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What Are the Best Tips for Making Paper Mache Paste?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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Paper mache art can be a fun and inexpensive hobby. Making paper mache paste is quite simple, and it involves mixing flour, water, and sometimes glue. Some recipes call for heating the paste before using it. Certain spices can also to the paste to prevent mold and make it smell nicer.

One of the most common types of paper mache paste is made by mixing flour and water and heating it on the stove. To do this, a cup (250 milliliters) of water is boiled on a stove. Another cup (250 milliliters) of water is then mixed with a cup (110 grams) of flour, and whisked to remove all of the lumps. This mixture should then be stirred slowly into the boiling water, and boiled for a few minutes.

Individuals who would rather not cook this type of mixture in their kitchen can still make paper mache paste. Equal amounts of thick white glue can be mixed with water, for example. One part water can also be mixed with one part flour.

Some adjustments may need to be made in some climates. In humid weather, for instance, it may be necessary to use less water when making paper mache paste. Doing this will make the paste less watery.

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If paper mache paste is stored for an extended period of time, it could become moldy. Adding ground cinnamon or cinnamon oil can help prevent this. Clove oil can help prevent this as well. These spices can also make the odor of the paste more pleasant.

Working with paper mache paste can be quite messy, especially if children are around. To help prevent a large mess, many individuals choose to cover their work surfaces. A plastic drop cloth works well, but an old shower curtain will work too. If neither of these items are available, large trash bags make a suitable substitute.

A number of crafts can be made from paper mache. One of the easiest paper crafts made with paper mach paste is a paper mache mask. This can be done by covering an inflated balloon with paper strips covered in paste. When the material hardens, the paper and balloon can be cut in half and decorated.

Paper mache figures and sculptures are also popular. These can be made by covering a framework made from heavy wire with a mixture of paper pieces and paste. Pinatas are also often made from paper mache.

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Ana1234
Post 3

@irontoenail - It can be difficult to judge how much is going to be enough when you're making it with or for a group of kids. The last thing you want to do when your kindergartners are making paper mache masks is stop supervising them in order to mix more paste, so it's hardly surprising that people would prefer to make too much rather than not enough.

As long as you keep it in the fridge and add a bit of clove oil like it suggests in the article, the paste should last for a few days at least.

irontoenail
Post 2

@croydon - If you are adding the oils in order to keep the paste from going off, make sure you add a type that will actually help with that. It's possible some of them might actually make it go off faster (although water and flour won't last very long in any case).

Ideally, you will just make a small amount of a paper mache paste recipe and use it all up in one go. It's easy enough to make more if you have to.

croydon
Post 1

I've never thought of adding essential oils to paper mache paste, but that could actually be quite a lovely thing to do. You could add scents like peppermint and vanilla for children when they are making things or you could add other scents when making items for adults.

It could add another dimension to cosplay if you could make your costume smell nice, or at least similar to something that your character might be like.

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