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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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 and it’s a VERY good idea.

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.

Okay, my removable walls don’t fit.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Back with the panels in place.

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.

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

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.


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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