Decorative and Practical Paper Mache

Paper Mache Desktop JunkDrawer, Magazine Rack, and More


We have several new “practical paper mache” items to show off today – our new page is starting to fill up fast. I’m only putting one little image here in this post as a teaser because I want to make sure you to go take a look at all the projects over on the new Practical Paper Mache page.

Here’s what we have so far:

Tani Hughes sent in several items – the “desktop junk drawer” shown in the image on the left, a CD storage rack, some wall shelves, and a shoe storage shelving unit, all made, naturally, from paper mache. Be sure to read her description about the junk-drawer, because in it she describes a solution to a paper mache problem that has plagued me for years – how to stop flat items from warping as they dry. If I’d read this earlier, my paper mache waste paper basket would be a lot more square…

Paco Ojeda gave us permission to post that great video he made showing how he makes paper mache bowls and translucent sconces – and that beautiful little box. Be sure to click the links under the video, because he shows off a useful kitchen item that’s practical, unique, and beautiful – don’t miss it (I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what it is…)

And Payal Pandey sent in a very nice paper mache magazine rack. Like almost all the projects submitted so far, the magazine rack was made using materials already on hand, and it’s something that will be used every single day.


About the author

Jonni Good

I'm a sculptor, author, gardener, and grandma. When I'm not catering to the needs of my obnoxious cat, I make videos, create stuff, and play around with paper mache. I'm also the author of several highly-rated books on paper mache. You'll find them in the sidebar, and on


  • Has anyone done this to make faux rocks for a garden? I have been searching for a site on making these rocks but need something that is cheap to make. Beside I might want to move them around and need something light.

  • I decided to put a few links here in a comment, since I wasn’t quite sure where else to put them.

    Today I needed a slideshow plugin to use on the new Practical Paper Mache page. Coincidentally, the plugin developers also designed a WordPress Theme especially for artists. It isn’t free, but it does look nicer than most of the free ones and it only costs 15 bucks — so if you’re thinking about building a website or updating an old one, you might want to check it out. (I have no association with these folks – I just really like their WordPress theme.) If you haven’t built your site yet, remember the free website building tutorials I put up a few months ago (I really do need to make a nicer heading for that website — ideas, anyone?)

    And this morning I received an email from David, a reader, who directed me to an article he wrote about a number of paper mache paste recipes. He mentioned in his email that he prefers the recipe that uses Methyl Cellulose. (OK, I admit it – I had to go look it up.) However, he also says that wallpaper paste mixed with 25% PVA glue is a good substitute, and it won’t mold like flour pastes do. He also mentioned Nives Cicin-Sain, who he describes as “the greatest pm artist in the world,” so, naturally, I had to go Googling. again. I’ve never seen anyone do portraits like hers, and her masks are quite lovely, and her dolls, and …. Thanks for introducing her, David.

    And this one just in: another reader, William Rutledge III, sent links to several pages on a site dedicated to amusement parks. Mr. Rutledge is particularly interested in “automata – animated characters – used in store displays and amusement parks.” He found several articles about “Van A. Olkon, who used paper mache in his creation of such displays and characters.” You can find the articles here and here. What Mr Rutledge didn’t mention in his email is that he also wrote a very interesting article for the same site. You can find it here.

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