Our friend Ken H. wrote this wonderful guest post showing us how he made a mini-bar with cardboard and paper mache clay. What a great project! Thanks, Ken. 🙂
© 2020 Ken H.
Paper Mache Mini-Bar
God where do I start.. my fascination with paper Mache came from Jonni’s youtube channel.. as I sat mesmerized watching an elephant come to life all using paper Mache. It caught my eye.It was love at first sight. My first thought was I would try and make a rabbit.. I downloaded the pattern. I was sure that would be what I would make.
The more I would look at the pattern the more I would hesitate.. it was one of those things.. what if I make a mistake. Jonni sure makes it look easy.. so the project was put on the back burner..
Then one day my grandson was talking to me about moving into his own place and just how expensive it was for furniture.
I said.. why not use cardboard boxes. His first expression said I was insane. So the challenge was set.
His parents had just gotten a freezer and I asked for the box.
The box was fairly large about six foot long with a lot of Styrofoam inside as packing material.. I was going to make something out of this.. the first thought was to make a dresser.. but then I was in a hurry. The grandson was mid twenties and pretty much a social butterfly and a college student. What could be more fun than a mini bar..
I laid out my basic design and thought there we go.. notice at the top of the box.. I was in a hurry and didn’t square up the top flaps..that was my mistake.. the biggest one. I went back and watched more of ultimate paper mache to see what jonni did.. after she created the form she started to fill in.
So that is what I did.. I added.. then glue added then glue.. once I had the walls so they were sturdy then I would make paper mache clay and coat it.. I used putty knives and butter knives etc.. the stronger it got the better I felt and the more excited I was. I was concerned about the wine bottle holder.. and I took a couple of small one inch pieces of wood to staple the pieces of cardboard to..
I was amazed at just how hard the paper mache clay gets to.. at times I caught myself treating the whole project as if it was made out of wood.
A few things I would do different though..
At this point here.. instead of just cardboard and Styrofoam packing.. I would have taken a couple of pieces of wood blocks and glued them in the cardboard.. that way when I screwed the wheels on it they would have been anchored in to wood instead of cardboard. The screws were two inches long and I covered them with glue the same thing with the bottom of the anchor plate to the wheels.. at that point I was terrified that when I put it on the floor the wheels would just fall off.. it is cardboard.. but they held just fine..
the other thing is I would have put a piece of one by two for the door edge.. when I made the cardboard and paper mache clay door.. the first thought was I would use refrigerator magnets for it.. the side where the wine bottle are.. looked open and I thought instead of just putting a small trash can in there I would put a drawer.. ( the gap in the flaps.. ) that is when I realized that when I left that small quarter inch gap at the top of the original layout made a difference. Yup the drawer was a quarter inch out of square.. to put a little color in the drawer I used an angry orchard ale box as a header.. when I realized refrigerator magnets wouldn’t work I had to get a set of hinges.. the hinges came with small half inch long screws.. LOL this was a funny part.. I hung the door was standing back admiring it and went to open the door and wop the door fell off.. LOL so I got some two inch screws did like I did with the wheels and covered them completely with glue and filled in the holes with paper mache clay.. then screwed it all into place.. and I let it dry..
Painted the unit with a spray paint.. I used an appliance epoxy spray paint.. then let the little grandkids decorate the bar top and counter top..
I picked up some epoxy pour on finish and that is the coating on the counter and the bar top. For the case I took a cheap foam brush and very thin coats of epoxy to the outside to stiffen it up and make it a little more water proof.
Elmers glue and franklin wood glue was used in the paper mache clay and the gluing of everything together. The paper mache clay gave the counter top and the bar top a great deal of strength. I had put several gallons of stuff on top of it just to see if there was a give.. I did do some rib work.. like egg cartons to give it all strength..
A three inch document tube and a toilet flange made the tap tower.. a toilet paper tube was used for the tube access to the cooler..
Now that I see just how great paper mache clay is and the versatility of cardboard and paper I have many more projects.
The grandson couldn’t believe that it was that cardboard box.. his first response was.. dam you made that out of wood.. nope it is that cardboard box that was to go to the garbage.. then he asked.. can you make me a couch and some chairs.. well we sure can but this time you make it I will help..
The grand daughter asked me if I could make some dressers for her girls. And I am looking at that rabbit even more now.. the other thing I want to make and am thinking about.. Is I want to make a violin.. all out of paper mache clay and cardboard.. I know I can do it.. just to figure it all out first..
So don’t hesitate.. just jump in if I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have been so hesitant..