I have a fun paper craft project that I shared over at the Crafts Unleashed blog earlier this year – and in case you missed it, I wanted to show you today how to make a ring from just Mod Podge and paper! I recycled one of my favorite books that I killed the spine on from reading it so many times (it may be one you recognize if you follow my book page crafts, haha). This is a craft that needs overnight drying time, but the active craft time is about an hour.
I had a lot of fun with this idea because it’s literally building your medium to form your piece out of something so simple as a thin sheet of paper. Well, several sheets, technically – but it’s pretty cool to restore printed paper back to a sturdy form.
What you will need:
- Hard Coat Mod Podge
- Book pages or other paper
- Sandpaper or Rotary Sander
- Alcohol ink(s) to dye and color (optional) – this is a nice touch if you are using book pages or white paper
First, cut out a shape for your ring that you like. You can make adjustments and “try it on” while you find a shape, size, and style that suits you best. You will want the bottom and sides to be about 1/8 inch thick. The top can be anything you like! Once you’ve settled on your shape and style – cut lots of them! Book pages are thin; I actually just folded a page into eights, traced the shape onto the outer fold, and cut 8 at a time. I used 5 pages – making this ring 40 layers. If you are using scrapbook paper you will likely need about 20-30 layers, and one 12×12 sheet should be sufficient!
Next, you will stick all the layers together with Mod Podge. This is actually very much like paper mache – you are cementing layers of paper to create a durable medium. The hard coat formula makes the finished product even tougher. Just brush on a thin coat, add another layer, and add another coat. Repeat until you’ve gotten the thickness you like. Line up the layers as well as you can , but don’t worry about perfection. We will be sanding any rough edges at the end, but that step will go more quickly if they are already pretty well lined up – especially the center hole. Allow your ring to dry overnight.
The next day, sand the rough edges. If you have a rotary tool with a sander attachment, that’s idea because this will be done in a snap. You can also use plan sandpaper – or like me, the Core’dinations Sand It Gadget. (I like having a good surface to grip while I sand something small.) Be sure to even up the inside hole – that should be as smooth as possible since it will be next to your skin. This is also your opportunity to increase your hole size, if necessary. If you’re happy with your ring, you can quit here! Just give it one more good coat of Mod Podge and allow it to dry for a few hours.
I still wanted to add some color to mine. I dabbed my brush in Mod Podge, and added a drop of alcohol ink to the tip of the brush (this color is called Willow). They don’t blend well, and that’s the look I was going for: something uneven, with varying intensity. The Mod Podge is a sealant and keeps the ink from soaking in too heavily, but I wanted some ink to penetrate before all the Mod Podge was applied to give it a more distressed appearance. If you prefer a more uniform look, then coat your ring with Mod Podge after sanding it and allow it to dry. Then, brush a bit of ink on evenly, and coat it with a last coat of Mod Podge to seal it. It will need a couple more hours to dry after this final coat of sealant.
Now, you know how to make a paper ring have a durable and totally unique piece that you created by hand – out of something as simple as paper! It’s a technique that would work for a lot of different types of crafts, too, not just jewelry (though obviously I think “jewelry” first, every time!)