Papier Maché Pulp Mosaics


Using this unique method, you can embed mosaics into a papier maché pulp so that they become an integral part of what you're making. The papier maché is used as a grout to hold the ceramic pieces in place. If you can't find ready-made papier maché (the kind that you simply mix with water), you can make your own by following the recipe below. Pick a mould that you like and cover it with plastic wrap so that you can easily remove your creation.


 

SAFETY:

  • Always work carefully with broken ceramics – the edges can be dangerously sharp!
 
 
YOU WILL NEED:

Old china and ceramic tiles

Old towel

Hammer

Ready-made papier maché pulp


Airtight container
Plate

Plastic wrap


PVA medium

Small pointed knife

Fine-grade sandpaper

Craft paint

Paintbrush

Clear varnish (optional)
 

It's a great idea to have everything you need ready and to work on an uncluttered surface to avoid messes and accidents!

Wrap the patterned china in an old towel and hit it with a hammer to break it into mosaic-sized pieces. Prepare the papier maché (either following the recipe on the left or following the manufacturer's instructions. You can also check out our Papier Mache making tutorial page)

Cover your mould with plastic wrap and then spread a layer of papier maché pulp about 1cm/3/8in thick over the surface of the mould. Smooth the surface well with your fingers.

Begin applying the mosaic pieces by spreading PVA medium on the base of each piece and gluing them into place, working from the edge of the mould inwards.

Press the pieces into the pulp firmly, then wet the tip of the knife and press the pulp neatly over the edges of the mosaics to ensure that you don't leave any sharp edges.

Complete the entire mosaic in this way, then leave it to dry. You'll know it's ready when it's changed to a much lighter color.

Remove the mould when the top surface is completely dry and discard the plastic. Spread another layer of papier maché pulp on the underside of your creation to ensure a smooth finish, then leave it to dry.

When you're done, sand all rough surfaces to create a neat finish and paint all papier maché surfaces with the color of your choice. You can also add a coat of varnish for a shiny touch!

DID YOU KNOW?

Papier maché mosaics are great for plant covers to add a charming, personal touch! Remember, the pulp takes a long time to dry. It changes color and it’s a lot lighter when it's ready.

Basic Papier Maché Recipe


All you need is newspaper, water, salt and glue!

Tear the newspaper into small pieces and place them into a large bowl. Add enough warm or hot water to completely cover the newspaper and leave the mixture to soak overnight or for several hours.

When it's nice and soggy, kneed and squeeze it with your hands until it looks like oatmeal, trying to remove as many lumps as you can. You might have to add some more water and leave it to soak a little longer if you can't get all the lumps out.

When it's as smooth as you can make it, add two tablespoons of salt to enable the mixture to set, then mix it again with your hands.

Once you've mixed it really well, squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands and add a few tablespoons of glue.

The mixture can be stored in an air-tight bag or in a bowl in the refrigerator for quite a long time, but it's always best to use it straight away!