Friday, August 23, 2013

How To Make Paper Castings-Brown Bag Molds

 As you know I collect Brown Bag cookie molds
and have been working on making paper 
castings of each mold for my Brown Bag Page.
The idea is to show the detail in each mold,
so I have kept the castings rather plain.
I thought I'd show how, it's so simple.
 Most everything I need is already in my kitchen. 

I use cotton linter to make my castings.
 What is cotton linter?  It's actually the tiny fibers left
behind on the cotton seed after ginning has removed
the long cotton fibers.  It's the finest silky fiber and for
 paper making there is no equal.  Cotton linter is durable,
strong and naturally acid free.  The best linter is snowy
white & when used in castings it gives a sharp clear image.
Being cotton, it's easily dyed.  I have ornaments my kids
made and painted with water colors over 20 years ago,
 that are still is wonderful condition.
If I am going to paint my castings I use this
additive.  It's non toxic, acid free and gives a
smooth surface for paints, watercolors
& inks.  It also minimizes bleeding.
I have no clue what's in it!
I buy my supplies online at:
Arnold Grummer
I use a section of linter about the size of my
mold and tear it into small pieces.
I can make 2 molds in one blending, but I'm
careful not to overload the blender.
I add water and let it soak several minutes.
I add brewed tea to my blender to give
 the castings an aged look.    
I usually let my linter soak 15 minutes,
 then I blend it into a pulp.
I pour about 1/2 the mixture into a 
sieve and let it drain.  I save the water
mixture and reuse it, if I am making several
castings in one day.
This is Mother Goose.
I pour the drained pulp into the mold,
spreading it evenly in the mold, 
adding more if needed.
I use a sponge to absorb the bulk of
the water/tea mixture from the mold.
Then using paper towels or a cloth, I
press the pulp "firmly" into the mold
removing as much liquid as I can.
I set it aside for about 24 hours to dry.
If using a wooden or a reproduction mold,
I don't leave the casting in the mold to dry.
When I have removed as much water as 
possible,  I carefully loosen the edge with a 
single edged razor blade or sharp knife,
 and gently turn the casting onto a cloth
covered cookie sheet to dry.
 I drain any left over pulp.
I then squeeze out the water, let dry and
use next time.  No waste at all!
Being "creative" is the fun part of paper casting.
Adding construction paper to your pulp before 
blending gives it color.  I have added fabric
shreds, glitter and paint to my pulp.  I have
never tried paper clay, but I bet it works well 
too.  I use an old blender when making castings 
that have non edible ingredients.  The wonderful
 thing about these stoneware molds, they are 
dishwasher safe!   
When the castings are dry, I use a sharp knife or
single edged razor blade to loosen the edges.

They usually pop right out.
If I'm an unhappy with a cast, I simply
tear it up and re cast it!
So easy and so much fun!
If you stop by a flea market or garage sale,
 keep your eyes  open for one of these might catch the Brown 
Bag bug too!


  1. You do have me looking...ebay usually has some nice ones. Your How-Tos are the best, and always inspiring! Thanks, Sherri!

  2. Thanks for explaining something that I have no clue about.

  3. Great post. The molds are wonderful and very detailed. I think you could use the paper that you use on these molds for other types of molds. ( small molds ) thanks for showing us how to use this and what to get to do it with. Love your molds.

  4. Thank you for an introduction to a wonderful art and a great tutorial

  5. Thank you for your tutorial! We had a lesson we presented on papermaking and it awakened my interest in using the cotton linters I have on hand. I have some molds and will definitely be trying this soon!

  6. hello!! I love your blog and i love all of your creations!! question about the paper castings... is it possible to remove the excess off the casting once its dried? thx a bunch!!!

  7. I would say no. I'm careful to make the edges flat when I cast them. Sometimes I pull the edges to give them a ragged edge. The good things about paper castings, if I'm not happy with it, I just tear it up a do it again. After you have done several castings you will make better ones. I try to remove as much water as possible and press very hard to get the best detail from the mold. I hope that helps you!! Glad you enjoy the blog.


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