Until recently, our tea corner was looking fairly, shall we say, “lived-in”. I’d wanted to neaten it up for awhile, but hadn’t found the right solution. Then the idea came that, if I couldn’t find anything in the shops, it was time to make it myself.
If you’ve never done paper maché before, it can look a bit daunting; but it’s all about steps: First you get an idea of what you need, and begin building up the “armature” – the skeleton of what you want as an end-product. That can change as you go; you can add on in basically any phase you want. The armature, in this case, was made of boxes and masking tape: I took square and rectangular tissue boxes; the square, I cut in half across the middle, cutting top from bottom. I slipped a piece of cardboard into the top’s hole to make a solid base. The rectangular boxes, I cut down to be a bit shorter – these are the side drawers.
I’ve learned to get crisp edges on box projects by pre-cutting the papers I use to the width, length or height of the piece to cover with Mod-Podge & paper. I used a book I’ll never read, but find that paperback pages are a good thickness, and don’t get my fingers as black as working with newspaper does. Afer they were dry, I painted them; the drawers are white, the caddy, black.
If you’re interested in getting the metal drawer pulls, I found them at Aliexpress – a great source for craft items, especially for those of us in Europe (which tends to have very little choice of craft items)! If you type in “Plum handle metal antique vintage”, they’ll pop up.
Below are a few photos to inspire you; I didn’t photograph every stage; if you want to learn more about what you can do with paper maché, just click here to go to my Pinterest board for crafts using paper & cardboard. I made the “Life is like a cup of tea” image from a few different images; the label was also made from a banner I found on Pinterest; these kinds of things can be found on my Vintage board.
I lined each drawer with a different pattern of scrap material; you could use paper – it’s up to you, but I think the cloth will be more durable. I painted it with a layer of homemade Mod Podge, so here is the recipe for that:
DIY Mod Podge
- Glass Jar or container
- Any kind of generic household glue
- Acrylic gloss/glaze paint if you want a glossy finish
Into the container, pour 3 parts glue and 1-2 parts water, depending on how thick you want it. Add the glaze if you want; depending on how much glue and water you use, you’ll need to adjust how much gloss you add, but I would guesstimate 1 part gloss.
If you’re not yet familiar with Mod Podge, it can be used in so many ways! I go through quite a lot of it, so I made up a large batch every 6 weeks or so. I use it both to glue and seal paper maché projects.