Making Paper Mache - A step-by-step guide

When I made my first paper mache craft in Woodooz, the process of making the paste was very brief that many found it not so handy. Since then there have been many online and offline requests and so I decided to make a descriptive post on how to make the paper mache clay.  The DIY nameboard  and the paper mache tribal masks were made using the very same process described below.

1. Materials Required

  • News Paper strips
  • Flour (Maida)
  • Salt

2. Start with the paper

  • Cut the news paper into small strips
  • Soak the strips in water. Allow it to be in water over night (Atleast about 8-10 hours)
  • The strips should be completely soggy
  • Alternatively, you can boil the strips in water to quicken the process
Make strips
Cut the paper into strips
Boil the strips in water
Soak the strips in water and boil

3. Grind the boiled strips

  • Allow for the strips to be soaked in water (at least 30 mins) after boiling
  • Take the strips and drain the water
  • Grind the strips in a mixer 
  • The picture below is after the strips were ground
The clay should be ground
Grind in mixer

4. Add maida (flour)

  • Slowly add maida and salt to the ground mix
  • The need for maida is to provide the necessary consistency to convert the mix into a clay like paste
  • Keep adding maida and salt as you knead the mixture until you get a dough (Chapathi) like consistency
  • For this demonstration, I used two sheets of news paper and 250 grams of maida
  • The key here is the dough like consistency and so you would know when to stop adding the maida
Add maida and knead
How to make paper mache pulp

5. Use the clay

  • Once you reach the desired consistency, your clay is ready to use
  • Lay it on a plastic sheet so that it does not get sticky
  • Make the shapes that you want to make using the paper mache clay
  • Allow it to dry for more than 24 hours
  • Once dried the shape you have made is ready to be painted. Use an acrylic primer base if required
  • Unleash your creativity and add colour to your paper mache project
Paper Mache Project
Make your paper mache project
Just ensure that you do not disturb your project while it is dryingOnce dried, it becomes very strong and stiff. And so, that's how you make the paper mache paste. I have something in mind for this project which I shall save for another day after it is complete. For now, it is just work in progress.

Do leave me your comment and let me know if there is anything amiss. Let me know if you used a different method to make this clay. If you do use this tutorial and make your paper mache project, let me know. I would love to know how it turned out.

~ Preethi
Join us in Facebook


If you liked this post, you may also like


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

42 comments :

  1. As usual ..thank u for such a poniter based guides on paper mache :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aparna, as usual thanks for your comment. Always good to see a word or two from you.

      Delete
  2. Really appreciate this post. I plan on trying this summer. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Calindgirl, thanks a lot... You should try it out and do let us know how it turned out. Paper mache really opens up avenues for exploring creativity.

      Delete
  3. I was searching for the proper tutorial for papermache ...thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ranjana, glad that you found what you were looking for. Do let us know how it turns out. :) And thanks a lot for your comment.

      Delete
  4. Thanks a lot Preethi for sharing this recipe, This is what I was searching for. Sure will share with u whatever I make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Disha. Please do share your work. We would love to know from others if the tutorial did work for them.

      Delete
  5. superb dear..lovely space . Visit our place and pass on your words for us .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shama, thanks a lot. Most certainly will drop in :)

      Delete
  6. thanks for sharing! will definitely try this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon, thanks... Try and let us know.

      Delete
  7. I sooooooooooooooooooo needed this post... Its impressive.. I've always wanted to know how to work with paper mache.. and how to do it.. Lovely... Lovely.. Im inspired to try some of this next month.. when Im on my own.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patty, thanks a always. We wanted this post to be of purpose and am glad that you are inspired :) Will certainly look forward to your work sometime in Aug :)

      Delete
  8. Came via Patricia's link...thanks so much Patty! I'm going to be making some of this too! I've made some basic stuff before, soaking strips of paper in water and white glue mixture and putting it on a balloon, which when dry can be cut in half to make to bowls, and also by draping the paper on the back of a bowl to create the shape. But with this paste, there is much more creative stuff that can be made.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shalini, I should thank Patricia for bringing you here. I have been looking for means to make shapes out of a balloon (for a lampshade) and everywhere I looked, I was told that I need to use corn starch. Since I wasn't sure where to find it, I dropped the idea. Now your little comment seems to have opened a big door for me. White glue mixture ? Now that is something I am going to try.

