Paper Mache Recipes & Techniques

paper mache recipes

paper mache recipes

Paper mache recipes come in variations but nevertheless are very easy to make and with easily accessible ingredients.

Paper mache is simply the craft of modelling with pieces of torn paper glued together and often shaped using moulds of all kinds, painted and varnished.

Basic supplies needed for paper mache

  1. Newspaper : It is easily accessible and is perfect for paper mache. It has a grain that makes tearing in one direction. Tear paper 1 inch in width and long enough depending on your project.
  2. Glue : A choice of PVA glue, flour paste or wallpaper paste
  3. Moulds :  Dishes, inflated balloons are just examples of moulds that are frequently used.
  4. Paint : White emulsion for at least two coats on the fried project and acrylic paint for any decorations.
  5. Sandpaper : To smooth the dried surface of your paper mache project before coats of paint
  6. Paint brush : Different types of brushes to either apply paint or to decorate with acrylic paint
  7. Varnish : to give an excellent finish to your paper mache project

Methods of making paper mache

You may decide to use strips of paper and glue or making your paper pulp.

  • Paper and glue method. Tear as many strips of paper as needed, apply glue and lay the strips. Smooth each strips ensuring there are no air bubbles.
  • Paper pulp method. Tear strips of paper into pot and simmer for half an hour. Using a blender, blend into a pulp. Drain any excess liquid if required. When ready to use, add some PVA glue.

Paper mache recipes

There are a few choice of glues or adhesive for paper mache projects.

Flour paste recipe

Supplies needed

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Water


  • Mix one cup flour with one cup of water
  • Add one tablespoon of salt
  • Stir until smooth and no more lumps.

PVA Glue

If the PVA glue you have is undiluted, you may use as is. However if it is undiluted, it is 2 parts glue and 1 part water.

Wallpaper paste

Wallpaper paste if thick can be thinned with water with a little salt added.

Liquid Starch

Liquid starch can be used as is.

Paper mache tips to remember

  • Considering multiple layers of paper strips if the project calls for it. This will prevent it from cracking open.
  • Allow sufficient time for drying. Let the paper mache dry out completely before proceeding to the next stage.
  • You may use sandpaper to gently buff the dried surface before applying paint.
  • Apply at leats two coats of emulsion paint.
  • When done with coats and paint decoration, apply a a coat of varnish
  • If using moulds, sometimes they would need to be held together to hold the shape that you want. Try using masking tape or glue from a glue gun
  • In humid weather conditions, try using a less water in your flower paste or use other types of glue.
  • If applying strips to a balloon, try sitting it atop of a small bowl, large sellotape or something cylindrical.

Try these paper mache projects

Paper mache flower vase

paper mache fruit bowl

Paper mache picture frame

paper mache recipes



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1 Comment
  1. NOTE: if you add a couple tablespoons of salt to your paper mache it will not mold. (Thanks to Marg for this tip!).


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