The Paper Mache Way

Enrisan

Well-Known Member
Hello armor enthusiasts. I've noticed that nobody has really made a thread for making armor from paper mache, or at least I've never seen it after using the Search feature on the site. Anyways, I'd like to make this thread as a collective guide made by the community to help people make armor using paper mache, for those who either can't or would like to go this method rather than resin/fiberglass. Yes yes, we know paper mache isn't as good as the real way to do it, so we don't need to hear people saying "use resin it's better!!!!"...now it's been said, no need for anyone to point it out.

I'd like to gather information from people who have used paper mache before to find the best methods and materials possible to make some decent armor. If you have any experience in using mache or have any tips, please post your findings so we can make ourselves a good guide. I will try to update this thread as often as I can, adding in new information from those who contribute.

Paper Mache Guide
Recommended Materials to use for:
~ paper material- newspaper, bond paper (stronger)

~ adhesive- Elmer's white glue

~ detailing???

~ other


Methods/Tips:
- Mix up the glue with some water so it's not too thick (around 40% water, 60% glue)

- Lay down the paper strips in different directions for a stronger surface

- Tear the strips rather then cutting them, also makes for a stronger surface

- Make sure the strips overlap to strengthen your piece

- Use several layers on the inside and outside of your armor

- Don't hesitate if you think the paper mache is too soft, just add more layers if you think you need them (at least 5 layers with the hard paper(bond paper)

- Use a jigg to secure the piece in place because it tends to twist a bit cause of water. After putting 2-3 layers, let it dry and you can take out the jigg and put more layers on it, it won't deform but it's advisable to do it on the jigg to be safe.

- DO NOT use too much adhesive compound(glue), because it will deform pretty bad if you put too much, especially on the first layer. Just use enough for the paper to stick, not too little that after it dries it won't stick anymore.

- Tear the bond paper into small pieces, like 1"x1" small, if you're using it for the very detailed parts of the armor. If you have straight, flat surfaces, bigger pieces will be fine. If you make it too big, the bond paper won't assume the shape of the armor piece.

- After the piece is done, find a good place to store it like inside a plastic bag. Apparently centerside was victim to "creepy crawlies" that ate through his project lol.
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ok, so I'm hoping people can expand on this and help produce a nice guide for paper mache.

I have some additional questions for you guys:
1) Which adhesive mix is better to use, glue, glue+water, flour+water?

2) Can the paper mache be sanded down to remove some rough edges, and if so which sandpaper is recommended?

3) Should you add a layer at a time and wait for them to dry before adding another, OR keep adding layers until you have enough?

This is all I could think of for now, but please help me in making this guide. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I will check this thread daily. Thanks!

-Enrisan
 
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centerside

Well-Known Member
Iv'e been doing paper mache for a while now, well since I was 7 yrs old lol hehe, wen I started out I did really bad and i learnd some stuff along the way:

1. Overlapping them would be the best choice, will make it stronger.

2. The adhesie I use is 40%water and 60 % Glue, works well. (it's ordinary white school glue)

3. I tried sanding it before, nothing worked, everything just tears away and ruins the sanded part, well after that, you could put another layer to smooth it out, but i won't do it.

4. Use scratch paper(used ones, to help conserve :D) and use the paper thats harder than tissue, the work you have to do is more because you have to tear smaller pieces since harder paper doesnt go into small corners (like small details) but using smaller pieces for the small corners and details, you'll do just fine.

5. Don't hesistate if you think the paper mache is too soft, just add more layers if you think you need them ( at least 5 layers with the hard paper(bond paper) I mentioned.

