Paper Mache Recipe
Instructions On
How To Make Paper Mache

The materials required for making a paper mache recipe are inexpensive and readily available. Here you will find easy instructions on how to make paper mache which you can use for your card making projects too.

You can probably remember how to make paper mache from your school days. I can remember tearing up strips of newspaper, gluey fingers and creating lots of strange objects. I am sure you have all covered balloons with paper mache, a technique you will need to create my dinosaur egg invitations.

You can make almost anything from your paper mache recipe, a pinata for example. No kid birthday party is complete without a pinata filled with candy and other treats. The children will have great fun breaking open your paper mache pinata.

Before you start on any paper mache project it is a good idea to cover your table or work surface with a sheet of plastic. If you are a messy worker, wear an apron.


Collect a supply of old newspapers. Newspaper sheets should always be torn and not cut. Broadsheet newspapers are better than tabloids and will mould around shapes more easily.

Wallpaper Paste

Cellulose cold water paste is used to paste the layers of paper pieces together. Most proprietary brands contain fungicide and are therefore, unsuitable for use by children. Non-toxic paste powder is available from craft shops and specialist decorating outlets. Mix up according to packet instructions. Cover the paste bowl, when not in use, with a damp cloth. Wrap up unwanted paste in newspaper and throw it in the bin. Do not wash it down the drain!

A rather messy alternative, which has a short life, is a flour and water paste, but is best avoided unless it is your only option.

If you want to make a paper mache recipe use the following flour and water recipe: Mix together 1/2 litre water and 85g plain flour in a stainless steel saucepan. Allow to stand for an hour, stirring constantly bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes and leave to cool.

Preparing for a Paper Mache Project

When you start on a paper mache project, make sure that you have everything you need. Mix up the paste according to instructions. Add a little PVA adhesive to strengthen the paste if you like.

Tear up a generous quantity of newspaper into strips, varying in size according to the shape you are making. You will find that it is much easier to tear in one direction than the other. Tearing the paper gives a feathered edge and produces a smoother finish to the paper mache than you would achieve by using pieces cut with scissors.

If you are using a mould form from which you will remove the paper mache shape, give it a generous coating of petroleum jelly before applying the first layers of pasted paper.

Use your hand to smear paste onto one or both sides of the paper strip and squeeze off the excess with your fingers. You can allow the paste to soak in for a few minutes if you like, placing the pieces around the edge of the bowl before applying. Apply the paper pieces to the mould overlapping them and varying the direction of the pieces. The scale of the piece you are making will determine the size of the pieces you use. For example, when covering a curved shape, you will achieve a smooth surface with very tiny pieces.

The total number of layers you apply will depend on the size of the object and the strength required. It is helpful to use newspapers of two different colours so that you can keep track of the number of layers you have applied.

Allow to dry for 2-3 days. Drying should be done at an even temperature. This is important if you are using a balloon as a mould. Any dramatic changes in temperature or extreme heat may cause the balloon to burst or shrivel up.

Apply white emulsion paint to prime the layers of pasted paper to provide a surface for the final decoration.

Use a pencil or fine blue crayon to draw the design lightly onto the surface if required.

If you are using gouache, squeeze a small amount onto a palette and add a few drops of water. Allow the first layer of colour to dry before applying more paint.

If liked you can varnish your finished piece. Enjoy making lots of different shapes and sizes with your paper mache recipe.

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