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Papier Mache: The Necessary Materials

Papier-Mache is an inexpensive and relatively easy craft project. Recycled newspaper is ideal for the paper component and you can even make the paste!

 

Materials

Newspaper (you can use a mixture of newspaper and lightweight, brown paper bags)
Adhesive
Plastic Throw Cloths or Table Coverings
Paint
Large Container for mixing the adhesive
(Optional) Sturdy Mold- Ballon, Bowl, Plate, Milk Jug, etc.
(Optional) Paintbrush

 

Mixing the Adhesive

 

There are many different ways to make the adhesive for papier-mache, but three main types.

 

Flour and Water Paste- Three Methods

  1. Mix three parts water into one part flour until smooth (3 cups of water and 1 cup flour for example).
     
  2. Mix one cup flour into one cup water until smooth. Then add four cups of boiling water and simmer for 3 minutes.
     
  3. Mix ½ cup flour into two cups of cold water. Add two cups boiling water and return to boil. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of sugar. The mixture will thicken as it cools.

  NOTE- These glue mixtures may not produce long-lasting results. The flour mixtures can mold, especially in humid climates. A couple drops of Wintergreen essential oil can make the paste last longer.

 

Wallpaper Paste (contains a fungicide to prevent mold)

  1. The paste generally comes in powdered form in large jugs anywhere wallpaper is sold. Mix according to the directions, or use a little less water for a thicker result.
     
  2. A good rule of thumb is to mix three parts water with one part wallpaper paste.

 NOTE- Unlike flour and water mixture, wallpaper paste is toxic so do not use with children.

 

White Glue Paste

  1. Water down the white glue. Combine two parts warm water with one part white glue.

 

Read on for how to papier mache.

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