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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Paper Mache Pulp Tutorial

Last week I had a request to add on to my blog more about making Paper Mache and to include a recipe. Here are a couple of basic recipes that I use. I will add a few pictures as well to help explain the process. All of the ingredients for the recipes can be found at the grocery, hardware or craft store. Making the pulp can be quite messy but once it's mixed up it can be fun to work with. Some people wear gloves when mixing but I prefer not to. The glycerin helps to keep the pulp from sticking to your hands and makes the pulp more clay like. You don't have to use the boiled paste recipe but I use it in my paper pulp and I find it very useful when using traditional paper strips over plastic bottles or styrofoam. It makes a good base for adding on the paper pulp.  For other examples on my blog click here. Hope you enjoy this tutorial and please leave a comment or question for me.

    This paper mache paste recipe requires boiling which makes it a little stronger than the no-cook version.
    Materials Needed:
    5 cups water
    1 cup flour
     Start out by putting 4 cups of water into a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. While you are waiting for it to boil, mix 1 cup of flour into 1 cup cool  water. Beat this mixture briskly to remove lumps.
    Once your pot of water is boiling, slowly stir in the water and flour mixture. Mix well and let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes. It should be smooth and have the consistency of thick glue. If necessary, you can add more water or flour in small amounts until you get the desired consistency.
If you live in an area with high humidity, add a few tablespoons of salt to help prevent mold. Two tablespoons of antiseptic mouthwash also keeps the glue from spoiling. If you don't like the smell of the glue mixture you can add a few drops of wintergreen or lemon oil.

Store unused glue in a covered bowl or jar, in the refrigerator, and use within a couple of weeks.



4 double-page sheets of newspaper (torn or shredded)
1 tablespoon salt
2 heaping tablespoons of joint compound
2 tablespoons white glue or Mod Podge
1 tablespoon glycerin or linseed oil
2 drops oil of wintergreen - OR - oil of cloves
1 tablespoon of antiseptic mouthwash
2 tablespoons wheat wallpaper paste - OR - flour and water paste

A pulp mixture is great for making smooth, fine details in your paper Mache creations, or for creating small objects. It would, however, take a lot of it to complete a larger project. I use it over an armature such as scrunched up paper or old Styrofoam or cardboard.  A combination of traditional paper mache using the strips and then doing the details with the paper pulp is a great way to get your project moving faster.

You can use just the paper pulp also. After you completely cover your figure it should dry in a warm location for several days before painting.

Pulp Method

Tear the newspaper into tiny pieces or use shredded paper and put it in a large bowl  or bucket.. Add just enough  hot water to completely cover the newspaper. Let soak overnight or at least four hours.

Once your newspaper has soaked for several hours it's time to pulverize. This can be done using your hands for small batches.  At this stage I use my drill paint mixer. I add a good amount of water so that my paint mixer attachment  for my drill easily mixes through the paper.

Shredded Paper Soaking

 If you have a small batch do the following.  With your hands or large wooden spoon stir the mix and try to break up any big clumps. Squeeze it through your fingers until it has an oatmeal type texture. Try to get as many lumps out as possible. If necessary, add a bit more water and let it soak a little more.

Once you have it as smooth as possible, add a few tablespoons of salt to help retard mold. Mix it again with your hands.

Once mixed thoroughly, transfer to a double thickness cheesecloth lined colander. Gather up the sides of the cheesecloth and squeeze out most of the liquid.  Transfer your pulp to a large bowl or plastic dish pan.

Break up the wet pulp into smaller clumps.  Add the joint compound, white glue, glycerin, mouthwash and paste. With your hands mix the pulp and other ingredients until you get a clay like consistency.

 Now you are ready to use your Paper Mache pulp! For some ideas check out some of my previous posts on making chicks and bears.

Store your leftover pulp in an air tight bag or bowl in the refrigerator and it should last for several weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I remembering making paper mache as a child. It was so much fun and oh so messy!! Great tutorial!!


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