How Do You Make Paper Mache?

Making paper mache involves preparing the base, paper and paste, dipping the paper into the paste, applying paper to the base, letting it dry, repeating the process at least three times, and painting and decorating the creation. This project can be completed over the course of a few days.

  1. Prepare your supplies

    Choose a base for the paper mache project. Almost anything can serve as the base, but balloons and wire are common choices. Tear newspaper into strips. Make the strips about 1 to 2 inches wide and of varying lengths. Prepare the paste by mixing a simple concoction of one part flour to two parts water. Add cinnamon for an interesting smell.

  2. Dip the paper

    Dip the newspaper strips into the paste. Thoroughly saturate each strip for best results. Gently squeeze each piece through the fingers to remove excess paste. Only dip one strip at a time.

  3. Apply paper to the base

    Lay the saturated strip over the base. Smooth it down carefully. Fully cover the entire base with paper. Strips should overlap one another. Make sure to lay strips down in different directions.

  4. Let the paper mache dry and repeat

    Allow the first layer to dry. It may take up to a day for the layer to dry completely. Repeat the dipping and layering process. Allow that layer to dry, and repeat again. Paper mache projects need a minimum of three layers for best results. When the project is dry after the last layer, paint or decorate as desired.