Papier-mâché is a composite medium consisting of an adhesive, usually glue, and a fibrous material, such as paper pulp or thin fabric. Commonly used in children's crafts, papier-mâché is also an ideal medium for building stage props, costume pieces and other lightweight sculptures. Traditionally, strips of paper are dipped in an adhesive mixture and then layered over a mold. By tweaking the papier-mâché recipe slightly, you can create a paste with a consistency like sculpting clay. The paste dries hard and tends to be more durable than traditional papier-mâché.
Things You'll Need:
- Large Bowl
- Electric Mixer
- 1 Cup Joint Compound
- Airtight Container
- 2 Tablespoons Linseed Oil
- Warm Water
- Toilet Paper
- 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Craft Glue
- Measuring Spoons
- All-Purpose Flour (Optional)
- Measuring Cups
Fill a large bowl about three-quarters full of warm water. Remove all of the toilet paper from its cardboard roll, and submerge the paper in the water. Lift out the wet paper, squeeze out the water and set it aside. Empty the bowl of water, and place the paper back in the bowl.
Rip the paper into small chunks, each roughly one inch square. Leave them in the bowl.
Mix your joint compound according to the instructions on the container. Use a proportion that will yield the amount you need. To make a quart of paste, you'll need at least one cup of mixed joint compound on hand.
Measure out a cup of joint compound and pour it into the bowl.
Add the craft glue and linseed oil to the bowl.
Turn your electric mixer to a medium speed setting and begin mixing the contents. Blend for three to five minutes or until the paste resembles cookie dough.
Use the paste right out of the bowl or transfer it to an airtight container. The paste will last for about five days in the refrigerator.
- Alter your proportions as needed. For example, double your proportions to make two quarts of papier-mâché paste. If your paste is too runny after Step 6, add half a cup of all-purpose flour to the mixture and blend until thick.
Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.