Saturday, January 15, 2011

Can* I do it?--a DIY story.

Of all things that touch our lives, it's funny what the heart remembers and wants to hold on to. When I was in college, I had a lovely Madhubani paper-mâché pencil holder---it was bright and vibrant and it made me very happy. My dorm room had a nice heavy desk with drawers and I had covered the working surface with heavy blue paper (yes, I really loved the color back then!). Anyhoo, sometime last month, I started obsessing  over my pencil holder--if I could just have it, my table would be perfect (do I have deeper issues here--we'll leave those for the analyst! :D). But it's near impossible (okay, prohibitively expensive!) to find a replica of my beloved  pencil holder out here in the boonies. So the only solution was to make one. You saw a sneak peek of the project here. Here's the end result:


Okay, that's not too Madhubani-y, but I just love the colors!! It has all my favorite motifs--Paisleys, peacocks, flowers, totas (Indian parrots).........It's colorful and it makes me happy. So here's the deets on how I did it--materials/supplies and tips. I can't do a tutorial, because my hands were involved in crafting and I couldn't hold the camera and do that at the same time. Maybe it's time to get a mini tripod+update my photography skills. A lot to do, so little time.......... :)

Okay. Materials/supplies....
1. Empty soup can. (I used Campbells chunky. LOL!!!)
2. One pack creative paperclay. From Michaels. I didn't use all for this project....in fact I may have used only about a quarter for this project(where did the rest go?--I'll share that in a bit!). I liked many things about this medium--it was very malleable, which is a big plus! it wasn't overly messy--I've done paper-mâché from scratch (newspaper soaked in a bucket--loads of work!) and this was easy to work with. It also airdries, so that was good. Only thing was that once it dries, it tends to crack along fault lines/areas where you overlap two strips. I repaired the cracks with a thinned out slurry that I applied and later smoothed out with water.



The how-tos of it all:
1. Take a lump of clay. Roll it out to quarter inch thickness--try to get it as oblong as possible, since it needs to cover the tin. Drape the flattened roti (for want of a better word, LOL!) over the tin. It's surprisingly pliable! roll out another oblong and drape it over areas that were left bare in the first attempt. Press it over the tin lightly--it should stick! now trim off the extra bits--make sure you fold some over the open edge. Roll the tin over a smooth surface (like you would a rolling pin) to smooth out the surface. Set to dry.
2. Fill in any cracks that may have appeared.
3. Sketch the design with a pencil.
4. Paint!
5. I totally cheated on the black lines---by the time I was done painting, I didn't have the patience to fill in the outlines with a zero number brush. So I grabbed a sharpie and defined all outlines with it. Who will know? (Just me and the entire interwebs, LOL!).

Some more thoughts: once dry, it's just like paper (handmade paper) and I found that I could use a regular eraser to correct any mistakes---though I tend to press my pencil in quite hard, and I did leave an impression behind....it lends to the handmade charm IMO! Once I used the sharpie, I had a D-OH moment. I could just as easily have filled in the colors with my kid's markers (but I like the effect of brushstrokes, so I'm happy with how it turned out). I think that this project would be an easy one to try at home with paper strips, soaked in a 1:1 mix of water and glue.

If you want to try it, go for it!!! Ain't rocket science!

Now lets all admire my handiwork.......

 Said impression. Tota= <3 <3


 A proud peacock, basic flowers. Not aiming for perfection..........


Imperfections are there, but not really visible + I don't care......

If you want to buy the real thing, The Color Caravan carries these beauties.......

...........plus loads of other little goodies!







* Let me bring to your notice yet another attempt at a feeble pun. I crack myself up!! LOL!!!! Yes I can DIY (DIM??)

Disclaimer (don't you just love them!?!): Not an advertisement for any product. No paybacks-- cash , kind or unmentionable were involved. I run a clean kitchen. I doubt if Michaels or the paper clay company even know I exist. And I couldn't care less!!!! :D

26 comments:

  1. oh my! you should be proud...the onez you made a very similar to the ones sold :)...super cool G

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  2. Beautiful!!! I feel happy only by looking at your colorful pencil holder :)
    Love the colors and cheerful artwork. Thanks for the tutorial... I will try doing one soon.

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  3. my art/craft has always sucked, so I am not sure I can even go thru the steps well...but i LOVE what u've made! You should be soo proud...and I can relate to the associations too... :)

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  4. Awwww... I love it. I love the tiny colored squares You've made on the top. Totally happy happy.. :)

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  5. Your pencil cup is gorgeous! The last time I made something with paper mache is when I was 10 though :)

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  6. Hehe. I got inspired by this to make a madhubani bookmark .. :)

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  7. Wow, this is lovely!!! Can i get one :-)

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  8. Beautiful Gagan...Just loved the colors, the vibrancy and the rustic look. Hey recommend to spray the holder with some transparent stick free varnish. This will help in protecting the colors from fading and also easy to clean.

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  9. Beautiful....and i loved the colors even if it is not purely madhubani ...must have been fun!!!

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  10. Colourful vibrant and just amazing work gb. Cant rant and rave enough. Good going

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  11. Love the colurs G! And wow I didn't even know about the existence of that clay! Remember my coasters plan? Now you've given it a new lease of life :) I LOVE P&P!

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  12. Hey, this is an awesome idea Gagan, I have one of those pencil holders..they really cheer up the workstation :)

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  13. beautifuly made Gagan. the finished product looks very smooth. I often use newspaper bits o make my paper mache products but never get this smooth finish. well done.

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  14. OMG OMG OMG you made that??? Its fabulous! Make me one......! I want to make one but not sure if I will get creative paperclay here :-( Seriously Gagan, its beautiful!

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  15. Beautiful.beautiful work GB..and how neat.The pencil holder looks awesome.I also need some colors to fill up my table now :) Have a nice Sunday.

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  16. Hey Thanks girls---it's always so great to hear your encouraging words! Anpu--I need to wait til the snow clears a bit--it's too cold to venture outside with a can of spray paint! But excellent suggestion! Thx!

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  17. The colors just jump out at u! Lovely :)... inspiring!

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  18. I love your DIY. Its stunning and so authentic. Perfect for a study table.

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  19. It's pretty, Gagan!! Kudos to you for trying it out!!

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  20. Just Amazing !!
    I love madhubani paintings and I am definitely trying this to impress my hubby who is from the district Madhubani !

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  21. I have caught up with all your posts todate and I think this one's my fav. Love your DIY holder!

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  22. Hey! y don't you link this up for the artsy-craftsy-June?
    http://mindfull-meanderings.blogspot.com/2011/06/artsy-craftsy-june-2011.html

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