      And as you mentioned, this paste is like clay and you can mould it to any shape you desire. And when it dries, it is really strong.

      Thanks for visiting us and it would be a pleasure to have you keep coming back.

      Delete
  9. Very very informative .Thank you so much for sharing . God bless .

    ReplyDelete
  10. i wanna make bangles of paper mache , can u plz expalin me procedure and with which color one should paint

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Somu & Preethi. I'm going to try this and let you know. Will make some creative shapes for my 2 Yrs kid using paper mache clay ,am sure she will enjoy :)

    Amazing creativity, once again thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great!!! I was looking for this recipe for long. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. thank you for sharing your idea..however, could you tell me what is the purpose of the salt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nayena, first things first. Thanks a lot for dropping by and leaving your word of appreciation :) The salt acts as a preservative and prevents any molding from being formed. :)

      Delete
  14. How much paper salt and flour would I need to make 7 maskes

    ReplyDelete
  15. Also, is there anyway I could speed up the drying and hardening process?

    ReplyDelete
  16. thanks a lot .instead of adding maida i use favicol or any other glue like fevicol. i did not add salt previosly as i did not know the purpose of adding salt, thank u for this information.I stay in kolkata . can u you suggest from where i'll get an acrylic primer base.
    thanking you
    debashrita nag

    ReplyDelete
  17. very informative thanks
    you said 2 sheets of paper is it two complete papers?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Looks like a great recipe ! Thanks. Has anyone done any projects with this and if so can you post picts ? Especially for a Grand-Pa and His 6 and 4 yrs. old granddaughters. Thanks, Papa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Yes, there have been many projects done using this recipe. There are some that I have showcased in my blog. You can follow this link for some of the small projects (http://www.woodooz.com/search/label/Paper%20Mache). You can also google to get an understanding of what others have done using paper mache.

      Delete
  19. Hi Somu,

    I read your comment on Corn starch some time back, wanted to write abt a little i know. I guess it is same as the Corn flour we use in cooking. Though some say they are different, recently i noticed in the pack which says Corn flour/ Maize starch. I used corn flour instead of Maida, in one of my paper mache pulp - i liked the way the paper mache turned out to be - it is pure white too. Also to make the balloon - lamp shade - I just used the paper strip dipped in Maida+water+Fevicol+acrylic colour mix and applied it on the structure. It still in WIP, I cant wait to finish and show to you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. gr8 bro.... really awesome info....now I can do lots of thing with this raw material.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello Somu..I just cant wait to work on the paper mache craft...I love the tutorial..Also I wish to make some lamp shades and Im looking for Lampshade metal frames or cardboard frames so that I can cover it with some fabric of my choice. Do You have some idea where can I find these. I live in Bangalore.

    Priya

    ReplyDelete
  23. How much salt should be used in it

    ReplyDelete
  24. I remember using multani-mitti instead of maida for making this during my school days. Nice tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, really not worked with multani-mitti... So not able to comment. And thanks a lot for your feedback on the tutorial. Really appreciate it :)

      Delete
  25. Can we use regular Aata (ground wheat powder) instead of Maida?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Firefly, I doubt it... You need something that has the gluing capability and maida will do more wonders :) Just wanted to know... Could you let me know how you landed up here ?

      Delete
  26. thanks for sharing...will try it tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi,

    I have one question related to it. i have seen videos on you-tube for creating mask, in which they use dry paper and a glue made of some flour. can you please share that method please.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I wanted to make navaratri golu dolls.i am not getting smooth dough of paper mache clay.so help me in how much to add maida and salt for how much paper

    ReplyDelete