The appeal of papier-mâché jewellery

The appeal of papier-mâché jewellery

Since everyone is going green in a big way, we suggest that you jump on to the bandwagon too. People all over the world have been gearing up to protect the eco system by going green, recycling and doing whatever they can to reduce their carbon footprint and using less of the earth’s natural resources. Where fashion is concerned, many designers and fashionistas are advocating the use of natural resources and more importantly, recycling anything that can be reused.

This has given a rise to another new trend – making your own jewellery. A popular material for this is papier-mâché. French for ‘chewed paper’ this is a substance that can be made from a mixture of paper and a glue-like paste which is then dried, shaped into whatever design or item you fancy, painted and embellished according to choice. You can simply make these fashion or decorative items by gluing strips of paper together or by boiling paper till it is a pulp and mixing it with an adhesive paste to create designs and shapes. Then you can paint the resultant dry pulp and decorate it to your liking. This is a great way to recycle paper and this gives you an opportunity to explore your creative side and make some funky jewellery for yourself as well.

You can make papier-mâché bangles, bracelets, earrings and pendants – whatever the fancy suits you. Only, remember that papier-mâché products take around two days to dry, so when you make them, don’t expect that you will be able to wear them instantly. Here, we give you some guidelines to make some jewellery yourself.

You will need:
Paper, scrap paper, gold paper, coloured paper – anything that you might like.
A bowl and a blender
Varnish – you can use nailpaint in gloss or matte.
A sponge, a rolling pin.
Round ended scissors, a paintbrush. Paper clips, glue and metal washers or straws – cut up into equal sized bits.

How to make it: tear up the papers into small pieces and put them into the bowl. Fill halfway with lukewarm water and let the paper soak for a couple of minutes. Then use the blender on a low stetting and blend the mixture into a pulp. Then spread the pulp on two or three layers of newspapers or use the rolling pin. Use the sponge to press out excess water. Flip this papier-mâché onto another dry newspaper and use the sponge on the underside so that all the water is removed and the pulp is dry. Separate into small rounds or little cylinders. Place this is a dry place and leave it to dry completely. Once they are dry, link them together with washers and clips, varnish with gloss and link them together with string. You can use a needle and a thread to pierce through the papier-mâché balls to string them together into a necklace, or earrings.

Once they are varnished you can decorate them with glitter and sparkle glue to make them look prettier. To make a papier-mâché bangle, take a tin can and mould the papier-mâché pulp around the can. Secure the ends with clips and let it dry. Then gently remove the round ring of papier-mâché and varnish with gloss before painting it with acrylic paint and decorating it with desired embellishments.
The thing to keep in mind when making papier mache jewellery is to ensure it is at least ¼ of an inch thick – else the pulp will not hold when you are trying to mould it into shapes. Enjoy the creativity DIY jewellery offers you and make heads turn with your kitschy bling the next time you step out.

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