Monday, July 26, 2010

How to make paper strong for papier mache

There is a process to make paper strong for papier mache .There are many ways of papier mache paste:

Paper Mache Methods

There are two basic types of paper mache.

Strip Method
This is the kind we all remember from grade school. Building up layers of paper strips which have been dipped in glue/paste. This method works best for creating hollow forms like bowls and masks.

Torn strips of newspaper (or other scrap paper) are dipped in glue and then built up in layers over a form. Forms can be balloons, wiremesh such as chicken wire, or balled up paper. Good glues for the strip method are wheat paste, PVA (white) glue thinned with water, or wallpaper paste.

Pulp Method
Paper mache pulp is mashed up paper mixed with a binder such as white glue or wallpaper paste, it can be very fine or quite chunky and is a bit clay like in the way it is sculpted. It works best for solid figures.

Resin Paper Mache Paste Recipe

Materials Needed:

To make this paper mache paste, start out by putting 3 cups of water in a pot and bring it to a boil. While waiting for it to boil, mix the 1 cup of flour and the 1/2 cup of powdered glue resin together. Slowly stir in 1 cup of very warm water. Once it is all blended together, beat this mixture briskly to remove lumps.

Once pot of water is boiling, slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix well and let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes or until it is clear and smooth.

some tips:

  • If you don't like the smell of the glue mixture you can add a few sprinkles of cinnamon or cinnamon to sweeten it up!
  • By adding a few drops of oil of wintergreen can help make the paste last longer.

One can store this glue in a covered bowl or jar, in the refrigerator, for a few days.

This is the method I used to make the paste..

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How to make papier mache paste

There is a process I used to make my papier mache paste to make paper furniture.

I used combination of paper, glue and fabric here but I also tried with other materials than fabric like wood saw dust, coconut coir etc.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bobby's furniture

After being certain about my work and trying to create more alternatives, i decided to visit Mr. Bobby in Cochin, who took an initiative to make paper furniture.


Mr. Bobby used waste cartons and paper to create furniture and using the asme furniture from last 6 yrs.

He learnt this technique from 2 US people.
As far now he made table, chair, bins, lampshades .....


He used paper roll to give support on the back and base of the chair.





My first experiment was the garden chair made up of paper, clay and fevicol.the process is given below:


As mentioned in my proposal, the designing of the furniture is mainly focused on the needs of school kids. So as an exploration I made a garden chair to check its sustainability and feasibility.

Here I have tried to convert waste paper into papier mache.

Steps in creating the chair

1. Making the wire frame with 4 mm steel wire and chicken mesh.

2. Enveloping the wire frame with the papier mache paste and ensuring it’s applied evenly on the frame. Left for drying.

3. After drying sanding was done to make its surface smooth.

4. To make it waterproof and give brightness to its color, a layer of distemper was applied.

5. Finally I painted it with acrylic colors.


• Height – 2’
• Weight – 4.8 kgs
• Content – paper, clay and glue with steel wire frame
• Time required to make – 13 hrs (excluding the time taken for drying)
• Material cost – Rs. 225
• Can take weight up to 85 kgs.
• No moulds required for shaping as in the case of plastic furniture.
• If chipped off can be repaired easily.
• Waterproof

• Weight of the chair is 4.8 kgs which is quite heavy for school kids.
• Need to find the alternative way to make it lighter without compromising on its strength.

Project Brief

My project is based on experimentation of paper along with other materials to discover a new material which can be used as an alternative to make furniture.

This project is an exploration of techniques to use of waste paper as furniture, to fulfill the fundamentals of recycling, renewing and reusing. The production of furniture takes place all over the world using materials like wood, plastic etc., but using these materials imposes a great cost to the environment. My proposal is to make furniture for kindergarten with the waste paper which is generally neither recycled nor reused. In respect to the users I’ll try and create furniture which is lively, resourceful, comfortable and contemporary.

FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES:- Recycling one ton of paper saves 682.5
gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water and 3.3
cubic yards of landfill spaces.
Source: Waste Reduction is a Smart Business Decision, Onondaga
Resource Recovery Agency, 1998 77 percent of paper is recycled in the
Source: Washington Post 67 percent of paper is recycled in Germany.
Source: Worldwatch Institute 52 percent of paper is recycled in Japan.
Source: Worldwatch Institute 45 percent of paper is recycled in the U.S.
Source: Worldwatch Institute 20 percent of paper is recycled in India
Source: IPMA

As responsible members of human society, we have a considerable obligation to safe guard the environment we live in, not only for ourselves but also for future generations too. Especially now when there is a greater awareness of the damage already caused to our environment and the predictable after effects of this, it becomes all the more urgent and necessary to seek out methods of reducing the damage that modern society inflicts on our natural resources.
This project will look at steps towards reducing deforestation as it considers an alternative material to wood in cases of furniture manufacture.
At present paper waste along with other garbage is dumped on the outskirts of the cities or burnt which in turn causes air pollution.
If we can sense even part of this immense waste of paper and its disposal a significant reduction in air pollution is possible.

In today's world when we are so aware of depletion of natural resources, it’s our foremost duty to conserve these.
An important aspect of this project is for me to create something which will exercise my responsibility & duty as a professional & citizen of society.
The rising need for sustainable materials to make furniture is quite apparent in the present situation. Generating interest and awareness would be a help but each must do what one can for the future needs. The positive outcome of this project compliments my passion in making a creative contribution towards this.

1. To produce one ton of paper requires 682.5 gallons of oil, 7,000 Gallons of water, uses 35% of world's annual commercial wood harvest and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill spaces then why is it only 20% waste paper is being recycled in India? What are the reasons for this?
2. Awareness, production and
Consumption of paper furniture is nearly non - existent in India. Why?
3. Can paper furniture substitute wood Furniture?
4. What are the different processes that can be used to make paper furniture?
5. Will making paper furniture be cost effective? Will it generate work opportunities?
6. Is the process of making paper furniture eco friendly?
7. Who are the people and which are the spaces that would opt to use this kind of furniture?

Designing a range of furniture made of paper.

RESEARCH: Research about the
existing products Research different
process being used
in making paper

EXPLORATION: Exploring the materials and techniques to make the
paper furniture.
Keeping technology to the feasible minimum and focusing more on innovation and design. Exploring with the ways to make papier mache furniture lighter, stronger, giving it different surface finishes.

CONCEPTUALIZATION To come up with different
designs of furniture. To finalize the design.

PROTOTYPING To develop prototypes.

TESTING To test the prototype with the school
kids, to check its acceptability.

REFINING Refine the designs after testing Documenting the entire process.

5th -17th – Research about existing products made of paper
18th – 31st -- Research about the various techniques & Materials
1st – 28th – Experimenting & exploring the methods & making furniture
29th – 4th – Testing the furniture
5th – 11th – Survey (acceptance of this furniture in the real world)
12th – 2nd – Finalization of furniture designs.
3rd – 12th – Giving the final touch to the products

Material: Paper Adhesive Waterproofing agent Moulds Colors’
Resources: Under the Guidance of Vivek & Preeti Prasad Internet
Books on papier mache & paper facts Survey in schools Help and guidance of the faculty

• Learning from the research done on materials, methods and processes
• To become sensitive and aware of the issues concerning waste and pollution. To learn the properties and behavior of the material (paper). To become more aware of technologies used in manufacturing of paper furniture. To explore and experiment ways on how to make papier mache furniture lighter.
• Understanding the needs of the kids as a prerequisite to the awareness of the product and its acceptance.