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how do I make papier mache boxes?

#1 2014-09-26 15:23:08

misplacedhomesteader
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Registered: 2014-09-26
Posts: 3

how do I make papier mache boxes?

Does anyone know how kraft paper boxes are made?  When not covered with a printed paper they resemble papier mache except that you can’t really detect strips of paper so I think some kind of paper pulp is used.  Even undecorated they are rather expensive, but they are perfect thing for me to put Christmas baked goods in- but then I have as much money invested in the boxes as I do the food.  And the really strange thing is that you can find fancy boxes filled with soap or candy or greeting cards and the price is about the same as a fancy box that is when it is sold empty.

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#2 2014-09-26 20:02:38

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1308

Re: how do I make papier mache boxes?

That cardboard is made with large heated presses to keep the material flat as it dries, and probably a minimal amount of glue, if any.

IMO, it is easier to make a lifelike cat out of papier mache than it would be to make a simple, basic box, or even the cardboard for making a box.  The time and effort involved would making buying them cheap.  In fact, if you wanted to decorate a box with 3D papier mache, I would advise applying the PM to a ready-made box.  Many things that seem simple, aren't, and boxes are one of them.  Sorry.

But perhaps you could find a cheaper source, if you could use several of a particular size.  Try searching at Paper Mart; here's their box section: http://www.papermart.com/gift-boxes/id= … NDEX#18987
You don't have to buy hundreds, they will sell by the smaller lot to individuals, possibly by the piece.  Of course, the more you buy, the better the price, as usual.

Sue

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#3 2014-09-27 12:32:37

Jackie
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From: England
Registered: 2002-09-14
Posts: 389
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Re: how do I make papier mache boxes?

Boxes? Yes, I agree with Sue....quite a nightmare!

A while ago I when I wanted to make some small containers for items such as rings and other small jewellery items, I decided to have a go at some "round" boxes.

I bought a bag of those cheap coloured balls from a charity shop (the kind that is used in children's play ball pools).

I covered these balls with strips of pasted newspaper until they were dry and rigid enough to cut. This was when I hit my first problem! Cutting a ball in half centrally is extremely difficult! I had to cut through the ball as well of course, but they were cheap and expendable.

For the bases I cut a strip if thin card, glued this to the base of one half and Papier matched over it.

On the inside of the other half (the lid) I glued a tiny strip of thin card just inside the rim. This acted as a lip to hold the two halves together.

I decorated each trinket box in all sorts of coverings. Some were decorated with pieces of lace and fabric, mini mirror tiles and mesh, some were just painted. I did one to look like an air balloon and took the stripes of the varying colours from the lid right down to the bases.

These little trinket boxes made lovely containers for gifts, but were time consuming. Also, the middle cut was not always as accurate as I would have liked. Other people said it didn't matter, that it added to the hand made quirkiness, but I am too much of a perfectionist so I haven't made any since.

If anyone has a way of cutting a ball shape in half accurately, or has the necessary tools, then it is one way to make your own box. You could of course use larger balls, or ones made of polystyrene (styrofoam to you people across the pond).

Alternatively, one half could be used as a domed lid for a cylindrical container. You could tape a rolled up ball of paper to the top centre to make a knob to grip hold of.

Hope this may have given you come ideas.


Jackie

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#4 2014-09-27 18:36:57

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1308

Re: how do I make papier mache boxes?

I suppose that I should have also said that the main problem is keeping your box material FLAT.  As it dries, it wants to warp, even if you're not using heat to dry it.

Jackie, if you wanted to make those round boxes again, maybe you could fill the disposable balls with plaster, to make a solid surface to cut against. 

I filled a couple of blown-out chicken eggshells with plaster when I had a hen who was pecking into the eggs, then left the plaster-filled eggs alone in the next.  I think it put her beak out of joint to discover they suddenly got a lot harder.  ;-)

Sue

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#5 2014-10-02 20:42:37

Wile E
Member
From: U.S.A., Florida
Registered: 2005-09-28
Posts: 16

Re: how do I make papier mache boxes?

Jackie, I think you can find the middle of the sphere in a similar way that you would measure the diameter. Take a string and hold it onto the top in the middle, then wrap the string around the sphere until it's taut. Mark where the string meets. Measure the string. For diameter I believe you divide by pi. So if you want the middle (equator?) you'd probably quarter the measurement.

Disclaimer #1: I am not a math wiz. I did double check how to determine the diameter to make sure that was correct but I make no guarantees on the application of the above method. ; )

But if you use the plastic balls again, you might want to make a few initial cuts to make it easier to cut it later or even make a "dotted line" use a small drill or dremel bit and drill small holes. If you do that method you would have to add something to help you keep the ball oriented in the same way so you can find the place to cut and you definitely need to measure so you cut in the same spot after covering the ball. You could probably string a wire or string through the top and mache around it and then cut it off afterwards. That way you would always know where the top is and you have the added bonus of having something to hang the balls from in order to dry. Or you could just use the string as your marker for where to cut, you would just have to keep the orientation in mind when decorating.

Disclaimer #2: I have not tried this myself. I just like trying to plan out how to do these things. However, I often run into some unforseen issue once I try to apply these ideas.

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#6 2014-10-02 21:46:10

Jackie
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From: England
Registered: 2002-09-14
Posts: 389
Website

Re: how do I make papier mache boxes?

Thanks Wile E for looking into this.....some food for thought there!

Talking of food, I keep thinking about Sue's poor little hen....ouch! smile


Jackie

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