How To Make Paper Mache? (DIY Paper Mache, Paper Mache Pulp And Paper Mache Paste)

how to make paper mache

Paper mâché, papier-mâché  or paper mache, is a hard material mainly used in art and crafts for making just about anything, such as fruit bowls, puppet dolls, sculptures and more. Since paper mache surface is extremely smooth, you can even add exciting designs and patterns to your finished product. In this article, we’ll tell you how to make paper mache at home for making your favorite projects. So stay tuned to learn about paper mache recipe, paper mache pulp recipe, and paper mache glue recipe. 

  1. Paper Mache:

Below is our easy guide to help you make the best paper mache. You can use it to create 3D projects or give it any form or shape. You can even decorate it any way you like, even with glitter.

Paper Mache Recipe:

You Will Need:

  • Newspaper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • Emulsion paint
  • Vaseline
  • Paintbrush

How To Make Paper Mache:

  1. Start by tearing newspaper into 3-inch-long strips. Put it on the side and start making the glue.
  2. To make glue, you need to mix 1 cup flour with 1 cup water. Remember, the ratio of flour and water must be equal. If you think the mixture is a bit too thick, you can add some water to it. Mix it well with a wooden spoon so that no bumps are there. Then add two tablespoons of salt to prevent mold.
  3. Now, you need to apply the glue on both sides of the paper strips with a paintbrush. We’d suggest you do it on a flat and covered surface, and keep turning them over with the paintbrush while you go.
  4. If, for example, you want to create a bowl, ensure that you apply a light layer of Vaseline. This makes it a lot easier to remove once the mache has dried. Alternatively, you can even use a balloon and burst it to reveal the bowl.
  5. Using your fingers, put the glue soaked strips on the object you are trying to create, one at a time. If you see any air bubbles, smooth it with the paintbrush. You need to give at least 3 layers to make the object strong.
  6. Leave it to dry for some time. When it has dried, you can build the thickness and strength of the object by adding some more layers. Now you need to leave it overnight so that it can dry completely. You can apply two coats of emulsion paint to seal it.
  7. When it has dried completely, decorate your bowl anyway, you like. Not just bowl, you can make anything you like.


  1. Paper Mache Pulp:

The paper mache pulp recipe we’ll be sharing below is no less than modeling clay. This thick, paper mache pulp could be used for anything, such as making protrusions or details that define the face of an animal, human, monster or anything.

Paper Mache Pulp Recipe:

You Will Need:

  • A closed spoon
  • A strainer spoon
  • Elmer’s white glue or PVA glue
  • Toilet paper

How To Make Paper Mache Pulp:

  1. Fill a saucepan with water and put it to boil on high flame. When the water starts boiling, tear of a long ribbon of the toilet paper and start tearing it to shreds. Each shred should be as long as your thumb. Please do not put all these toilet paper pieces at once. You need to feed the pieces into the boiling water slowly. It will give you better results, not to mention time to tear more pieces of toilet paper. You must also remember that a little bit of paper mache pulp will go a long way. So if you want to make a mask, you won’t even need half of the toilet paper roll.
  2. While the water and paper pieces are boiling, you need to keep stirring, while keeping it on a hard boil. Take it off the flame when you think it’s done, i.e., when clumps of toilet paper have torn into tinier bits, and it looks smooth.
  3. Now strain the liquid and transfer in a bowl. You can use a closed spoon to squeeze out excess water. Alternatively, you can place the mixture in a large unused towel or rag and squeeze as much water out as you can. You can even hang it up until the excess water drips away.
  4. Wait for the paste to cool down so that you can squeeze it in your hands.
  5. Next, you need to transfer it to a bowl and add Elmer’s glue or whatever glue you are using.
  6. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Start kneading the mixture as you knead playdough. If the mixture starts feeling a bit dry, add some more glue to it. Your paper mache pulp is ready. Now it’s time to make your favorite masterpiece. Just ensure that you do not apply all paper mache at once. And don’t make the layers too gooey or thick. You should wait for the previous layer to dry before you apply another layer. It is a pretty long process, but it will give you the best results and will even reduce the risk of warping or ruining the mold underneath.
  7. You can store the leftover in the refrigerator. It will last for two to three weeks.


  1. Easy Paper Mache Paste:

Since traditional paper mache involves boiling water, which can be a bit dangerous for young children, we are including a recipe which is non-hazardous, non-toxic and can be made with a handful of supplies, probably lying around your house.

