Paper Mache Clay Video – the Sequel…

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Since we’re getting very close to the day when we can add paper mache to our paper mache cat, I thought this would be a good time to do another video about the paper mache clay recipe. There are some very common questions about the clay, and I hope that this video will answer most of them.

If you’re following the lessons for the paper mache cat and you don’t want to use the paper mache clay, you certainly don’t have to. But for those who do want to use the clay, I hope this video will help.

The lesson for the cat’s ears, toes and tail will be added tomorrow.

15 thoughts on “Paper Mache Clay Video – the Sequel…”

  1. Halloween Party Cats
    These two party animals are ready to liven up any room, with the hats on the stand about 10″ tall and are 5″ wide. The hats come off so you an fill them with any sort of treat you like. I used a new method in the paper mache I found a recipe here http://ultimatepapermache.com/easy-paper-mache-clay-recipe Jonni Good is the owner of ultimate paper mache, she has wonderful tips and tutorial that made working the clay recipe super easy. I really like the way the clay sets up it’s super strong and durable.
    So I would like to give a special Thanks to Jonni Good for all her help.

  2. Darn, I wish I had seen this video before now! Just today I mixed up my first batch of Joni Paste and used it incorrectly! Spent a long time doing it too.
    I used the original recipe and had trouble mixing it…it was very dry. I think I may have squeezed out the toilet paper too well. I ended up having to add over a cup of water to make it mixable, so then I threw in some extra white glue just ’cause it seened like I should.
    I need to build a head, and thought I could use the paste in a mask mold rather than trying to build it from an armature.I was waiting for it to dry when I found the new video on how to use the paste. Duh!
    I went back to the mold and thinned out the layer of Joni Paste. I will just have to see if I get anything usable! Or if it will even come out of the mold. Call me frustrated but hopeful!

    • Patti, is it possible that you used more paper than the recipe calls for? Most rolls of toilet paper have a lot more paper than the ones I use, so you really need to put the squeezed out paper in a measuring cup to see how much you’re using.

      I hope your latest effort works out better. If you used a release on the mold, or if it’s plastic, the clay should come out when it’s dry. It may seem dry on the areas that are exposed to air and still be damp inside, so give it plenty of time. Good luck!

  3. Hi Jonni,
    I love watching your tutorials. Thanks so much for sharing your skills.
    I just got my first commission from a friend for a paper-mache bird for her mantlepiece. Since there is a painting of Moses above the mantle, I decided to research a biblical bird and have started an Ibis. I have the basic armature started and will try your clay recipe for the first time.

    I have your books which are always a source of comfort to me. I feel like you are always with me!

    My M’Annie mannequin has received many compliments and keeps reminding everyone of my beautiful mom. She would have been 100 years old last July…….

    Will keep you posted on the Ibis…

    Barbara M. Kaplowitz

    • Hi Barbara. I do hope you’ll let us see the ibis when it’s done. That’s a beautiful bird, and I know the people you’re making it for will love it. And thanks for reminding me of your M’Annie mannequin – that guest post you did for us was really wonderful. If anyone hasn’t seen it, be sure to check it out.

  4. Hi Jonni, I was searching the web for home made crafts recipes and found you. I was looking for flour papaer mace and am INTRIGUED with the papermache clay! I don’t know when I will get around to trying it as I have been hoarding frugal art supplies lately and have many projects going. But I love the work you have done. I am not much of a sculptor, I do mixed media stuff, photog. and paint, crochet and sew a bit. I am not feeling well today and not getting anything done but wanted to say hi and thank you, you are very talented!

  5. Your comment about the Elmer’s glue (use Glue-All, not school glue) intrigued me so I went to the Elmer’s website to see what the difference was, if indeed there is a difference… I looked at the MDS’s to compare and found that the School glue was classified as a PVAC glue while the Glue All had no such designation — it did not specify what type it was. Out of curiousity I looked and saw that the Carpenter’s glue was also listed as being a PVAC glue. So other than the school glue being marketed to kids as being “washable” I wonder if there really is any difference at all.


