Garden Toad Made with New Weatherproof Paper Mache Clay

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Last week I made a leaf for this toad to sit on. Now the toad himself is almost done.

He still needs to be sealed, and glued to the leaf, and painted…

OK, there’s still a lot of work to do, but I learned a lot during this silly project. When it’s finished and glued to his leaf, this toad is going outside. We don’t know how well it will stand up to Minnesota weather, so this is still an experimental project.

However, the new clay is so much fun to work with that you might want to make some inside sculptures with it, too.

New garden toad sculpture

I’m sure we’ll continue to learn more when we start using it more often, but here’s a list of what I could think of this morning:

  • The new version of paper mache clay, with Portland cement replacing the flour, is a lot of fun to work with.
  • The consistency can be altered by slowly adding a little more cement at a time, until it feels the way you want it to.
  • You can use a temporary stamp made with modeling clay to add some texture.
  • A new wet layer can be put over an old dry layer, and it will stick, just like the original paper mache clay does.
  • It dries very hard, but it can be sanded. It isn’t easy, though. Wear a mask and do it outside so you don’t make a mess.
  • It will absorb water, but it doesn’t soften the way the original paper mache clay does when it gets wet.
  • It can be used to make a cast, like the leaf I made last week, but you wouldn’t want to pour it into a mold. It needs to be used in a thin layer, so it will be able to dry all the way through.

We’ve also been hearing about similar recipes that other people have come up with, like the Lipka version that Carol told us about. I don’t spend much time surfing YouTube for variations on the paper mache clay recipe, but if you’ve used one that includes cement, please let us know what you think of it. I hope you’ll also try this version, too, so you can compare them for us.

And if you experiment with the new weatherproof paper mache clay recipe, and put your new sculpture outside, please remember to come back and tell us how well it did. πŸ™‚

Vote for a new name for this “weatherproof paper mache clay”:

Should we keep calling it weatherproof paper mache? (I’m starting to get used to saying it, so maybe we should just leave it alone…)Β 

Or should we call it one of the following names, which I picked out from all the wonderfully creative names that were suggested by readers:

  • Garden mache
  • Outdoor mache
  • Paper cement clay

Let me know what you think – and share any suggestions or ideas you might have for future experiments. πŸ™‚

Update – we have a winner!

You voted, and the clear winner was Paper Cement Clay. Thanks, everyone! πŸ™‚

39 thoughts on “Garden Toad Made with New Weatherproof Paper Mache Clay”

  1. I vote for paper cement clay. In art shows, the artist has to state the medium. Paper cement clay would be self-explanatory whereas the others would need to be described more. That is not always possible for the times you are not present. When I show PalTiya Premium pieces, I have a small sign that explains what it is. Of course, not everyone shows their work so it wouldn’t matter to them. I guess just pick the one you feel the most comfortable saying over and over!

  2. Of the three you’ve whittled it down to, I like the way Garden Mache has the same number of syllables as Paper Mache and the same emphasis (to my ear, anyway). Outdoor Mache is much the same, I guess, and it is more directly descriptive.

  3. I vote for outdoor mache. Please don’t call it papercrete because Papercrete is a building material that consists of re-pulped paper fiber with Portland cement or clay and/or other soil added. First patented in 1928, it was revived during the 1980s.

  4. hello,

    my comment didn’t appear ?…
    I said, great toad ! and for me outdoor mache sounded appropriate too.
    Thanks for all your sharings ! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Martine. I have to approve the first comment from a new email address, and I’ve been away from the computer today. But your comment did come through. Thanks!

  5. I might go with “Yard Mache,” as in yard art. “Weather Mache,” “Elemental Mache,” I dunno, but I’m intrigued by the idea πŸ™‚ When I get around to experimenting with it, I’ll make something for my porch, which of course would be “Porch Mache.”

    Anyway, thanks, Jonni, for sharing the recipes! Love the toad, btw, and I’ll be following to see how you paint it.

  6. I’m going to vote for Paper Cement Clay, because I think it is more descriptive than Outdoor or Garden, and Clay seems more permanent than Mache.
    Thank you for your lovely videos. They are very inspiring and your work is amazing!

    Best regards,

    • Thanks, Sue. I hadn’t thought of that. But I do know that when you do a Google search for ‘paper mache’ you get a lot of results from sportscaster who think some player’s recent efforts were not up to standards, and they describe it as paper mache. It’s weird, because you can find paper mache items that are over 100 years old in antique stores, but I guess people keep remembering their grade school art classes. Thanks for your vote. πŸ™‚

  7. I like weatherproof paper mache as it caught my attention immediately but if I have to choose between the 3 I would go with Garden Mache. It conjures imagination.

  8. hi Jonni, my vote is for Garden mache as it signifies you’re adding something fun or beautiful to the garden, which in this instance is what it was created for.

  9. I’ve been calling it Paper Cement Clay.

    I originally found you searching for a clay that could withstand the outdoors. My intention was to experiment adding cement but you beat me too it! I so enjoy your videos and good cheer and hope to share my own creations when I get the chance to concentrate on it.

    Thank you so much!

  10. Vote for “weatherproof papier mache.” Makes it clear to someone like me that the item can go outside.
    Love your videos and posts.
    Thank you –

  11. I call my yard pieces outdoor art so my vote is β€œOutdoor Mache”

    The pieces that I made with this recipe were not covered in plastic for curing, just left to dry in a low humidity, constant 72 degree atmosphere. No cracking visible. I haven’t sealed or painted yet, other projects have gotten in the way.

    • I hope you’ll let us see them when they’re done. I didn’t see any cracking on my toad, either, and he wasn’t covered. It also wasn’t that cool in my house – it was over 80F yesterday. But he survived, anyway. πŸ™‚


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