Mounting Model Theater Sheets
Safety Notes: Please use safe electrical practices, and
avoid hot lights near flammable objects. Never leave your theater unattended
while the lighting is turned on. Avoid using extension cords, especially across
places where people may walk, including yourself - as it is easy to forget!
|Printed paper model theater sheets need to be mounted on cardboard
to give them the body to use in performing or displaying. We like to use
Yes! Paste, which is a low moisture acid free glue. It is available
from art and craft stores (also check the scrapbooking departments).
Yes! Paste site for retail suppliers, or Google it for sources
online or near you.] We keep two bottles going - one full strength and
one with a small bit of water added to spread on large areas - but don't
add too much water or it will defeat the purpose! Other pastes may be
available - just look for something water soluble, low moisture and
non-wrinkling. Get a good, somewhat stiff paste brush (or two), and be
sure to clean it as soon as you are done working. Close the jars after
working to keep the paste fresh. If it will be awhile between work
sessions, you may want to drop a little water over the top of the paste
to keep it from drying out.
Please see the Tips and Tricks page
scenery and figures before pasting the sheets to the cardboard for
Do not use cardboard that is too thick, or it will be difficult to
cut out, especially if there is a lot of detail. Large backdrops require
thicker cardboard than figures. Detailed scenery can be mounted on
lighter cardboard, cut out and then backed with heavier cardboard
supports. Middle drops can be mounted on lighter cardboard, cut out and
then mounted to a heavier support frame. We like to leave a little extra
cardboard on each side of backdrops, middle drops and wings to allow
them to be attached to supports without damage to the printed area.
Black paper can be used to cover the cardboard extensions.
Prepare a work space on a flat table, covering it with OLD newspapers
(fresh ones are likely to transfer ink when rubbed), or a plastic table
cloth. Get some pieces of heavy cardboard or flat boards (plywood or
hardboard is good) large enough to cover the piece you are mounting, and
a few heavy objects for weights. For large sheets, like prosceniums,
spread the paste on the cardboard and then put the sheet down onto the
cardboard. You might want to make small pencil marks at the corners for
placement guides prior to pasting. If you have extra hands around to
help, it makes this easier on the very large pieces. Start in the middle
and work you way out when smoothing. For regular sheets, wings, set
pieces and figures, put the paste on the back of the printed paper sheet
or pieces and then place on the cardboard. Smooth them out carefully, to
get any bumps of paste or air bubbles out. A printing roller works well
to smooth this, or a damp sponge (but be careful not to damage the
printing or paper).
Place a sheet of clean paper and a few layers of newspaper (or all
OLD newspapers) over the sheet to absorb moisture. Then put the heavy
board on top and then weight it down. leave it pressed in this manner
until it is thoroughly dry - which can take 24 hours or more. Check it
about 8 hours after pressing and if the newspaper is really moist,
change the papers.
You may need to also mount paper of similar thickness to the printed
sheets on the backside of the cardboard to keep it from bowing. This can
be done at the same time, or it can be done in another step. See the
notes on laminated cardboard on the
Cutting out scenery and figures
There is also grain to cardboard and paper, and if you are
having problems with curling, you may want to get deeper into this
factor and mount things with the grains crossed.
We avoid using spray glues for several reasons. Kathleen does not
like the mess of the overspray (or potential hazards), and we want to
use a water soluble paste so that the sheet can be released from the
cardboard if we make a mistake or the item is damaged later. Some people
don't worry about these things, or take the stuff outdoors to spray it.
Now it is time to cut!