Paper Mache Clay Recipe with Gram Measurements

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If your paper mache clay doesn’t come out the same every time, a kitchen scale is your best friend.

Our good friend Rex Winn shared this recipe for paper mache clay that you make with the help of a kitchen scale.  If you use his weight measurements (scroll down to see the recipe) your paper mache clay will come out the same every time.

The scale removes the biggest question we face when making paper mache clay – how much water should we squeeze out of the wet toilet paper?

  • If you press out too much, the paper sticks to itself and your mixer can’t tear it apart.
  • And if you don’t press out enough, your paper mache clay will be too wet.

When you use the scale, you know exactly how much water to squeeze out.

Just press out some water from your soaked toilet paper and put it back on the scale. The scale will tell you when the paper is ready to be mixed with the other ingredients

Of course, if you don’t have a kitchen scale, just use the original recipe. If the mixture feels too wet, just throw in some more flour.

And if you do use this recipe with gram measurements but you think you’d like your paper mache clay to be thinner or thicker, just change the amount of flour you add. Remember to keep track of how much you add, so you can use your own custom recipe next time, too.

Paper Mache Clay with Gram Measurements

  • Toilet Paper – 72 grams dry, 330 grams wet
  • Elmer’s Glue-All (PVA glue) – 195 grams
  • Pre-Mixed Drywall Joint Compound (not DAP brand) – 440 grams
  • White Flour – 70 grams
  • Mineral Oil (Baby Oil)  – 2 Tablespoons (I never actually measure mine – and it’s completely optional. If you don’t have any, just leave it out)

How to use a kitchen scale to make paper mache clay:

Weighing the dry toilet paper for paper mache clay.

Turn on your kitchen scale and then put your empty bowl on the scale. Make sure to choose the gram measurements and not the ounces. Then click on the Tare button so the LED screen goes to zero.

Start adding dry toilet paper until you have 72 grams.

Weighing the wet toilet paper for paper mache clay.

Add hot water to cover your toilet paper, and mix it around with your fingers until all the paper is wet.

>>If you prefer to use recycled newspaper or copy paper, you’ll need to let it sit in the hot water for an hour or so. Then put it in a blender, with plenty of water, to rip the paper into shreds.

Pull the toilet paper out of the water and squeeze some of the water out. Run the water through a fine sieve to catch all the toilet paper before throwing the water out.

Take the paper out of the bowl, set the bowl on the scale and hit the Tare button again to bring the display to zero.

Put the paper back in the bowl. If you have more than 330 grams, you need to press out more water.

Paper Mache Clay Recipe with Gram Measurements

When you have the right amount of water squeezed out of your toilet paper, tear the paper into smaller chunks. This will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients.

Weighing the Elmer's Glue for paper mache clay.

Add 195 grams of Elmer’s Glue-All or Elmer’s Clear. If you live outside the U.S., use any PVA glue. Most white glue is a PVA glue.

Weighing the drywall joint compound for paper mache clay.

Add 440 grams of premixed drywall joint compound.

  • Do not use the DAP brand, because it turns the paper mache clay into rubber.
  • And be sure to get the pre-mixed joint compound that comes in a plastic tub. They powdered form of joint compound contains plaster, and could cause your paper mache clay to harden in the bowl.

I use the ProForm brand. It’s available at most WalMart stores, and it’s much less expensive than any other brand. It works very well for paper mache clay.

Adding the baby oil to the paper mache clay.

The oil is optional. It does change the feel of the mixture when you’re using it, but if you don’t have any, just leave it out.

Mixing the paper mache clay.

Mix the ingredients on ‘high’ for several minutes. You want all the paper to be completely torn apart into tiny fibers. If you can see any whole paper bits in the bowl, keep mixing.

Weighing the white flour for paper mache clay.

When the paper and other ingredients are completely mixed together, add 70 grams of white flour. Mix again.

Paper Mache Clay Recipe with Gram Measurements

Apply the paper mache clay to your armature in a thin layer. If you need more or if you would like to add details, you can add new paper mache clay after the first layer is dry.

As you can see in the photo above, I covered my deer’s eye and the rim around the eye with paper strips and paste. I did the same thing around the nostrils. Sometimes, using both paper strips and paste and paper mache clay is the easiest way to make your sculpture come out the way you want it to.

Thank you, Rex, for sharing your measurements with us!

You might like these posts, too:

paper mache clay recipe measure by weight

68 thoughts on “Paper Mache Clay Recipe with Gram Measurements”

    • You wouldn’t want to eat it, but I’ve never heard anyone say that the product sold here in the US is toxic. The only warning I’ve ever seen is that you shouldn’t sand it without wearing a mask, because there is always some finely ground silica in it. Silica isn’t toxic (that’s what sand is made out of) but you don’t want the fine powder in your lungs. Be sure to read the label before using any product, to make sure you’re comfortable with it. The sanding issue is the reason why some school districts won’t allow drywall joint compound to be used in school art projects. I almost never sand it myself, but if you do, wear a mask and do it outside so you don’t get dust all over your house.

  1. I only now found your site and channels and all the things you’ve been offering for free and would just leave a bit ‘thank you’, your content is truly incredible. Now I’m gonna check if your books are available in my country. Greetings from Germany

  2. Hi, I just made a batch of the paper mache clay…. I put it in an air tight container and put it in the frig… how long would it last in the frig? A day or two?

  3. Which recipe do I use to make fairy houses with glass jars or with plastic bottles. Store bought paper clay is expensive. Love your work!! Thanks for all your sharing.

    • I’m probably the wrong one to ask, because I never use any of my recipes over hard objects, like glass. Like all paper mache formulas, they’re water based, so they shrink as they dry. And that can cause cracking. I like using armatures made with crumpled paper or foil, instead. But one of the readers of the Daily Sculptors page might have some experience with fairy houses made over glass or plastic. Try posting your question on that page.

  4. Hi! I am struggling to get this gram’s recipe right. So far 3x and I just end up with clam chowder… the only thing I can think is if my joint compound is a bad brand? It is “USG all purpose joint compound”.
    My glue “ Craftsmart white glue”
    I use Gold medal flour. I also use baby oil.. I just can’t figure it out, I do use toilet paper, and my husband double checked my measurements..
    Any advice is much appreciated! Thank you so much! Love your work, videos & website! :)

    • Hi Laura. The joint compound you’re using is a very good brand, so that wouldn’t be the problem. I assume that you’re removing the right amount of water from your soaked toilet paper – and you’re using the right amount of flour and corn starch, so I don’t know why it isn’t working. It should spread easily over your armature, but not be wet, like mayonnaise or something like that. Try it again, but try removing more water from your TP.

    • Yes , I did measure TP after squeezing out water.
      Just curious though- in your reply you ask about if I’m using the correct amount of flour (70grams) & cornstarch…
      CORNSTARCH?? Yikes am I’m looking at an old posting of your recipe? I only see flour – no cornstarch. How much? That makes sense that that would be the issue.

      • Oops – no, I thought we were on a different page – the air dry clay recipe is the one with the corn starch. The paper mache clay recipe doesn’t have any corn starch. However, it would help soak up the extra water, and it wouldn’t hurt anything to try adding some.

    • It doesn’t work very good in molds because the paper fibers keep it from making a good casting. For larger molds, it will dry from the layer with access to air before the layers near the mold, and that makes it pull away from the mold and changes the shape. However, people do say that the smoother air dry clay recipe works OK in small candy-sized silicone molds. You can find that recipe here.

  5. Jonni
    When you mix the paper mache clay by grams, are you putting the scale back to zero every time?


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