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Trend Alert: Papier Mâché in Shades of Pale


Trend Alert: Papier Mâché in Shades of Pale

September 21, 2021

All that time at home has led to a renaissance of kitchen table crafts. Of late, we’ve been noting—and admiring—a new crop of papier mâché in pale sculptural forms that echo ceramic vessels and pricey plaster lighting. Made from little more than recycled paper and a paste of flour and water, these designs are eco-friendly and, in many cases, easy to make yourself. Here are some of our favorites.


the collection that sparked the current trend? belgian company serax&#8\2\1 17
Above: The collection that sparked the current trend? Belgian company Serax’s Earth line by its in-house designer Marie Michielssen. It’s available from a number of retailers and comes with the same caveat that applies to all papier mâché: do not add water unless you use a separate inner glass vase—consider dried stems. Food 52 offers the Centerpiece Bowl, $199; Double Handle vessel, $59.99; Four Loop container, $64.99; Small Chalice, $119.99; and Large Chalice, $179.99.
bloomist&#8\2\17;s large papier mâché bowl, \14 inches in diamete 18
Above: Bloomist’s large Papier Mâché Bowl, 14 inches in diameter, $138, is the work of Caribbean Craft, a woman-owned, fair-wage company in Haiti with a commitment to social responsibility and a focus on using recycled materials.
bloomist&#8\2\17;s medium caribbean craft papier mâché bowls, \1\ 19
Above: Bloomist’s medium Caribbean Craft Papier Mâché Bowls, 12 inches in diameter, are $108 each. Several years ago, Caribbean Craft produced a since-discontinued line of papier mâché side tables in collaboration with Steven Alan for West Elm; we hope they make more.
papier mâché vases are €39 and €69 from french online & 20
Above: Papier Mâché Vases are €39 and €69 from French online “slow decor” shop Selection M.
from french line mâché (translation: &#8\2\20;chewed up&#8\2\ 21
Above: From French line Mâché (translation: “Chewed Up”), Calcaire, a line of vessels, €30 to €45, and a pendant light (inquire for pricing) with a limestone finish


marie michielssen&#8\2\17;s papier mâché collection for serax inc 22
Above: Marie Michielssen’s papier mâché collection for Serax includes this Earthy White Table Lamp, $290, from Smallable (adaptor required for US use).
uk design studio made offers papier mâché lampshades in two shapes, d 23
Above: UK design studio Made offers papier mâché lampshades in two shapes, Dahlia tall, £45,  and Dahlia, £39.
barcelona artist maria fiter of etsy shop crearedesign makes a range of papier  24
Above: Barcelona artist Maria Fiter of Etsy shop CreaReDesign makes a range of papier mâché hanging lamps. Her two-toned Cypisek Light is $184.16.
the fleur pendant light is €59, medium (shown), and €79, large, f 25
Above: The Fleur Pendant Light is €59, medium (shown), and €79, large, from Selection M.

Browse our Lighting posts for more of our discoveries, including The Master of Plaster: Stephen Antonson’s Sculptural Lighting

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Frequently asked questions

What is papier-mâché?

Papier-mâché is a French term that means 'chewed paper' or 'mashed paper'. It is a technique of using paper pulp or strips of paper to create three-dimensional objects.

What are the benefits of papier-mâché?

Papier-mâché is an eco-friendly and affordable way to create unique and interesting home decor items. It is also a versatile material that can be molded into any shape or size.

What are some popular papier-mâché home decor items?

Papier-mâché vases, bowls, and lighting fixtures are some of the most popular home decor items made from this material.

Are papier-mâché items fragile?

Papier-mâché items can be fragile, but they can also be made stronger by adding additional layers of paper or by coating them with a sealant or varnish.

Can papier-mâché items be painted?

Yes, papier-mâché items can be painted with any type of paint, including acrylics, watercolors, and spray paints.

How do I care for papier-mâché items?

Papier-mâché items should be kept away from moisture and direct sunlight. They can be dusted with a soft cloth or brush, but should not be washed with water.

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