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My Favorite Paper Mache Paste Recipe

Updated on April 07, 2016

Learn How to Make Paper Mache Paste

Paper Mache is a wonderful medium, it's free, non-toxic, and great to do with kids. No fancy equipment required! You probably already have everything you need. Paper Mache is so fun and so easy and you can create just about anything. This recipe works for all types of projects from bowls to bracelets and pinatas.

paper mache flour paste
paper mache flour paste

Paper Mache Paste Recipe

Ingredients and recipe for easy, all-purpose paper mache paste

To make any quantity of paper paste, use a 1:4 flour-water ratio.

I usually use 1/4 C flour, because that is the amount of paste I can use in 1-2 hours.

1/4 C flour
1 C water.
1 Tbsp of white glue optional
1 Tbsp of liquid starch* optional

*Liquid starch is available in the laundry aisle, or it can be made by mixing

2 Tsp of corn starch (corn flour in the UK) with 2 Tbsp cold water.

Boil 1 1/2 Cups of water and whisk the two ingredients together to make your own liquid starch.

Starch will keep for 2-3 days without refrigeration, or longer if refrigerated. Surface bubbles, a sour smell, or smell other than corn indicates spoilage. Starch will make the paste a little more slippery and easier to spread on your strips.

Paper mache paste can also be refrigerated and saved overnight, but the water tends to separate and it's quite unpleasant to stick your hands to cool mushy goo. I always prefer working with warm paste, but I don't like to waste anything either.

Kitchen Tools and Supplies - Items you will need.

To make your own paper mache paste, you will need the following tools and supplies:

A pot to boil water

Basic measuring tools

A whisk or spoon

A bowl for your finished paste

1. Measure your ingredients.

2. Mix your flour with an equal amount of water. It should be the consistency of pancake batter.

3. Boil the remaining water.

4. Add your flour and water mixture, stirring vigorously and being careful not to get splashed.

5. Keep stirring and remove the paste from the heat when the glutens are cooked and the paste is slightly transparent.

6. Cool slightly and make some fun projects!

7. Optional: Add a small amount of liquid starch and a druezzle of school glue for a smoother consistency and stronger hold.

Starch will keep for two days without refrigeration, or longer if refrigerated.

Crafty Measuring Cups

Progressive GT-3520 International 19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Progressive GT-3520 International 19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Measuring spoons are invaluable for cooking and crafting. Keep your kitchen items safe from craft materials to avoid potentially dangerous mix ups. Crafters just love using dangerous chemicals. Know what I mean?

 

To make any quantity of paper paste, use a 1:4 flour-water ratio.

1. Boil three parts of water.

2. Mix remaining water with flour.

3. Blend until smooth.

4. Add to boiling water.

5. Cook until clear-ish.

Allow to cool slightly before using.

Need Ideas? - Check out my ultimate paper mache project.

paper mache statue
paper mache statue

Paper mache has been used to make everything from paper trays and lacquer boxes to statues and furnishings. I used this recipe to create a monstrous gargoyle statue. Check out the process for sketching and creating this paper mache statue.

Plentiful pinatas? Beautiful bracelets? Startling sculptures? Abstract art? Let me know what you're making! Post links to your projects!

Feel free to share you comments and questions. I would also love to see your completed, or in progress paper mache projects! Happy Crafting!

What Are You Going to Make? - Share your comments, questions, and projects.

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    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Looking forward to seeing more lens from you. Welcome to Squidoo.

    • QuiltFinger profile image
      Author

      QuiltFinger 6 years ago from Tennessee

      @paperfacets: I'm looking forward to writing more. :D Thanks for the comment and warm welcome.

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      sounds good.

    • goode006 lm profile image

      goode006 lm 5 years ago

      I use to do this when I was younger, I used it to make mountains on my train set. I used wire mesh and newspaper dipped in the stuff.

    • QuiltFinger profile image
      Author

      QuiltFinger 5 years ago from Tennessee

      That's such a cool idea! Train people have great techniques for making miniatures like using deer lichens to simulate trees. ( I just found out about that one the other day) That's for sharing your paper mache experience!

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 5 years ago

      Gonna have to do this with my kids. Thank you for the lens! :)

    • Rita-K profile image

      Rita-K 5 years ago

      Paper mache is so gooey and fun! Love all of your project photos.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      This is the paper mache paste recipe I remember using as a kid! Adding this as a resource for my mask making and kid craft features.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Great resource for making papier mache. Bookmarked.

    • wadsworth lm profile image

      wadsworth lm 5 years ago

      It looks fun, I just worry about the mess. With my kid cleaning up after might take longer than the set up and project. :)

    • QuiltFinger profile image
      Author

      QuiltFinger 5 years ago from Tennessee

      @anonymous: Hi there Makaylah, you'll need some newspaper strips or strips from other paper products like a phonebook

      .

      Simply tear sheets of newspaper into strips by hand, instead of using scissors. The raw edges adhere very well to one another. If you have trouble tearing the strips, try going vertically instead of horizontally, or vice versa to find the grain of the paper.

      To make the paste, you need a 1:4 ratio of all purpose flour and boiling water. A bit of white glue, such as Elmer's, can also be added after the paste is cooked. You'll need to dip the strips in the paste or use your hands to coat the paper strips with the paste and just layer the soggy strips onto your volcano. Gently smooth the strips down with your fingers, but don't worry about wrinkles or making it too perfect. After a few layers and before painting, you will need to let the project dry. Placing a fan near the project or even using a hair dryer can help the project dry faster if needed. Good luck with your volcano! I hope this helps.

      P.S. You can see photos of one of my paper mache projects in process here to get a better idea.

      https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/PaperMacheArmature

    • profile image

      SimplyTonjia 5 years ago

      Thanks for such a great lens. Looking forward to trying out your recipe.

    • Christine Dever profile image

      Christine Dever 4 years ago

      Just wondering if you know of a gluten-free paper mache recipe? I tried water and rice flour, but when it dried, the newspaper strips did not stick together anymore and the whole thing just fell apart. Thanks!

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      I always add the glue for extra strength.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      2 Tsp of corn starch (corn flour in the UK) with 2 Tbsp cold water... Is that supposed to be 2 Tbsp corn starch or 2 tsp cornstarch??

      Thank you for the recipe! :)

    • QuiltFinger profile image
      Author

      QuiltFinger 4 years ago from Tennessee

      @anonymous: Hello Sue, I use 2 teaspoons (tsp), but it's just a guideline. It should be fine if you use more or less. Thanks for your question!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      is it effective?

    • QuiltFinger profile image
      Author

      QuiltFinger 3 years ago from Tennessee

      @anonymous: Yes, it's very effective. The elmer's or white glue helps with the strength, but it's very strong on its own. I once made a pinata with my friends, and it was so strong that we hard a hard time breaking it open!

    • profile image

      ALHS 8 months ago

      I'm going to try this to make a toe cast, no joke. Several days ago I dislocated two toes next to my big toe. After going to the clinic twice( first time the used a child size splint which was way too big. Second time they used a tongue depressor looking bendable and cutable splint) since the first dislocation on which it was at a 45 degree angle I've dislocated two more times having to again personal reset it. Not a lot of fun. The way it stands there is a absolutely no support. So I hoping this will help. I don't have any plaster of Paris /: Wish me the best. I have no idea what to expect or how this will turn out. Blessings to y'all !

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