One day when I was wandering through a craft store, I saw these molds in the confectioner aisle and it occurred to me that they might work for hand-casting paper as well as candy and soap. I bought most of my molds from Apollo Mold Company, so they are good quality. They have never been subjected to the high temperatures that candy and soap require.
I bought lots of LINTER PAPER made of cotton Arnold Grummer Company, tore them into small pieces, soaked them in water and put them through my blender. Then I added some HARDENER from the same company and blended them together again.
I reached into the blender for a handful of the mix and started distributing it into the openings of these plastic molds. Then i took a sponge and pressed down on the mix which soaked up a lot of the excess water and pressed it into all of the lines and crevices of the mold at the same time. I always left some extra around the edges of the openings for the DECKLE EDGES that I liked. I didn't want a hard line around the edges.
Then i took some paper towels and kept pressing the mix into the mold until they were pretty solid. I always separated the paper towels, spread them out to dry, and used them over and over again. After a day or so out in the sun, they were completely dry and as I bent the mold, the hand-cast paper shapes just popped out. I am keeping my favorite molds of fish, sailboats, sea horses, etc. for future work here along the California Coast, but I am willing to part with some of them of various topics and subject matter that may interest you. If you are into having teachable moments about recycling, here is a vehicle for you or your children to save up all kinds of paper products, egg crates, paper towels, etc.) and you can throw in flower blossoms, glitter, coloring, etc. to personalize it just the way you like it. It's such a fun inexpensive thing to do to express your creativity. I will be going to my storage unit soon to retrieve my box of linter sheets which i will list here in my shop.
If you don't want to mess with a blender, you can always use commercially-made paper mache, or air-dry clay or any of those kinds of products that are readily available at Hobby Lobby, Michael's or Joanne's, and follow their directions.
I used the shapes for cards and ornaments. The last photos show some examples and are not included in this item. I am also keeping the alphabet molds which are so handy. Not to be maudlin, but I embedded some of my son's hair clippings into the mix before I set his letter off the boat into the ocean at his celebration of life.
THIS IS A SET OF TWO CHRISTMAS MOLDS that includes Santa, Christmas Tree, Rudolph, Christmas Tree Light. These would be fun for the kids to make to decorate the tree, to use as gift tags, cards, place cards, any number of fun things to make.