one ball, re-inflated to the proper size, and make a PM 'patch' on the ball that is somewhat larger than the size of the hole you need in the sphere to get the ball out. (Tip: make the hole slightly oval or eye-shaped so you can slide the patch in on edge without folding it.) The patch also needs two small holes in it to hold a loop of string so you can hang onto it.
When both pieces are dry, run a loop of string through the two small holes in the patch and tie the ends together for a temporary handle. Then apply a goodly amount of glue around the top edge of the patch, drop it into the sphere while holding onto the string, shift it around so you get the entire hole covered. Then hang the sphere by the string in a safe place. The weight of the sphere hanging from the patch should give good contact by the time it's dry. Then fill in the shallow space of the patch with more PM until it blends with the rest of the surface of the sphere.
I keep a ziplock bag full of unfinished figures, and I'll occasionally cannibalize something out of there for another project, but I don't break them down into pulp or anything, I used those bits and pieces "as-is".
Also, because I'm a slob who seldom ever turns on the vacuum cleaner, I can often get down on my knees and find usable bits and pieces of PM on the carpet in my work space with a bit of hunting.
"Also, because I'm a slob who seldom ever turns on the vacuum cleaner, I can often get down on my knees and find usable bits and pieces of PM on the carpet in my work space with a bit of hunting."
PATRAW! WELCOME TO SLOBS-R-US! After many years of keeping a clean house, I realized that it was a waste of time. I cleaned floors, made beds, washed dishes, picked up trash, and four months later I had to do it all over again.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/21/garde … 0&_r=0
Sue =^..^= =^..^= =^..^=