Monday, 14 September 2009

New Paperclay Alternative - Witches Brooms and Wizard Staff

My friend Debbie from Piskies and poppets sent me some Papier Mache to try out a few weeks ago. It was a different brand to what is showing here but all of them are the exactly the same.
If you remember i posted all about paperclay a little while back which is a mix of paper and real clay, plus glues and other ingredients. I also blogged about which was my favourite and the difference in prices and also its uses.
I've been struggling to get hold of my favourite and by accident i found papier mache an equally good alternative. This is not the type of papier mache we did at school but a ready made powder you just need to add water to and mould and shape as desired. Its also known as celluclay or instant papier mache.
My intention was to make some large unicorn horns with it for my full scale potion jars but this didn't go to plan. Annoyed it didn't work i stored it in an air tight plastic bag for about a week.
Yesterday i thought I'd best check it was still ok and found that in the space of a week its consistency and feel was exactly the same as paperclay. Then i jumped about as happy as punch at my discovery, lol.

Here is what the bags come like - look on the net for various brands and location.
Some brands as white while other makes have a natural creamy colour. The type Debbie sent me was a cream colour. But if you're paintint it the colour doesnt really matter.

All you do is mix with water in a bowl until its like dough or soft clay.
Once made its quite rough and far too lumpy for miniatures, but if you put it in a bag and seal for a week or two its consistency is a lot better, its smoother and brilliant for making stone floors and walls etc.

Here is a quick example: It picks up texture well by stippling and also by scoring patterns. It can be rolled with a rolling pin and treated in much the same way as other clays. If you wanted to apply it to floors and walls you would first need to pva the wall/floor surface, and apply the papier mache already rolled out. It would really work in much the same way as paperclay and could be used exactly how rik pierce makes his miniature houses. Look to your left for some rik pierce tutorials for more ideas. He uses creative paperclay but culluclay will be a much cheaper alternative and probably easier to buy at your local craft shop.

I've found it doesn't crack on surfaces such as walls and floors because the papier mache is quite thin, but on items like this pot I've covered below it can crack at the thick areas. Once this pot is fully dry i can fill the cracks in with more of the ready made papier mache.
I'm going to turn this into a pot with a face and dress with a cloth top for my full scale potions (not minis).

Here is some more info and places to buy from:
Link to product.

Witches brooms and Wizard Staff.

This morning i started to make two witches brooms and one wizards staff. I've made them with prosculpt and then painted. They are not fully complete and the brooms need the bristles. Thought i would share with you.


  1. ohhhhhhh nikki your brooms are great!!
    x marja

  2. Hey Nik, thanks for the info about the paperclay alternative. I have been using the papercaly on projects for about 6 months now but I am not entirely in love with it. I don't like the way it cracks if it get a little too thick and I have trouble keeping the walls from warping as it dries. Probably I just don't know how to properly work with it though I did take a class from someone who was supposed to know.

    As usual, I LOVE your broom sticks. How fab! The faces you sculpt are amazing!


  3. Excited to see that full size jar.
    Love love love the brooms and staff. Pat Benedict I think it is makes brooms with faces like this and they are great sellers so these broomsticks will fly off the shelves.......excuse the pun!
    Im really not a lover of paperclay, cant get on with it at all. Wish i could cos I love the results but I just cant work with it. I take it out and try and roll it and it just cracks and breaks into clumps. So I try working it like fimo, just gets worse. Then tried adding glue or water before rolling, still cant do it,ahhhhhhhh what am I doing wrong Nikki, I just cant roll it out! Desperatly want to cut out tiles etc for flooring but cant get it done if i cant simply roll out a length of clay. It drives me mad and I give up, no patience.
    I love the way you come up with these tricks Nikki, such fun when its done by accident. The paint effect I got on Aras cabinet I made her was done like that and I bet I could never reproduce it!!lol Kate and John xx

  4. Thank you Marja. I need to make the eyes look right yet. I will do so this evening.

    Hi Susan. I will do a tutorial on how to lay it in sheets and apply. It probably warps your walls because they are not a sealed surface. Paperclay dries quicker than the papier mache so it shouldnt have enough time to warp the wall if its sealed first.

  5. Hi Kate and John. I will do a tutorial for you on roling the paperclay when i can. Its hard to explain without pictures. There's a certain way you can stop the rips happening as you roll.
    It took me a while to figure too.
    I've not seen pat benedicts brooms. Ive seen the brooms that were on ebay earlier this year by the person that did all the ghosty things like baths and sinks, pillars and tables etc. Can't remember their name. You posted about them on your blog some time back.
    It's going to bug me now not knowing.
    Nikki xxx

  6. That would be much appreciated Nikki, there no instructions on the pack, just' get it out and make your models'!! Well I tried making things straight from the pack and no luck so that would be great, thankyou in advance! Kate and John xx

  7. There sóóó cool! You've done a great job on the faces (and sticks as well ofcourse. Can't imagine how to does this kind of stuff, like Tabitha I feel I miss something. You've got it though! The are lovely, even unfinished!

  8. Hi Nikki!!
    Your brooms are fun! I have been creating my haunted miniature broom for years BUT mine have arms and hold little haunted items. What is so GREAT about the Haunted miniature world is that we can all create unique items and put our own haunted twist on everyday items.
    Have fun creating!!!!
    Bugs & Hisses

  9. Hi Debby. Thank you for the compliment. I never know how to make things but just do lots of experiments to find out. Sometimes i waste hours just learning and failing.
    There are many items i find hard to make or i fail each time. I'd love to make books but mine just dont work.
    I will pop some finished pictures on soon when the lighting is good here.
    Nikki xxx

  10. Hi Patty. Glad you like the brooms. The pictures are not great and will post new ones soon of them complete.
    I too agree about our own little twists on things but always panic when i see something similar. I went and had a look at yours, lol and love them too!
    Did you see my Bertram Birch broom in an earlier post? He is meant to be a pulled up silver birch with the roots as the sweeping part. Jodi named him after being unable to find a good one myself. I found it ever so hard to let him go. He was my total fave!
    I shall have to try and make a girly version of him because i want a Beatrix too, oh lol!
    I see her in my head but girls faces never happen for me. Perhaps some babies too.
    I think i have gone mad!
    Nikki xxx


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