    • I have tried the Elmer’s Carpenter’s glue, and my clay turned into little rubber balls. So there is definitely a difference. Other brands of carpenter’s glue seem to work, so I think it’s the “C” added to the PVA that is the clue for the kind of glue that doesn’t work. Plain old PVA is good. Some websites say that Elmer’s has something “like” PVA, but slightly different. What I know is that it works, and people in other countries who ask for PVA glue find a product that works. But the only Elmer’s I know of that works in this recipe is Elmer’s Glue-All.

      Long-winded answer, I know. TMI?

      • No, not TMI! 🙂 All your info is very helpful, so thanks for that!

        I have been using a big jug of “Washable School Glue” but it is not Elmer’s brand but “Rich Art”… but I haven’t used it in your recipe so I wonder…. I guess I will just have to try it. I have used it watered down with success with the strip method. I am wondering if I will be able to use this with your plaster and glue recipe for your shop towel method without any adverse results. I guess there is truly only one way to find out. I will let you know once I try. I was not able to find an MSDS for it online.


  6. Thanx Jonni

    This video of the clay really explains a lot! I am still surching for the right materials in Holland. I did find the boiled linseed oil 😉
    In the meantime I have made a cat armature from crumpled newspaper and tape and with a clay recipe from Joke Heesters from Holland. She makes beautiful things too so ! You can find her on: http://joke30750.punt.nl/?home=1

    She uses this recipe. So for all people in Holland that are having trouble getting the right ingredients too this might work for you too:
    2 rolls of toiletpaper
    6 tablespoons of wallpaper paste (choose extra heavy quality wallpaper)
    6 tablespoons Geel band brandname: Knauf G(is a kind of fast plaster)
    Possibly sawdust. But I left out.

    I have to say it does not get as smooth as yours look. It felt a bit like concrete, but is gets really hard too. I applied it with a knife like your icing methode. And to fasten the drying proces I put it in the oven on maximum 150 degrees and turned it a lot. I now need to paint it!

    I work with children everyday and the last 2 weeks I have played with paper mache with kids from 4 till 12. I used the layer method and making an armature from tape and newspaper or balloon. We used the flour recipe and also the wallpaperglue. They loved it and I am sure we made some kids enthousiastic for many possibitities of paper mache !
    warm greetings to you all. Gea

  7. Dear Joni,

    thank you so much for sharing all those tips, it was great!!! I still did not get the right texture of your receipt but I am trying…xo In my blog I have two little “princess” that I´ve made with your paper mache clay, the first doll was easier, the clay was smooth (phto attached).I will watch again your PMclay video and see what I am doing wrong…probably I am messuring wrong (here in Brazil we do not use “cups” for mesurements and I had to improvise with convertion with spoons – 1 cup = 16 spoons). Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your techniques. Warm hugs from Brazil, Chris

    • Hi Christianne. It looks like we are seeing the same doll twice – did the upload feature do something weird again?

      If you use too much paper the clay will be a bit lumpy. and it does help if you keep mixing for a very long time. Sometimes little pieces of paper stick together and need a lot of encouragement to mix into the clay smoothly. If you play around with it and find something that works to make your clay smoother, please let us know.

      I love that doll, by the way. She’s very expressive. You almost have to wonder what she’s thinking…

      • Dear Jonni, thank you so much!!! Yes, I think I did not mixed well at the second time (my mixer is too old xoxo). I will keep you inform if my new receipt turn out right. Thank you again for all those information! I will try to make the cat too but only I will start next week, I love your wonderful artwork!! BTW, I used vinegar on the water when I left the toilet paper. It works very well! I don´t like to use bleach. Thank you for your comment on my doll. She was made over plastic bottle and I add masking tape all over it before adding the paper mache clay.


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