Papier mache is a flexible and surprisingly strong material which is easily made and used. To make it you will need some old paper (newspaper is good), starchy flour of any kind, water and optionally PVA glue. There are two basic methods:
1) Firstly tear up and soak pieces of old paper in a mix of 3 parts water to 2 parts flour. Using PVA glue in the mix will make it go harder and last longer. After a day it can then be shaped around a mould for a mask or squashed into a solid to make a puppets head or a wheel.
2) Make a paste of water (3 parts) and flour (2 parts). Paint or spread this onto an object. Then place narrow strips of torn paper on top like a bandage. Repeat this process with further layers of paste and strips of paper. Using PVA glue in the paste will help make it stronger too.
Cardboard is thick paper, sometimes with extra reinforcing ribs inside. Cardboard cuts, folds and joins easily. Score a shallow cut along the surface of the cardboard first to ensure it bends where you want it to.
If the model is coated with paint or glue afterwards it will last quite well. Extra strength can be made by using papier mache strips to reinforce something made from cardboard.
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