Paper mache crafting involves molding strips of paper and an adhesive into three-dimensional objects. Once dried, the material is hard and can be painted or otherwise decorated any way you like. While you can purchase pre-made paper mache paste from craft stores, it's also quick and easy to make your own. There are various recipes, including the less common resin paper mache paste. While resin paper mache paste isn't as easy to clean up as standard paper mache paste recipes, it's still a good paste to use. It dries to a very hard finish, making it ideal for when you want your finished project to be especially strong and durable. Use resin paper mache paste for crafts you want to last a long time, not a temporary object like a piñata.
When making this paste, avoid using cooking equipment that you still use to prepare food. You often can find inexpensive pots and other kitchen gear at secondhand stores that you can use for crafting.
Equipment / Tools
- Measuring cups
- Mixing bowl
- Spoon or whisk
- Storage container with an airtight lid
- 1 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Resin glue powder
- 4 cups Water
Boil 3 Cups of Water
To begin making your resin paper mache paste, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in your pot.
Mix the Flour and Resin Glue Powder
While you are waiting for the water to boil, mix together 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of resin glue powder. Then, slowly stir in 1 cup of very warm water. Briskly stir the mixture to remove any lumps.
Add the Flour Mixture to the Boiling Water
Once your pot of water is boiling, slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix it well, and let it boil for two to three minutes or until the mixture is clear and smooth.
Use or Store the Glue
You can use your paper mache resin glue right away after it has slightly cooled. Or you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for about a week, though the mixture can start to separate and alter the consistency of the glue after a few days.
A Brief History of Paper Mache
The French term papier-mâché translates to "chewed paper." Traditionally, there were many variations of paper mache used in places including ancient Egypt, the Middle East, and Europe. Coffins in Egypt were typically made from layers of papyrus or linen and then covered with plaster. In Persia, paper mache was also used to create small trays and containers that were then decoratively painted. Places like China, India, and Japan used paper mache to create fancy components for protective military gear.
Other paper mache objects created around the world throughout history have included paper boats, masks, and observatory domes. Today in the United States, paper mache is mostly used for carnival floats, puppetry, theater sets and costumes, and arts and crafts projects.