Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fairy Tale Cottage from Off-the-shelf Paper Maché Box

Hi Friends, this month I'm going to show you how I turned this little paper maché box into a cottage and something more - It was created for the Southern Arizona Miniature Enthusiasts club to use as a raffle ticket holder for the dollhouse they are going to raffle off at the miniatures show in October.

Here is how the box started out -

Open all around, both sides were the same, and the box was flat on the back.

I made some sketches of things I might change.  From my perspective, the first things that had to go were the gable/dormer things at an odd slant.

The straight lines wouldn't fit with my plan either, so once I had things sketched out, I started cutting up the box and adding cardboard and card stock to create the shapes I wanted.

Maybe not surprisingly, I got a little crazy with the windows - or it was just that this type of material isn't easy to cut smoothly.  But thankfully, these things were easy to fix up with some extra card stock.

I wanted something a little different on this side of the house - I'll be filling in the side windows on the bottom

When I was finished cutting everything up, I created a cardboard liner for the box - to help keep it stable and prevent warping when the wet clay was added, and also to provide a back piece that I could attach pictures and plastic to for filling in the window openings and sculpting the door.

I then added a thin layer of clay over the entire box, but of course cut in around the box top so I could get it open.  

Once that layer dried, I carved the details in to the door.  This step needed to be done before sculpting the branches around the door with fresh clay.

Before moving on to the heavier layer and sculpting, I created a foil barrier between the top and bottom of the box.  This allowed me to sculpt both pieces at the same time and have them match perfectly!

I added additional clay for the details, and for texturing the walls, etc.  The mushroom over the front door was sculpted separately and then added after it dried.

Originally, the club planned to have me paint a sign on the flat back of the house, but I later thought that a frame might be a better option so the sign could be changed if the house was used for a different raffle at another time.  The back of the box was large enough for a 5 x 7 frame, so I built up around the glass with wood then added clay over that.

To prevent warping or collapse, I left the original closed chimney in tact and sculpted around it.  Once it had a firm dry layer of clay, it was time to make the opening for the raffle tickets.

I cut off the top cardboard layer...

Then used a file to poke holes in each corner...

and had marks so I knew where to cut out the opening.

Once all of the clay was dry I painted it,  When that was dry, I made patterns from the cardboard inserts, then used the computer to created window inserts, and added those along with thin plastic to create the windows.

To finish the inside of the box opening and leave it smooth for all of those raffle tickets to slide in to, I photographed the sculpted/painted exterior, loaded the photos onto the computer, and used a graphics program to make a repeating pattern.  I printed that with archival ink on heavy paper, heat-set the printout, then lined the chimney with it.


There may be a few little surprises tucked in here and there :)

Thanks for joining me here again!  As always, play, experiment, and have fun!

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Bettina Groh said...

That is really really neat!! Love the log looking beams and widow frames... wish I could put a raffle ticket in the chimney!!!

Marilyn Filter said...

Great box. Nice instructions. Thank you. Marilyn