Monday, December 21, 2009

"Stained Glass" Reindeer Tutorial

Again, my apologies for having no new photos of this technique to share, but here are the steps for making it!

What you'll need:

~ Paper mache forms in any shape, including boxes, purses, hanging ornaments, spheres, etc. This technique can be used on any item- including wood and some metals- that will take glue and paper well.
~ Paper napkins in bright, saturated colors. Patterning or design really don't matter. Obviously for these, I chose Christmas napkins, but any bright napkin will do as long as it doesn't have a lot of white space showing. The size of your project will determine the number of napkins you use. You'll almost always use more than you think you will, but one package is usually enough.
~ White primer spray paint and mask/gloves/goggles for safety.
~ White school glue, thinned with a little water.
~ Disposable foam brush.
~ Gold foil pen or metallic paint pen.
~ Embellishments (optional... in the case of the reindeer, I used ribbon and some stems of silk evergreen sprigs and berries. You can find these in the floral department of your local craft store).

What you'll do:

~ Wearing goggles, mask and gloves, spray paper mache form with white primer. Coat evenly and allow to dry completely.
~ Paper napkins are usually between two and three ply and only the top ply is printed with enough pigment to make this technique work. Separate ALL plys and only use the top (printed) ply for this project (don't discard the other plys... they can be used in other projects, or for clean-up).
~ Tear napkins into irregular pieces and strips. The size of the pieces doesn't really matter.
~ Using a foam brush, paint the primed paper mache with a little of the glue mixture, press a piece of torn napkin into the glue and smooth out any air bubbles by painting a little more glue on top. Work in small areas so the glue doesn't dry before you can cover it with paper. Continue layering the napkin pieces and glue until the entire surface is covered.
~ Allow to dry fully... could take a couple of days.
~ At this point, run your hands over the piece and check for any edges of napkin that might be trying to lift. If you find any, you can usually smooth them out by applying more of the glue mixture and letting it soak in. Then smooth with your fingers. You can also coat the entire thing with a couple of layers of thinned glue for protection, if you choose. I didn't bother with this step and my deer have remained in excellent shape for years, but it's up to you.
~ Once the piece is fully dried again, use the gold foil or paint pen marker to trace along the torn edges of the glued napkins. Allow your lines to intersect and break into as many pieces as you want. This is what creates the stained glass effect.
~ Embellish with any ephemera you like.

Happy holidays!
- Judi


Katherine McNeese said...

thanks Judi!

Michele/TextileTraveler said...

What a great project! I may even have some of those paper-mache pieces around somewhere . . . hmmm, I'm off to look! Thanks for posting the tutorial.

elle said...

I was gonna pass on the reindeer but this is most useful. Post Christmas sales, here I come! I see paper-mache in my future! Thanks!

Sharon said...

Nice! I might have to look for these 'ingredients' during the after xmas sales! Found you through 3 Creative Studios.

laura west kong said...

How fun ... thanks so much for sharing that! Happy New Year!