Easy Paper Mache Paste Recipe:

You Will Need:

  • Water
  • Flour
  • Bowl
  • Spoon or whisk

How To Make Paper Mache Paste:

  1. In a bowl, mix one part flour with two parts water and stir well. If you want to make a larger batch, double the ingredients.
  2. The consistency of the mixture should be thin, just like the pancake batter. Keep mixing until there are no lumps left. You can even use a blender or hand mixer to ensure there are no lumps left.
  3. If the mixture is too runny, add some flour to it and if the batter is too thick, add some water.
  4. Your paper mache paste is ready. This mixture will last you a couple of days if you store it in the refrigerator.

A Few Tips While Making Paper Mache:

Here’s how you can make the most out of your paper mache glue:

  • If you hate the smell of your paper mache glue, you can make it a bit more appealing by adding a pinch of cinnamon to it.
  • If you want to paint the project, you can add a few drops of paint or food coloring to give some color. Just ensure that you wear an apron before mixing color to the glue as it can stain fabrics easily.
  • People living in places with high humidity must add a few teaspoons of salt to the paste to prevent mold.
  • People with sensitive skin can have an allergic reaction to flour mixture. So if you are one of them, wear a pair of gloves to prevent skin reaction.

Paper Mache Crafts:

paper mache crafts

Now that you know how to make paper mache and paper mache glue, you would need some fun ideas to use it. Below are some paper mache craft ideas to help you get started.

  1. Paper Mache Mask:

Paper mache mask is one of the most popular crafts you can make with paper mache. Just a tiny bit of Halloween can help you make a lovely Halloween mask.

  1. Paper Mache Globe:

This is one of the easiest Paper Mache crafts. You need to cover a blown balloon with the paper mache mix and leave it to dry. Once it has dried completely, pop the balloon and paint it blue and green to represent the earth. It would make a lovely addition to science fair projects too.

  1. Paper Mache Piñata:

This fun project would make a lovely project for birthday parties. Make a few paper mache piñatas, leave it to dry and then fill it with candies. For making a piñata, you need to tie a string loop to a paper clip, and then tape the paper clips onto piñata’s frame before you start matching. Basically, you need to mache over the top of the paper clip, NOT on the string loop. For hanging the piñata, you have to tie your rope onto the loop.

  1. Paper Mache Bowls:

Another popular paper mache craft is a paper mache bowl. This useful craft will hold all your little jewelry and other accessories. You can make it from the leftover paper mache paste from some other project too.


What should I do if the papier mache does not harden?

If your papier mache does not harden, then probably the mixture is too thick or thin, which you can easily adjust. If the base is too thin, you can add more adhesive to it and if it’s too thick, add some water to it.

How to make the balloon out after paper mache has hardened?

It’s very simple! You just need to pop the balloon when the mixture has dried. If you find any broken pieces of balloon sticking to the project, remove that with a craft knife. You can even leave the pieces as they are, if it’s not a problem. If you find hard to grab the popped balloon with your fingers, feel free to use a knitting needle or anything that can capture and pull it off.

Why do we have to put salt in the paper mache paste?

Salt is an extremely useful ingredient for making papier mache paste as it prevents molds from occurring and growing.

How long does it take for each layer of paper mache to dry?

That depends entirely on the thickness of layers, room temperature and how liquid-y or hard your glue was. To speed up the drying process, you can place the project in the sun or above the heater.

Can I use cloth strips instead of paper strips while paper mache?

No, you cannot use cloth strips to make paper mache as they are not smooth enough to paint over. Even if you try, the paint will lump onto the cloth.

Can I make papier mache without balloons?

Yes, the balloon isn’t necessary for making paper mache. You just need a strong base which can help papier mache stick. You can even use cardboard if you want.

Can I use a bowl instead of a balloon for making a paper mache bow?

Yes, of course, you can, but before that, wrap the bowl with plastic or cling film or coat it with Vaseline or non-stick cooking spray. It will make it a lot easier for you to remove the papier mache when it dries.

Whether you are a mommy reading this post, or a child, whenever you are ready, just grab the ingredients for these homemade paper mache recipes and get started. It’s an enjoyable project and is easy to clean up too! So what are you waiting for? You can even learn to make homemade clay and homemade slime on our website.

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