Papier Mâché Tray


Tray after


Papier Mâché Tray Restoration

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The photo above shows an English papier mâché tray after restoration. It had arrived in my studio with a damaged corner, and a few small pieces, all that remained of the original breakage.

Tray before 2


After some consideration, and various trials, I concluded that the incomplete fragments were not enough to work with to rebuild the corner, and ultimately were of little use. I could think of no other solution than to reconstruct the corner with new material.

First I consolidated the slightly delaminated paper along the broken edge of the tray with an adhesive; at this time I also inserted some small wooden pins into the edge to anchor the epoxy putty that I would use to build the new corner. I then made a mold of the under side of the opposite corner of the tray, which I used as a support to create the shape of the new corner with putty.

Mold 1

Purple colored mold supporting the putty material.

mold 2

Removal of the mold after the putty had set.


After smoothing and shaping the primary surface of the new corner, I finished the underside as well.

mold 4


Finally, I painted the new area black, added the gilded decoration, and distressed the restored area to blend it in with the surrounding original surface.

Tray after 1

Restored corner above, another angle below with less glare.

Tray after 2


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