6. Surround the edges of the peices with at least 2 layers of paper mache.

7. Use a jigg to secure the piece in place because it tends to twist a bit cause of water. After puting a 2-3 layers, let it dry and you can take it out the jigg and put more layers on it, it wont deform but it's advisable to do it on the jigg to be safe. :D

8. DO NOT use too much adhesive compound( the ater and glue one), because it will deform pretty bad if you put too much, especially on the first layyer, cause if you mess that up, the armor piece is rubbish already. Just use enought for the paper to stick, not to little that after it dries it won't stick anymore.

any corrections will be greatly appreciated. :D
 

Enrisan

Well-Known Member
nice post, centerside. I'll add some of these to the list.
Do you think you can make a link to bondo paper so people know what it is?
 

centerside

Well-Known Member
Enrisan said:
nice post, centerside. I'll add some of these to the list.
Do you think you can make a link to bondo paper so people know what it is?
Thanks. oh yea, the paper is not Bondo paper. The Bond paper is another name for ordinary typewriter paper.
 
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centerside

Well-Known Member
The second link is what I mean, but if the people would want to use cheaper typritting paper that would do. (preferably, white bond paper, easier to paint after)

Just a reminder, when using this kind of paper, make sure to tear them into small peices, otherwise it wont stick as well and your work would be ruined.

You can use thiner kinds of paper like the ones from cheap notebooks, it
will be easier to work with for detailed parts like corners and stuff.

This bond paper is very unlikely to rip when useing the water+glue adhesive. Other soft papers tend to rip rather easily.

!!!!!!Reminder again!!!!!!: I really need to press this one, tear them to small, and I mean small like 1"x1' small, if your using it for the very detailed parts of the armor, but if you hace straight and flat surfaces, biger peices would do. If you make it too big, the bond paper wont assume the shape of the armor peice, I find it easier just to make it into smaller peices, reather than to correct A LOT of mistakes from using softer paper due to A LOT of ripping.
 

centerside

Well-Known Member
No problem, great to help improve awereness on the power of paper mache! mhehehe lol jk.

seriously, paper mache is good cheap way to do it, seen some awesome costumes before on conventions made out of them.

I'll post more tips if I remember, or discover them.

thanks Enrisan for making this topic :D

ONE MORE TIP: After the peice is done, place it inside a plastic bag and seal it properly, I did a project sometime before (forgot what it is (or are)) after paper mache-ing my project, I woke up to find holes in them, i didn't store it properly, ended up destroying my project. Glue and water MAY attract "creepy crawlies" (lol) and the MAY eat through it, to be safe, keep them in a safe place.. :D

EDIT:

ANOTHER TIP:Enrisan, I forgot to answer your last question.

Should you add a layer at a time and wait for them to dry before adding another, OR keep adding layers until you have enough?
of all the works I did, I just didn't really really care if i let it dry or not, but I always ended up putting another layer on it when partially dry, I do it like this, I start from the bottom and spirals up, so when I get to the bottom, its partially dry then i add another layer, this will keep it from having air gaps between layers that can ruin the project. You could wait for it to dry, like in one of the other tips then just apply a bit more glue than usual (not too many) to "wet" the part and prevent nasty air gaps :D
 
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Enrisan

Well-Known Member
no problem. :D
I'm hoping to spread the use of paper mache for those who can't or won't use dangerous, toxic chemicals.
Thanks for your contributions!
 

Yogi Ben

Jr Member
my little sister wants me to make her a MC suit for halloween so im gonna make a low poly one. can i make a pepped suit from cardstock then paper mache it or do i have to use a different material to pep?
 

HaloFreakX

Well-Known Member
1) Don't necro this is a year and a half thread from May of last year.

2) Just go with traditional Resin/Glass, and paint it depending on how low poly you actually want it. And get padding.
 

ODST 276

Jr Member
I'm making or trying to make the Rookie armor for paintball and airsoft.You might say that the paint ball will destroy the armor.Well that's why I have some thin metal sheets that I'll put over the paper mache.The thing is I don't know a way to get the metal to stay without falling of.



I was going to make a under armor (padding) and a cardboard + DUCT TAPE + paper mache + thin metal sheet (alluminum)

armor.



Then I need a way to sew or glue the armor to my under armor.



