Handmade Paper Recipe
To create your own beautiful paper, use this set of detailed instructions from Paper Slurry. Alternately, if you're short on time or working with younger kids, paper-mâché is another great option.
Using common ingredients most likely already in your kitchen, paper- mâché is a fun, creative (albeit a little messy) activity for kids of all ages. Make 3-dimensional projects by combining paper with a completely safe glue-like mixture and letting it dry into a hardened shell, then decorate. Use anything from a balloon to a bowl (you can even use your face!) to give paper-mâché its form.
Start by gathering these materials:
- Newspaper, recycled paper, or paper towel
- An object to cover- a bowl, balloon, bottle, aluminum foil formed into a shape, for example
- Painting supplies
- Decorative embellishments like glitter, streamers, pompoms, etc.
Then follow these directions:
- Tear or cut newspaper into strips. Hint: using recycled paper or paper towel for the outermost layer of strips makes painting easier.
- Make the paper mâché paste using one of the following methods:
- Mix ½ cup glue to ½ cup water.
- Cook 1-part flour to 5 parts water then boil 3 minutes and cool.
- Add 1-part flour to 1-part water then stir until smooth.
- Allow to dry (this can take up to a few days).
- Paint and decorate.
Use these helpful tips:
- If you are using an object (such as a bowl) to create a certain shape, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the side on which you’ll be applying the strips. This makes it easier to remove from the dry paper-mâché mold. Balloons make the easiest mold, cover with paper strips and glue mixture, once dry, just give it a pop.
- Dip your strips of paper into the mixture, lightly “squeegee” off the excess by running your fingers down the strip before applying to your form. Use your fingers or a paintbrush to smooth it down so that there aren’t any air pockets or gaps. Consider applying at least three layers in a cross-hatch fashion for added strength.
This recipe compliments of the Mystic Museum of Art can be found in its entirety at https://www.mysticmuseumofart.org/2020/08/paper-mache-art/. You can also find a wealth of paper-mâché recipes and information at UltimatePaperMache.com.