Easter Crafts with Rebecca Shapiro

Local fine artist, Rebecca Shapiro, showed us how to make some easy crafts just in time for Easter! 

Here are the directions for making papier-mache vases and eggs:

Supplies:

  • Plastic container - can us a laundry detergent bottle, juice or milk jug, etc.
  • Water balloons - these are the tiny ones
  • Tape
  • Newspapers
  • Mixing bowl
  • Flour, water and salt for Papier-mâché paste
  • Acrylic gesso and paint to decorate the vase and eggs.

Directions for the vase:

  • Prepare the container: find a nice plastic container, clean it and let it dry.
  • Rip sections of newspaper into 1/2" to 1" wide strips that are 3-5" long. You'll need a lot of strips...probably a whole newspaper depending on the size of your vase.
  • Tip: rip the newspaper lengthwise, it tears more easily that way. Also, only use the newsprint, not the slick circulars. They are made of a thicker paper and don't work as well.
  • In a bowl mix the Papier-mâché paste. The simplest recipe is 1 part flour to 2 parts water. Add a few tablespoons of salt to prevent mold. Mix until the consistency is like thick pancake batter. Add more flour or water as needed.
  • Dip a strip of newspaper into the paste and coat both sides. Run the strip through your fingers like a squeegee to remove excess paste. Starting at the top of the container, drape the strip approximately 2" down the inside. Add strips all around the top edge, overlapping strips. Continue to cover the whole container, even the bottom. This is your first layer. Let dry.
  • Add up to 3-6 layers so strengthen the vase. You don't have to wait until it's completely dry. You can add additional layers once the previous layer is tacky.
  • Tip: alternate the directions you apply the paper - one layer is horizontal, the other vertical - so you can keep track of where you worked previously.
  • Once the final layer has been applied, let completely dry. This can take a couple days depending upon moisture in the air.
  • Apply gesso or primer house paint. Decorate with acrylic paint or decoupage magazine pictures on it using Modge Podge, then varnish.
  • Tip: if your vase is light and you're concerned that flowers might tip the vase, add a layer of stones to the bottom to weight the vase, fill with water and flowers. Enjoy!


Directions for the eggs:

  • Blow up the water balloon with air. Tape the "tail" down otherwise it will show through the Papier-mâché.
  • Rip sections of newspaper into 1/2" to 1" wide strips that are 3-5" long. You'll need a lot of strips...probably a whole newspapers worth depending on the size of your vase.
  • Tip: rip the newspaper lengthwise, it tears more easily that way. Also, only use the newsprint, not the slick circulars. They are made of a thicker paper and don't work as well.
  • In a bowl mix the Papier-mâché paste. The simplest recipe is 1 part flour to 2 parts water. Add a few tablespoons of salt to prevent mold. Mix until the consistency is like thick pancake batter. Add more flour or water as needed.
  • Dip a strip of newspaper into the paste and coat both sides. Run the strip through your fingers like a squeegee to remove excess paste. Add short strips all around the side, overlapping strips. Continue to cover the whole egg. This is your first layer. Let dry.
  • Tip: since the egg is rounded, the paper can make folds. Use smaller and thinner strips of paper and make sure the paper is thoroughly coated in paste. This helps any folds to lay down smoothly.
  • Add up to 3-6 layers so strengthen the egg. You don't have to wait until it's completely dry. You can add additional layers once the previous layer is tacky. Tip: alternate the directions you apply the paper - one layer is horizontal, the other vertical - so you can keep track of where you worked previously.
  • Once the final layer has been applied, let completely dry. This can take a couple days depending upon moisture in the air.
  • Apply gesso or primer house paint. Decorate with acrylic paint or decoupage magazine pictures on it using Modge Podge, then varnish. You can also add trim, sequins and glitter to embellish.

Visit Rebecca's craft site.

Visit Rebecca's fine art site.
 

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