You will need...
- Milk/juice carton
- Large old pot
- Masking tape (I use 1")
- Mixing Bowl
Note on pulp making
Tear newspapers into narrow strips, tearing with the grain. Cross tear the strips into shorter pieces 3” – 4”
- Torn paper strips
- Pulp - cooled and strained through a colander
Place newspaper strips in boiling pot, fill pot with water and boil on a rolling boil for 30 mins to reduce the paper to pulp. Cool and strain through colander - you now have the basic pulp.
Take a double hand full of pulp and squeeze out excess water, repeat with another double hand full, place in mixing bowl and add 2 cups of flour - mix well. This is now ready to use.
The armature is already produced for you, our thanks to the juice and milk companies!
- A ready made armature
- Carton preperation
Take an empty clean waxed carton, reseal opening at top with masking tape and cut out an oversized hole as shown here.
Cover the entire armature with a “skin” of pulp approx 1/8” thick. Dry completely in a warm non-humid room. You may want to add salt or a few drops of oil of cloves to your pulp to help prevent mould. I use fans to produce a good air flow and have never had a mould problem. Turn the birdhouse regularly to ensure even drying including the underside.
- Covering the armature with pulp
- Second layer of pulp
The fun parts now begin. Cover birdhouse with a second layer of pulp and leave for an hour or so. Over time the second layer of pulp will soften the first layer. If like me you like the “distressed” look, simply “beat up” the birdhouse - squeeze it, buckle it, distress it and *smile*! Add more pulp to some areas, continuing to shape the birdhouse until almost dry. Now add chimney and leave to dry completely.