Pin Me

How to Make Paper Mache from Recycled Cement Bags

written by: Jennifer Fidalgo•edited by: BStone•updated: 6/6/2010

Making paper Mache from recycled cement bags requires gathering materials for your project and following a few easy steps. There are limitless designs that you can create, and these paper Mache crafts help reduce waste by recycling discarded items and transforming them into a beautiful design.

  • slide 1 of 2

    Materials

    Making paper Mache from recycled cement bags requires a few basic materials. Recycled cement bags can be purchased online and are inexpensive. Other materials for your paper mache project include balloons, cardboard, rolled up newspapers or masking tape, containers, water, all purpose glue and paint.

    Glue can be made using household items such as water and flour. Typically you will want to mix two parts flour to one part water but this will depend on the consistency. More flour or water may need to be added if the glue becomes too thick or runny. Aim for a consistency of thick glue.

    Paint is optional, but if you choose to use it make sure it is bold enough to cover the writing on the recycled cement bags. These can be purchased at an art supply store or stores that have an arts and craft section.

  • slide 2 of 2

    Steps and Tips

    Steps

    1. Take your recycled cement bags and cut them into strips that are one to two inches in width. The length can vary, depending on the paper Mache project that you choose. These do not have to be torn perfectly — you can estimate the size without the need for measuring.
    2. Create the form of the paper Mache by using the items chosen as the base. Inflated balloons work well for paper mache that is to appear rounded such as a pinata or a rattle. Cardboard from shoe or clothing boxes can be cut out to the desired shape for projects that have more precise details such as animals or human figures. Other items such as rolled up newspapers or masking tape can form a solid base that can be shaped to the desired form.
    3. Fill a container with glue with water. The proper recipe for this is two parts glue to one part water.
    4. Begin dipping your recycled cement bag strips into the paste solution created for your paper mache project. Make sure to fully saturate so that the paper will adhere to the base properly.
    5. Once your strips are fully moistened from the paste solution, begin covering your chosen base for the project. Adhere the strips at different angles rather that uniformly.
    6. Continue adding paper cement bag strips until the base is completely covered. Allow it to dry fully and then add another layer. You can add as many layers as you like, although three layers is the minimum for a successful project.
    7. When making paper Mache from recycled cement bags you will need to decide if you want to paint your project. Without paint, it will have an earthy, hip, stylish look. However, some projects require paint. Use colors that are vivid and bold so that the print from the recycled cement bags is fully covered.

    Tips

    1. Recycled cement bags can be purchased inexpensively online.
    2. Thoroughly wet strips so that they adhere to the base of your paper Mache project.
    3. Make sure to use at least three layers of recycled cement bag strips so that the project will be durable.
    4. This project is a great way to recycle discarded items as art projects.

    If you have projects you would like to share please leave them in the comment section below.