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Patriotic Paper Mache Village

Decorating for holidays is one of the few (ha!) things Husband and I disagree on. I LOVE holiday décor, but Husband can't stand (understatement) lugging 75-pound Rubbermaid totes to and from the attic every time some minor holiday approaches (what the heck else are husbands for?). This week's Sisteroo project is my attempt at a compromise with weary Husband. Paper is lightweight, inexpensive and easy to store--an ideal decorating substance. Even better, this particular project multi-tasks as a décor set appropriate for display on Independence Day, St. Patty's, Halloween...most holidays, really. Such a cute little paper mâché party village suits just about any occasion. Let's explore the possibilities:

A St. Patrick's Day village! Add a rainbow in the sky with a pot of gold at the end, and you've got the perfect mantelpiece display.
Spook-tastic! A Halloween scene that needs a few mellowcreme pumpkins, some cobwebs and a Popsicle stick picket fence. The possibilities are endless--just think of all the accessories you could buy! (This is the point at which Husband begins to worry that this multi-tasking party village may create even more of a decorating nightmare).
Hooray for Independence Day! I know my "red, white and blue" are a bit more "strawberry, dove-white and tiffany" but this favorite color-combo still feels patriotic to me. (Not pictured: above the houses are clusters of super cute paper fireworks with giant jewel centers--I unfortunately took the photos before I'd completed them).
Note the textured roof and chimney. More on that in a minute...
OK. Down to business. If you're a décor-a-holic like I am, here's how to make your own party village:
1. Pick up some pre-made paper mache house forms. I got mine from Hobby Lobby for under $4 each (thanks to a well-timed 50% off sale).
2. Paint your houses with one layer of white spray paint. I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss White paint.
3. Use white puff-paint to draw shingles and bricks on the roof and chimney (the added texture looks super amazing up close. See photo above).
4. Apply another two or three layers of white gloss spray paint. (Be careful--if you add too many layers, the paint will cover up all your nice puff paint texture. I learned the hard way).
5. Cut out cardboard rectangles for doors. I used fairly thick cardboard from the back cover of a fancy legal notepad (thanks Lawyer! I think you left it here last time you visited).
6. Use white puff-paint to add those rectangle designs that most doors have.
7. After puff-paint is dry, paint your doors in colors that suit the festive season (I used acrylic craft paint). While still wet, gently wipe the paint off the raised puff-paint bumps for a nifty "weathered" look.
8. If you plan on using your party village for another holiday, use painter's tape (instead of glue) to affix the doors to your houses.
9. Paint card-stock in the same color(s) you used for the doors. Cut out tiny triangles once the paint dries.
10. Glue the triangles to a length of thick white string.
11. Take a moment to recognize how awesome your miniature flag banner looks. Yay you!
12. Cut two wooden dowels to the height you'd like your flag banner to hang. Drill two holes in the bases of wooden blocks. Stick a dowel into each hole (use glue if the holes are a bit too big and the dowels feel wobbly).
13. Paint the dowels and blocks white. Glue the banner ends to the top of each dowel.
Arrange your party village and celebrate the season!


syndi said...

I just may have to start my own little village... Super cute.

Kacey said...

Love this idea! Am pinning it...

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