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Papier Mache Paste

Note: Make sure you have an adult to help you, or permission to use the stove.

You will need:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, any brand
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • A medium sized pot
  • A small bowl
  • A whisk or fork

Instructions:

  1. 1. Measure 3 cups water and pour into a medium sized pot. Put it on the stove to boil. Make sure you have an adult to help you, or permission to use the stove.
  2. 2. While the water is boiling, mix 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Stir until all the lumps are gone. It should look like milk.
  3. 3. While the water is boiling and bubbling, pour the cornstarch/water mixture into the boiling water slowly while whisking at the same time. Once you have poured all the cornstarch mixture into the boiling water, turn off the heat and continue to whisk as the paste gets thick.
  4. 4. Let the paste cool. Once cool, you can use your papier mache paste to create puppets, pinata, or other 3D artworks! Store your paste in an airtight container and use within a week.

Papier Mache Projects

You will need:

  • Papier Mache paste
  • Newspaper, brown grocery bag, or construction paper
  • Something to put the papier mache on, like a sculpture, puppet, or pinata you have made

Instructions:

  1. Rip off a small to medium sized “blob” of paper.  If it has a really sharp edge on it (like the edge of a newspaper), you can tear that part off so it is more uneven.
  2. Crumple the paper in your hands! Crunch it to break up the fibers so that it is easier to mache with. Open the paper back up, it should be wrinkly.
  3. Dip two fingers into your papier mache paste. You don’t need too much – you don’t want very drippy or wet.  Apply the mache paste to each side of your paper blob.
  4. Working in small sections, apply pieces of the wet paper to your object.  You might want to tear off even smaller pieces to get into the details or small spaces of your artwork. Make sure that you smooth out the edges, and be sure to overlap each piece, so that you can cover the whole object in a layer of papier mache. Feel free to add more layers of papier mache. Be sure to let it dry before you decorate or paint your artwork.

Watch these how-to videos to get started

How to Make Papier Mache Paste

Papier Mache Projects


Search Mia’s collection to find more artworks to inspire you

Unknown Artist, Japan. Helmet in Dragonfly Shape, 17th century. Iron, lacquer, wood, leather, gilt, pigments, silk papier-mâché. The James Ford Bell Foundation Endowment for Art Acquisition and gift of funds from Siri and Bob Marshall, 2012.31.1A-C.