Friday, April 24, 2009

I’m Addicted to My Mache Paste

I have a problem, and should really seek help.  Although, I don’t think I will find Papier Mache Paste Anonymous in the phone book.

Now you think I’m crazy, and that’s ok, because I will explain it.  Not that you won’t still think I’m crazy at the end of this post, but you will understand WHY I’m crazy.

First, let me say that when I began learning papier mache techniques early last year, I faithfully followed the instructions and recipes of Stolloween found here.  (His recipe is about halfway down the page in yellow italics print).  I can only say this – I am SO glad to have found him, and benefited from his trial and error of the many recipes out there, because this is the only one I have ever tried, and will ever use… no need for a lot of experimenting.

Having said that, I also tend to over do things…. even directions.  Stolloween said that because it is a flour based recipe, and can tend to mold if left out too long, you can “add mold inhibitors such as salt, bleach or anti-microbial dish detergents to extend the life of paste”.  So, I usually add a bit of ALL of those things, haha… better safer than safe, right?  (I hope he’s not reading this and rolling his eyes at me right now… haha).  Bleach actually gives me a raging headache, if I smell it too long – like, long enough to scrub the entire bathtub/shower… so I was adding less and less bleach each time I made paste.  (it really doesn't take much in the paste, but it doesn't take much to trigger a headache for me, either) so needless to say, I hated the way the paste smelled.   (I’m getting to a point, I promise)

Last week, when making my batches, I was out of dish soap and reached for my hand soap next to the sink – my FAVORITE smell in the whole wide world, Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint.   It’s in the “Stress Relief” category of their aromatherapy section, and man, does it work on my stress.  :)

So, I put in about 5 squirts of that soap, and mixed it up like normal.

Oh my.  I’m in heaven.  Every time I pop the top on that coffee cannister, I just thank the stars that I get to papier mache for that moment in time – all the stress goes right out the door.  With every strip, you get a little whiff of that scent… it’s amazing!

(Yes, Yes, I know, its not anti-bacterial.  I don’t care about that part anymore, haha!)

POINT:  If you have a favorite soap scent, try it.  I cant say it will do much for anti molding properties, but… it just might put a smile on your face!

(Maybe this is a chick thing.  Sorry guys.)  :D


Mr. Macabre said...

Nope, ain't a chick thing at all, I am all over smelly stuff, especially eucalyptus, love it! I'll have to traipse over to Bath and Body to get a bottle of what you have, sounds heavenly!

Diane said...

good tip!

i'd have to add in my vanilla soap! mmmmmmm!!!

i'm all about having yummy smells all around me! i often add cinnamon or vanilla when i'm tea dying. makes doing your art doubly therapeutic!!!!

(btw, we just got some new incense from a church supply - balsam fir. now, i'm like you - anyfreakingthing gives me a headache! but this stuff smells so good!!!! like an old creepy church. and no headache at all! so i finally get a break from vanilla, even though it's still my favorite.)

Carrie Mae said...

hehe... one of my favorite soaps.

I think I have to try this. It sounds heavenly.

Also, though I love Stolloween's recipe ... you should really give AranaMuerta's a try. I think the only big difference is cornstarch, but well mixed it has the nicest texture and such a brilliantly smooth finish. You can brush it over your dried project to even out seams. (I think I have a link to it in this post:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that, Mr. Macabre... Jaybo would kill me if I "girlie" up the blog TOO much, lol! If you don't like the Eucalyptus, try any of your favorite scents, its truly an interesting experience!

Diane - interesting tip on the balsam fir... I might try that in other brands when I come across them... I have noticed that most migraine sufferers are triggered by the same scents, so I bet I would get along with what you like also.

DeadmansLog - you are absolutely right, I should be trying other recipes and appreciate the tip. I have seen many other using that recipe, but I have always been so happy with Stolloween's that I got closed minded, lol. I appreciate it!

Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

Hello Dixie!

I agree, love the smelly stuff. Dark Candles offers oils of their candle scents - Coffin and Forbidden Fruit are two of my favs!

BTW - you are a winner in the Graveyard soap giveaway! Just email me at and I will get it out to you.


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Vintage Hallow said...

I heard that oil of cloves works as a good mold inhibitor, too. Just add a few drops to your batch. But I love the eucalyptus soap, too!


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