Monday, 14 January 2013

Tutorial - Tinfoil & Paper Mache Hearts

How to make Tinfoil & Paper Mache Hearts

You will need :-

Hearts cut from firm paper or light card. Use Christmas Cards or cereal boxes. Draw freehand they work best.

Tinfoil, aluminium if you are in the USA. Decorative, thread, string or ribbon for the hangers. Buy the cheapest foil in a large - better huge roll.

Heavy Texture or Structure  Gel (referred to as HSG) - I like Winsor & Newton Galeria - it's cheap and does the job. Company link on my side bar - right and above - is the cheapest in the UK. Water pot, small plate, torn up newspaper, phone directory or other soft waste paper. Old brush and baby wipes as this is a messy process you might want an old apron or shirt too.

Place a paper heart onto the tin foil, then carefully scrunch and fold the foil onto the heart.

Make sure you push the foil down firmly especially between the heart bumps on the top.
Also keep the point of the heart a nice pointy shape.

Add more foil until you have a fat heart.  This one is just under 1/2 inch and 2 inches long.

You can make your heart fatter by laying scrunched up foil around it.

Or you can add extensions. Just try some different shapes and ideas.

Here's a clutch of hearts made whilst I watched a TV program.

Now sticky time. Make sure you tear up plenty of newspaper before you start.
Put HSG all over the heart and then place the news paper onto the heart. Use your brush and fingers to work the paper into all the creases. You will need to dip your brush in the water to thin the HSG a bit. Smooth out creases and eliminate any bubbles. Keep going until you have about 7 or 8 layers of paper. Remembering again to push the paper into the gap between the heart bumps and keep your point neat.

Now add your hanging string, this is crochet cotton twisted into a cord. Your heart should still be wet. Cover the cord with plenty of HSG and then put two or three more pieces of newspaper over this, sticking with HSG on each layer. Again smoothing down well and keeping your point sharp.

Hang somewhere warm, Mine are held near the radiator by butchers hooks and a ruler. Take care they do not adhere to the radiator.

Here they are 24 hours later yes it takes that long to dry them. They should sound hollow when tapped.

I have added coloured tissue paper to two.

That's the first part of the project. Now you are ready to paint, add tissue paper or other decorative finishes.

Here's that odd shaped heart with red tissue paper and vintage sheet music added.
The tissue paper bleeds so I've used that to take some colour onto the sheet music. Also wrapped some red crochet cotton round the heart.

This is what I used to decorate the next heart. Some loose woven gold mesh , sorry I can't name brand or be more detailed but I got this at a charity or thrift store. Its possibly a florist supply item. Vintage lace, images and sheet music. Gold thread.

Here's how, Prep all your materials first and decide where they are to go. 
Add brown tissue paper, stick with HSG, Place random pieces of the sheet music over the heart, make sure you put some interesting words, numbers and images. Stick with plenty of HSG.

Hint - if the paper is thicker, immerse in water first to soften it and allow the HSG to sink into the paper.
 Whilst still wet cover and wrap with a piece of the gold mesh, use plenty of HSG.

Now use some images of ladies and gents on top of the mesh.

Then some lace and here a tiny piece of a crochet doily. Stick with HSG and also go over with slightly dilute HSG.

Whilst still wet wrap with the gold thread.

Wrap several times round the base and top of the heart where the hanger is. Finish and secure with a dab of HSG.

Again dry for 24 hours.


A couple of close-ups so you can see the details and see that the HSG dries nice and transparent.

I'm sure you have plenty of decorating ideas for these.

Christmas, Easter, Birthdays oh lots of lovely stuff can be done with this idea.

I'd love to see your work so please leave me comments and links to your blogs :-)


  1. ooh pretty! so many possibilities!!

  2. OOOOOhhh Lovely idea!! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  3. I love all the natural elements and the neutral coloring in your pieces. Blessings!


Your comments are all read and appreciated. Hope you will forgive me if I miss commenting on your comment, I will be busy doing art :-) x Joan