Please help. :(
 

coolguy26

Jr Member
ODST 276 said:
I'm making or trying to make the Rookie armor for paintball and airsoft.You might say that the paint ball will destroy the armor.Well that's why I have some thin metal sheets that I'll put over the paper mache.The thing is I don't know a way to get the metal to stay without falling of.



I was going to make a under armor (padding) and a cardboard + DUCT TAPE + paper mache + thin metal sheet (alluminum)

armor.



Then I need a way to sew or glue the armor to my under armor.



Please help. :(


uhhh please dont necro



that means dont post in a thread that's old
 
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ODST 276

Jr Member
Well this thread is about paper mache,and my post is about paper mache.So were do I put my post that has to do with this subject.I think Scifihero.net is a little more compassionate to me.
 

charkol11

New Member
Sweet!



Im new here and just finished putting together my first pep helmet. I was trying to figure out if paper mache would actually work and this thread answered my question. How strong does it actually get? And should I coat it with any sort of primer before I paint it?



I am trying to hopefully get a full set done by halloween :p
 

coolguy26

Jr Member
ODST 276 said:
Well this thread is about paper mache,and my post is about paper mache.So were do I put my post that has to do with this subject.I think Scifihero.net is a little more compassionate to me.


ummm I don't know



maybe... make a new thread?



its not that im trying to not be compassionate to you, im just following the rules you should have read when you registered



(Just Saying)
 
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Drakku

Active Member
There are instances when necro is okay, guys, just to remind ya'll.. A new thread should've been created, yes, but now that questions are being poured into this one, it's no longer necro-y, is it?



charkol11 said:
Im new here and just finished putting together my first pep helmet. I was trying to figure out if paper mache would actually work and this thread answered my question. How strong does it actually get? And should I coat it with any sort of primer before I paint it?
Paper mache would work, though it lacks the strength that fiberglass would give it. If you're going through the process of pepping your pieces, I would honestly go ahead and try to resin/fiberglass it, if at all possible, if you want to ensure the armor will last you a while, since you're already putting that much time into it. As Sean Bradley said to me when I was asking him if paper mache would be an acceptable alternative, you'll get out of the project what you put into the project. (Or something to that extent.. hah, it's been a while.)



So, if you want this armor to last you a while, I would, as I just said, try to resin/fiberglass it. However, if it's the deadline you're worried about, you could always fiberglass it later.



As for strength, it's kinda like fiberglass in the sense that the more layers you add and the more criss-crossing pattern you lay the strips in, the stronger the end result will be. It's not, however, a replacement to fiberglass, haha.

And as for primer, I would suggest it. It'll help you see where you need to smooth out some more, and also give your project an even tone to apply the final coats of paint to. (Especially since paper mache is commonly done out of newsprint, with black, white, and random colors all over.)

I would also suggest sealing it when you get it done, it will help it last. Then when you have more time, you can go back and add more stability and rigidity to the inside via fiberglass.
 
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Futurama2

New Member
I'm using paper mache, and it's getting amazing! :D But one tip... do not use crap paper card as I used in my first EOD helmet... or it will get, uh... how can I say it... "war marks" if you understand what I mean...
 

bobbio555

Well-Known Member
I just realized you left out the most important part. SEAL IT! It really helps prevent warping. I used mod podge to seal mine, but you can probably find some other stuff that's better.
 
I saw this thread and I got excited, I'm a paper-machier myself and That is the only method I've used to my satifaction, I've been doing it for about 3 years. I dunno what recipe you guys are usin' but mine is bloody strong, for newspaper, I try to get enamel paint because it adds to the hardness. But I use skool glue (get it? I spelled School wrong, lol?)

This is my cardboard and hotglue, ablsoultely no ducttape and papermache costume

http://405th.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=21325



Eh? If used right it can be a very good (not to mention cheap!) Alternative to Fiberglass

But you have to sacrifice some of the detail if you are a little screezed for money...the most expensive single piece of my costume is the Visor.



Keep your socks dry, and your eyes on the enemy.



Spartan-124
 
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