Friday, August 28, 2009

To glue or not glue?

That is the question for the Frog Queen.

I am dying to play with papier mache - looks like lots of fun. I tried it once years ago on my very first spider. I made it out of flour and water boiled, then dipped newspaper in it. Looked good. Did not last a through. October here in the Northwest is rainy, despite me covering it with paint and sealer, a small amount of water must have got in, cause it turned to mush.

Which in fact, left unattended in the garage through the holidays, grew a nice yellow-green color. At least that is what it looked like the last time I saw it. It disappeared in the night.

I swear sometimes I can see it peeking out from behind the compressor.

It looks angry.

And hungry.

I am not going to try to catch it.

I think we can live together

if it stays out of my way, I promise not to beat it with a broom....or burn it with a blow torch :)

Okay, where were we?

So, learning that I cannot rely on my grade school recipe, I scoured the interweb and found many of you that make fantastic pieces. And many of you have shared your recipes. Thank you, thank you.

Wait, what is this?

A common ingredient is glue.

Easy enough, I know where the store is, comes in big jugs and I have the means to get there and bring it home.

But I am vegetarian, and I know what glue is made of.

It has been what has kept me choosing foam over papier mache for years. But all there is so much cool stuff to be made!!! It is killing me.

I know that foam is probably overall worse for the why do I worry.

(BTW - I do go out of my way to take all the foam we don't use the foam recycling place in the middle of nowhere, by the river in the industrial area of town, where I am sure lots of people go "missing"....every time I make it back alive, I hope the environment appreciates it.) :D

I could solve all my problems if I would just learn how to carve foam. That has proven to be harder than I thought....remember these angel wings!! :(

So I am back to flour and water....and a bit of clove oil, which I read is supposed to deter mold. At least that is what Wikipedia says....and they are always right. Right?!? :D
Oh, yeah and whole lotta sealer and paint and more sealer and paint...

I use zinc powder on my roof every year....I wonder if I can mix that in with the flour? No, wait, that is for moss.

Living in the Northwest it is hard to tell on green fuzzy/fluffy thing from another.

Or, I could just tell myself that the cows are already dead and no matter if I use the product or not it is not going to bring them back from the dead.

Oh, but zombie cows would be cool!

Anyway, can't do the glue thing. I know some of you are rolling your eyes at me and I know. I am being silly. But how is that different from any other day?



  1. how about using liquid starch? I made giant eyeballs using balloons, newspaper and that stuff and it worked pretty well in humid Florida!

  2. Really!? I saw starch as on of the ingredients, do you think it would be enough?

    What do you seal your stuff with....I think one of my other posts had a recomendation...I a gotta find it. I will learn to tag my blog posts one day!!

  3. YOU GO Vegan girl...I had no idea! I think that is admiral in this world of McDonald's & "Go Meat" ads. '-)

    BTW: I use CelluClay and it has binders (glue) in it that makes it near impervious...BUT you need a belt-sander to smooth it! '-)

    PS: Your angel (& wings) were BOO-tiful!!!

    Friday Hugs,
    mE ((-'

  4. From the Elmer's Glue site (if they're not lying, this is pretty good):

    Do you use animals when making glue?
    No, Elmer's does not use animals or animal parts to make glue. Our products are made from synthetic materials and are not derived from processing horses, cows or any other animals.

  5. Thanks Rot! You are the best!!

    The Frog Queen is officially out of papier mache it is!!!


  6. One of my favorite mache paste recipes is (all measurements aint't rocket science) 6 cups flour + 1 cup liquid starch + 1 cup drywall joint compound.....add enough warm tap water and mix with a hand mixer to a thin pancake batter consistency. I've used this method for years without any problems...the secret is properly sealing....using a good quality urethane such as Spar Urethane prevents damage from moisture and deters critters from chewing..make sure you coat all exposed surfaces..if your prop is hollow such as a pumpkin or skull make sure you seal the stuff has been our heavy rains and is still ticking strong

  7. should have read my stuff has been out in heavy rains, etc.

  8. Stolloween...but your stuff is so cool....I read your instructions and thought....they cannot be right, I am sure he uses magic or something :D

    I did read a lot of your stuff....must have just missed it. Thanks. Your receipe sounds good. I am going to give it a shot.

    I am so stealing...right from your instructions the plans to make a frog! I am really looking forward to that one.

    I love the Halloween community. You are the coolest people!

  9. To the best of my knowledge most modern white glues do not contain animal products, except for specialty glues. White glues or PVA's (polyvinyl acetate) do not contain animal products

    In my previous recipe you can substitute the joint compound for one cup of PVA or White glue. . . just an FYI

  10. I don't think I sealed mine, but it was only for a weekend/party. Stolloween's recipe sounds great and solid! I'm learning so much since I found this blog ;)

  11. I tried a lot of glue recipe recently. The recipe from Stolloween do a great job! But my preference have gone with a very simple recipe:

    2 part water for one part Elmer wood glue.

    If I had more time to play with paper mache I would use Stolloween recipe but because I can be several days without doing any paper mache, I need a glue that will not mold. This is why I am using the water and wood glue recipe.

    Have fun with paper mache, it is a great medium.

  12. Once the props are sealed using a good urethane, they are pretty much indestructible from most elements. I've recently started sealing them both before and after I paint them. Probably overkill, but it gives me peace of mind. Scott mentioned sealing the inside of a prop. Definitely do this! We lost a few pumpkins this year because we didn't seal the inside. They have been inside of our storage building since last Halloween. I pulled them out this past weekend and discovered that mice had eaten them from the inside out. Strangest looking pumpkin you ever did see! They are still intact on the outside, but the inside is gone so they collapsed on top themselves. Makes them look old and rotten. Kinda cool actually.


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