Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Create Your Own Unique Centrepiece - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Fun with paper mache!

I had a great idea for a centerpiece for my dining table that would serve a double purpose. I believe that every home should have at least one large serving bowl, but of course storing these can be a real chore. I thought if I could find one that would look great on the table as a centrepiece, I could fill it with something eye-catching to complete the look. I noticed that a lot of home stores had these funky, light-weight, textured balls, but not only were they expensive, I couldn’t seem to find any in the colours that I was looking for. So, when all else fails, DIY! Making these balls was a fun project, and gave me a lot of flexibility in terms of colour and sizes.


Styrofoam Balls (quantity and sizes are up to you)
Mixing Bowl
Needles (same quantity as balls)
Coat Hanger
Spray Paint

Cut the newspaper into strips. Next, prepare the paper mache mixture in your mixing bowl, by combining 3 parts water with 1 part flour. Dip the newspaper in the mixture, and spread over the Styrofoam ball. Continue this until the ball is completely covered, and leave to dry (if you have a baking cooling rack, placing the balls on this will work well to ensure the ball dries evenly). Continue this for each ball. Be sure that all balls are completely dry before painting. I recommend leaving for a full 24 hours.

When it comes to painting the balls, you want to be sure that you get full, even paint coverage on each one. This is why we hang them from the coat hanger. Thread needles and tie at the base of the needle. Then hang on a few inches of thread, and tie to the coat hanger. Stick the needle through a Styrofoam ball. You want to be sure the balls are not touching each other, but you should be able to fit 3-4 on each coat hanger, depending on the size of the balls. Finally, spray each ball with the colour of your choice. Have some fun with this and use multiple colours! Be sure all balls on one coat hanger are the same colour though so you don’t need to worry about possible spatter. Hang the coat hanger on a hook or rod and leave to dry. Once the balls are dry, simply remove the needle, and arrange the balls in your bowl. The hole left by the needle will be so small you won’t notice it, but if you do, simply spray the area with a little more paint. These make a great accent piece for any dining table, and a great conversation piece as well when your guests ask you where you got them!

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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