Paper Mache Dolls’ Restaurant Update

27 April 2015 at 18:50 (Artwork, Random Randomness) (, , )

Okay, I was meant to make regular updates on this, but somehow never got round to switching on the computer. Why? Because I was either cutting cardboard, getting tangled in masking tape, or
stuck doing endless paper macheing. So you now get the whole thing so far in one sitting.

dollshouse-groundfloordone
So at the last update, we only had the kitchen and the entryway for the residential area. Now I have a whole ground floor. So this is the back view. I’ve got most of the walls done and something of a staircase.

You can see the spot I managed to find for the house is the corner next to the dustbin.

first-floorpartial1
This is the partial construction then of the first floor. That’s the restaurant kitchen on the left.

dolls-house-stairs
The staircase, which was later scrapped on account of, in real terms, it would be equivalent to a staircase with a width of only 48cm. I remade the staircase later with a width of 6cm, equivalent to 72cm in real terms.

dollshouse-constructiondone
Starting with the outside removable panels. That’s Raven in the window. During the photoshoot, his wrist got dislocated. When I say dislocated, I mean it fell off, along with his lower left arm. So the next 15 minutes+ was spent on reconstructive surgery. Note: be sure to regularly tighten screws.

dollshouse-papermachestart
So getting ready for the paper mache phase.  Future reference: be really careful making the corner joins smooth. Really.

dollshouse-papermachephase1
I used the flour-based paste for this. Just any old value brand plain white flour. The best proportions I’ve found are just 1 cup flour to 1 cup water, and also a generous helping of plain old PVA glue. For the first few layers, I made it too runny, and that was probably why it was so weak. Also, PROTIP: use an immersion blender to mix it up. I learnt that from Jonni from ultimatepapermache.com and it’s a VERY good idea.

dollshouse-papermacehphase2
What I’ve learnt from this is: use really thick cardboard for the ceilings (see below), and use FOUR layers of cardboard.

I went for the potassium sorbate anyway, because why risk not? So for every 1 cup (250ml) of water, I added ⅛ tsp of citric acid and ⅛ tsp potassium sorbate. Mix them into the water first, then add to the flour. I also added a liberal sprinkling (maybe about ½ to 1 tsp) of ground cinnamon.

dollshouse-doesntfit
Okay, my removable walls don’t fit.

papermache-doesntstick
Also, paper mache doesn’t stick to non-porous surfaces. So I’m confused about a tip I read saying to coat cardboard in plastic to stop it from warping. Because it won’t adhere. Unless it does work if you go all the way round. Dunno.

dollshouse-doesntfiteither
Oh no, this removable panel also doesn’t fit (truth be told, that one gave me trouble right from the very beginning).

dollshouse-bedroom1
Four layers of paper mache done. While I was waiting for my order of PVA to arrive, I worked on some furniture. I made a loft bed rather than a regular one, so there would be space for a desk or chest underneath. Moving the bed to the right side of the room also frees up space for a wardrobe on the left side.

dollshouse-base
So for my last layer of paper mache, I have used some old printouts from work, so the white base will be easier to paint. This is actually the bottom side of the base. I was meant to use just PVA and water for the last layer, but I had some flour paste left over so I just used that up. The rest of the last layer will have to wait till next weekend.

dollshouse-nearlydone1
So this is what I have so far. This is the back view. The stairs will look better once pasted into place. I’m surprised at how well they actually held their shape.

dollshouse-nearlydone2
This is the front view (I haven’t even STARTED the front removable walls yet).

dollshouse-nearlydone3
Back with the panels in place.

dollshouse-warpedfloor1
As you can see, a lot of warping went on. Which is why I know now that at least four layers of really chunky cardboard need to be used.

dollshouse-warpedfloor2
More warping on the restaurant dining area. It’s REALLY bad and I’ve no idea how to fix it 😦

dollshouse-furniture
Furniture so far. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to warp like anything once it’s paper mached 😦

Well, that’s what I have so far. If you have any tips on how I can fix/avoid warping, or any suggestions or feedback, please leave a comment.

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1 Comment

  1. Fairy Ash said,

    With the corrugated card put the folds in opposite directions in a cross shape in each layer.

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