Water and flour are the two main ingredients for paper mache paste. You can also add white glue to this mixture, or it can be used as a suitable substitute. Paper can also be mixed in with a paper mache paste to create a pulp. Color and mold retardants can also be added.
Flour can be mixed with water to create a very simple homemade paper mache paste. These ingredients are often just mixed together until they reach a paste-like consistency. Thick paste will usually be a little stronger than thin. The flour and water can also be cooked or boiled to create a relatively weak paste that dries clear. To make this type of paper mache paste, flour is first mixed with water, and then this mixture is stirred into boiling water and allowed to cool before being used.
Most white glues can also be used in paper mache paste. Pastes that use glue usually dry much clearer than those made with just flour and water, but the glue must be diluted before being added. Generally, one part water is mixed with two parts glue to make this type of paste. It can also be added in with a flour and water paste.
Some people also use diluted glue for a type of finishing coat on their paper mache projects. This can be used when you do not want the edges of the paper to show on the finished project. Parents who use glues as one of the ingredients for paper mache, however, should supervise their children closely since some glue may be toxic if ingested.
Different types of paper can also be used when making paper mache. Some people add paper directly to the flour and water to make a paper mache pulp, which can then be used to create a smooth surface on a finished project. Newspaper is the most common type of paper used for paper mache, but colored construction paper can also be used.
To make paper mache pulp, bits of paper are soaked in water for several hours. The mixture is then put into a blender, and flour, glue, and water are added. Colored paper mache pulp can also be made by adding some sort of pigment, such as food coloring, pigment powder, or acrylic paint.
Paper mache often has a tendency to mold. To prevent this, salt, cinnamon, or clove oil might be added, since these ingredients reportedly help prevent mold from growing on the finished product.