Traditional tutorials on how to make paper-mache involve glue, boiling hot water, and newspaper. Not only can this be dangerous for young children, the newspaper ink usually stains your pots. Luckily, there are much easier ways to go about making a paper-mache paste. This method is s simple, non-toxic, and inexpensive, and you only need a few supplies, most of which you probably already have around the house. Grab the kids, and dive in—it's a fun project, and they will love the messy, goopy texture. Better yet, you will love the easy cleanup.
Though it is uncommon, some people with sensitive skin may have an allergic reaction to the flour mixture. A mild rash is the most common reaction. If your child has sensitive skin, a pair of rubber gloves will protect them.
Watch Now: How to Make Paper-Mache
Equipment / Tools
- Whisk or spoon
- 1 part All-purpose white flour
- 2 parts Water
- Salt (optional)
Combine Flour and Water
Combine the flour and water in a large bowl and stir it well. You want the mixture to be thin, with a consistency similar to pancake batter.
Consistency depends on your preference. However, if it's like a paste, then it's too thick—add more water or flour as needed until the mix is runny like white glue.
Blend Out Lumps
Continue to mix until there are very few lumps left. Use a whisk or a hand-held blender to remove any remaining lumps.
Add Salt (Optional)
If you live in an area with high humidity, add a few tablespoons of salt to the batter. This prevents mold from forming.
Use or Store
Use the paper-mache glue immediately for a project or store the paste in a covered bowl or jar in the refrigerator for a few days.
If you don't like the smell of the glue mixture, add a pinch of cinnamon for fragrance. You can also add a few drops of food coloring to the glue, if necessary, but use care as food coloring can stain fabric.
Fun Ways to Play With DIY Paper-Mache
Paper-mache can be used for a variety of craft projects, so let your imagination run wild. Get started with these ideas:
- Paper-mache pinata: Make this project for any party, especially birthdays. Put together the paper-mache pinata, let it dry, and then fill it with candy.
- Paper-mache globe: Cover a balloon with this paper-mache mix and let it dry. Once dry, pop the balloon, and it is ready to paint with blue and green to represent the Earth. It can be incorporated into a science fair project and used to represent other planets.
- Paper-mache volcano: Use your new paper-mache skills to make your very own volcano. With a few common household items such as vinegar and food coloring, you can make it erupt with red lava.
- Paper-mache spiders: While you are getting all crafty for that Halloween party, create your own family of spiders. The technique is similar to the globe.
- Paper-mache bowls: Whether you cannot get enough of paper-mache or have leftover paste from another project, paper-mache bowls are an easy option. It's a useful craft that can hold all your trinkets and be painted in many fun ways.