December 1988 I sold about 300 hand cast paper angel ornaments at a Christmas bazaar using the top of of a candy mold that you can still purchase on Ebay:
I used white wide paper ribbon as a skirt for the angels and sold them six for $10.00. I was very motivated because I had four bicycles on layaway and the angels were going to pay for them! Since I moved to Seaside, Oregon I make the cast paper angel ornaments with actual shell skirts or cast paper skirts because they are more “beachy.”
A few years ago when I worked at a dental office that had a vacuum form machine I made a plastic duplicate of the angel top so I didn’t have to use the old candy mold.
Hand cast paper is really easy to make and you can get candy or soap molds for a very reasonable price on Etsy or a big box craft store. I save the edges and ends of printer paper when I print out projects so the paper is completely recycled. : )
You need to have a screen to get some of the water out of the paper mash before you add it to the mold. I made one with a picture frame and some window screen hot glued to the back of the frame.
Before I mix up the paper in my kitchen blender I get the screen ready over a bowl.
I put about two cups of water in the blender and then keep adding strips of paper and blend until the mix looks like soupy mashed potatoes. There is NO WAY to make it wrong as long as the mix is soupy and there are no lumps.
Put some of the cast paper on the screen
and then press your fingers on it and press slightly to remove some of the water.
Then start fill the mold with the WET paper trying to stay in the edges of the mold so you won’t have to clean up the edges later.
After the mold is filled with the paper mash, use wash cloths to soak up the extra water and keep pressing until most of the water is gone.
Flip the mold over to see if every detail is filled, then tap it lightly over the counter to pop it out. I like to use a hair blow dryer to dry it right away rather than let it air dry because it can contort drying by itself.
I made this shell mold with a vacuum form but you can find shell soap molds on Etsy or make your own using a shell and mold medium at a craft store.
I use hot glue to attach the pieces with a hanging cord in the back. The angel can be decorated with a pearl crown and anything you can think of to dress her up. Used the rule “Less is More,” using a little star fish.
I made this one with an actual shell, don’t you just love the barnacles? I used an angel for the tutorial but you can made a cast paper ornament with any soap, candy or candle mold!